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Vernon Blue Magnums to host conference football final

Blue defeats White Magnums 58-16 in all-Vernon Junior Bantam semi; meet Kelowna in Sunday’s final
The Vernon White and Vernon Blue Magnums gather post-game for a group photo following their Southern Interior Football Conference Junior Bantam semifinal Sunday, Nov. 13, at Greater Vernon Athletic Park. The Blues beat the Whites 58-16. (Contributed)

Blue left White with a case of the blues.

Vernon Blue Magnums defeated the Vernon White Magnums 58-16 in a Southern Interior Football Conference Junior Bantam all-Vernon semifinal matchup Sunday, Nov. 13, at Greater Vernon Athletic Park (GVAP).

The win means the undefeated Blue Magnums will host the Kelowna Spartans Sunday, Nov. 20, at GVAP with the winner advancing to the provincial finals. Game time has yet to be determined.

The two Vernon JB teams met in September, with Blue winning, but both teams have learned and improved since the early matchup.

Blue won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball. On the first play from scrimaage, running back Caden O’Dwyer blasted through the middle then ran up the sideline for 40 yards, putting Blue in great position.

White was able to buckle down on defence and held off Blue near the White goalline but O’Dwyer would score the first of his four touchdowns to give Blue the opening lead.

White took the ensuing kickoff back across midfield, then marched into Blue territory, capping off the drive with a touchdown by workhorse runner and White Magnums touchdown machine Ryder Altwasser.

The two teams would continue to slug it out, going punch for punch for the remainder of the first half, until late in the second quarter when Blue’s ball hawk Oliver Harkness picked off a deep throw and with a nose for the end he was able to weave all the way for a defensive touchdown, making the score at 20-16 Blue at the break.

Some halftime adjustments were clearly made as Blue came out firing defensively. Ends Josh Vandenberg and Tanner Carr shut down the edges and accrued 12 tackles in the backfield between them. With the White offence moving the wrong way they would test the middle, only to get stuffed by a wrecking crew of Hunter Robinson and Nathan Goodfellow who refused to be moved plugging up running lanes.

The Blue offence would crack open the flood gates led by Owen West, who had missed some time with injury but showed just how big of a weapon he can be by racking up 95 yards on the ground, slamming in three second half touchdowns and converting a kick to widen Blue’s lead to 22 points.

Team White would break out the trick plays to attempt to get something going but the Blue defence stood strong, allowing O’Dwyer to crush any hope of a comeback and seal the game with a walk-off touchdown

The other semi final took place Sunday and saw the Kelowna Spartans wipe out city rivals 59-0 to book their ticket to Vernon.

Vernon Blue Magnums took the previous matchup in season play weeks ago but the Spartans have been on a tear blowing out opponents all year.

The Vernon Pee Wee Magnum squads were eliminated from the SIFC playoffs Sunday.

Sunday saw both PeeWee teams fall from the playoffs. Vernon White Magnums played the first-place Kelowna Grey and fell 47-6. Vernon Blue Magnums played the Kamloops Broncos and lost a tight contest 14-6.

READ MORE: Vernon Minor Football deems year a success prior to playoffs

READ MORE: Vernon Panthers face Titans, hunger on gridiron

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