Zack Smith returned the opening kick off 70 yards for a touchdown, and it only got better after that for the Vernon Magnums.
The Pee Wee Magnums jumpstarted their Southern Interior Football Conference season with a 34-0 win over the Kelowna Lions Sunday at Grahame Park.
Smith led the Vernon attack, tossing for 81 yards on four-of-eight passes, including three TDs. Receiver Ethan Mitchell caught for 50 yards and a TD, while tight end Kevin Morgan had 28 yards and a score and fullback Isaiah Ondrik added a three-yard TD catch.
Magnums’ running back Cameron Moger scampered for 39 yards and a score, while Matthew Reich added 32 yards for the offence.
Defensively, Ondrik supplied four tackles and a fumble recover, Joey Mazzei also had four tackles and was a menace in the backfield, and Smith added four tackles. Ethan Anderson and Devin Hofsink both added three tackles apiece.
“The team’s focus and hard work in practice sessions really paid off,” said head coach Sean Smith, who also coaches the Vernon Panthers senior boys team.
Meanwhile, in Atom division action, the host Magnums eked out a 32-27 win over the Lions Sunday at Grahame.
Vernon QB Kolby Thorpe rushed for 158 yards on 14 carries with two scores. He unloaded one pass, a five-yarder, to Brady Devries.
Game MVP runningback Colin Charlton was a workhorse for the Magnums, carrying the ball 24 times for 89 yards and three touchdowns behind some solid blocking from offensive linemen Ryland Croswell, Ryan Harms, Roland Ingram, Rasheed Hashi and Zakk Hamilton.
“We worked a lot on blocking this past week at practice and I was happy to see it paid off,” said head coach Tim Thorpe.
“Colin had a huge day running the ball for us, the majority of his runs were right up the middle where it’s tough running. He couldn’t have done it without the tremendous blocking from our offensive line.”
The defence was led by Thorpe with 11 tackles, a sack and fumble recovery. Charlton had eight tackles, Gunnar Nyberg had four, Carston Disher had three and Harms had a tackle and two timely sacks near the end of the game.
After scoring the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute to play, the Magnum defence held off the Lions’ final push.
The Atoms host the Kelowna Dragons Sunday, 10 a.m. at Grahame, followed by the Pee Wees at noon and Jr. Bantams at 2 p.m.