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Vernon leaves Kelowna feeling blue in gridiron showdown

Blue Magnums score 46-26 romp over Kelowna Blue Spartans in Junior Bantam minor football play at GVAP
Vernon Blue Magnums quarterback Brock Warner (left) gets ready to look for a receiver during the team’s 46-26 Southern Interior Football Conference Junior Bantam win over the visiting Kelowna Blue Spartans at Greater Vernon Athletic Park Sunday, Oct. 23. (Contributed)

In a battle of Blues, it was Kelowna left feeling down.

The Vernon Blue Magnums scored a 46-26 win over the Kelowna Blue Spartans in a showdown of undefeated Southern Interior Football Conference Junior Bantam action Sunday, Oct. 23, at Greater Vernon Athletic Park.

The game didn’t start well for the home side as the Spartans took the opening kickoff, then scored a touchdown on a big run just two plays into the contest.

Starting deep in their own end, the Magnums answered back with a big play of their own as Josh Vandenberg ran around the edge for a 67-yard score to tie the contest.

The two squads would continue to exchange big plays until midway through the second quarter when the Magnum defence solidified, led by Owen West and Caden O’Dwyer, who each collected 10 tackles apiece.

Dominant offensive line play took over allowing O’Dwyer to gash the Spartan defence for multiple scores, pounding the ball for 115 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon. Vandenberg being the big play threat added 210 yards on the ground and four total touchdowns hauling in an end zone pass from quarterback Brock Warner. Warner would finish 5 for 7 and some big third-down conversions throwing into tight windows.

The Spartans would try to mount a comeback and add two scores in the fourth quarter but trusted ball carriers Maddox Norlin and Oliver Harkness would grind out the clock for the Magnums who improve to 6-0 on the season.

Offensive line coach and defensive coordinator Cameron Wishart praised the play of his team up front on both sides of the ball.

“We controlled the trenches,” said Wishart. “Tanner Carr and Josh were a menace on D and with Hunter Robinson and Quin Godkin blocking so well on the O-line we can run all day.”

The Sunday before, Blue Magnums kicker West booted four converts to help Vernon to a 52-0 win over the Kelowna Red Spartans.

Both teams made some adjustments after the break and 11 different Magnums touched the ball, some kids for the first time in their career. Dez Wishart, with some hard running, set up Dayton Orr to punch in his first score of the season. Warner connected on his second touchdown of the day hitting new receiver Noah Chirkoff on a nifty catch-and-run where he tiptoed past defenders to get in.

“Our defence put us in great position every time,” said Vernon head coach Curtis Warner. “Carr was in the backfield all day, and getting nine sacks from our defensive ends set the tone for everyone.”

The first-place Magnums close out the regular season Sunday, Oct. 30, against visiting West Kelowna at 2 p.m. at GVAP. West Kelowna will be hungry for a win after they dropped the previous matchup with the Magnums but put up a tough fight.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Vernon scores fantastic Football Day

READ MORE: Panthers too much for Maroons in Battle of Vernon

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