Vernon high school squads rolling into football showdown

Vernon Panthers unbeaten, Fulton Maroons have won two straight; rivals meet Friday, 7 p.m., GVAP

Each team on a roll. First place in the conference on the line. Halftime show featuring local dancers. Admission by donation with proceeds to the Salvation Army.

City bragging rights up will be up for grabs during Friday Night Lights Nov. 1 when the undefeated Vernon Panthers, ranked No. 1 in the BC AA rankings, close out their Interior Senior Varsity Football Conference play against their crosstown rivals, the Fulton Maroons, Friday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Greater Vernon Athletics Park.

A win by the Panthers (3-0, 6-0 overall) will clinch the conference title. If Fulton (2-1 conference, 3-5 overall) can pull off the upset, the Maroons would be 3-1 in the conference and if the South Kamloops Titans take care of Kelowna’s Okanagan Mission Huskies, then three teams would be tied at 3-1.

READ MORE: Vernon Panthers blank city rivals Fulton Maroons

The Panthers enter the all-Vernon showdown having roughed up the Huskies 71-7 Friday at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna, while the Maroons went to Salmon Arm and shut out the Golds 23-0 for their second straight conference win.

Caden Danbrook caught three touchdown passes from quarterback Zack Smith, who threw for five majors on the evening, and added his seventh interception of the season on defence.

Danbrook hooked up with Smith on touchdown catches of 24, 32 and two yards, and also added a fourth major on an 80-yard kick-off return. He finished with 103 yards on six catches.

Smith, who went 12-of-25 for 280 yards, also threw majors of 15 and seven yards to Ethan Greenan, and the Grade 11 tailback added another TD on a one-yard plunge to finish with three scores on just seven touches.

Vernon Grade 9 tailback Damon Froste stole the show in the second half, rushing for 129 yards on five carries, scoring touchdowns of 20 and 75 yards in the process.

Trent Charlton had the other major on a 75-yard catch from Smith.

“OKM is a young team that played hard all four quarters,” said VSS head coach Sean Smith. It was great to see them back in the league. They have a lot of kids out for their program and I think they’ve laid a good foundation to build on in future years. I was impressed that they could have went to running time in the second half – but chose to play it out in the third quarter to get their players more experience.”

Smith was not impressed with his team’s overall play.

“While we scored a lot of points on offence, we are still not running on all cylinders,” he said. “Playoffs are coming up quickly and we won’t be winning any games if we don’t clean some things up. Too many penalties and mental mistakes will cost us in tight games.”

The Maroons got a consistent showing from quarterback Dom Peterson in their blanking of the hometown Golds. Peterson was 9-14 through the air for 100 yards and booted a 29-yard field goal. Running back Dylan Wapple dominated Salmon Arm, carrying 20 times for 116 yards and two TDs. Karan Malhotra added the other major on a run. Van Kozak caught four passes for 48 yards.

Fulton led 7-0 at the half.

“The coaching staff was very happy with the win,” said Maroons head coach Mike Scheller. “Salmon Arm has some speed and talent offensively, and for us to shut them out was a good accomplishment for our defence. I think our defence played the pass very well and secondary coach Kevin Stecyk has done a good job with them.

“Hayden Catt and Rey Siddique at safety had solid games for us. Defensive linemen Cavan Tilbert and Luiz Casemiro were tough inside and Tilbert had a lot of tackles for a linebacker. Dayton Ingenhaag had his usual excellent game at middle linebacker.

“Offensively we were able to control the line of scrimmage and we rushed the ball effectively. Our offensive line played very well and coach Mike Tkatschow did a great job of preparing our kids.Wapple had his best game of the year and ran hard.”

VSS beat Fulton 28-0 in an exhibition game Sept. 27 at GVAP.

“Fulton played us very tough last time out and I’m sure they will be well prepared for us,” said Smith.

Friday’s game will feature Vernon Minor Football teams playing mini games at half along with Accentz Dance members doing some routines.


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