The Vernon Magnums face a Grey situation Sunday, Nov. 22.
The regular-season champion Magnums punched their ticket to the Southern Interior Football Conference’s Peewee division title game by heading to the frozen tundra at West Kelowna (the field was literally covered with snow and cold conditions) and dismantling the West Kelowna Junior Sun Green team 40-6 Saturday, Nov. 14.
Vernon will face Kelowna Grey in Sunday’s championship game.
In West Kelowna, the Magnums elected to start the game by receiving the ball and letting their ‘hogs’ on the offensive line go to work, which they did. Vernon marched down the field in nine plays, capping it off with a four-yard touchdown by Oliver Harkness for an early lead. Harkness would finish with two rushing TDs and one receiving major.
The Magnums’ defence has allowed only six points to opponents per game over the back half of the season, and on Green’s first possession, Chase George intercepted a pass and midfield. Vernon’s big five frontline on offence, led by Shaymus Waterstreet, Bronson Milum and Nathan Hyer, put together another long drive, culminating with a catch in the endzone by Harkness.
Trailing 20-0, Kelowna got on the board late in the second quarter when a running back escaped a would-be safety (tackle in the endzone) and romped 103 yards for a major, making the score 20-6 at the break.
On the first series of the second half, Vernon rookie linebacker Owen West picked off another pass and ran the ball back into scoring position. Fullback Caden O’Dwyer went to work, pounding the rock and running hard, finishing with 94 yards and two touchdowns on the day on offence, and added seven tackles on D from middle linebacker.
Vernon ball hawk Boston Ciccone collected his fifth interception of the season and, running well with speed on the outside, put the Magnums in the Kelowna red zone (between the goal line and 20-yard line). West would power the ball into the endzone for his first touchdown of the year. He also accounted for two point-after scores on the day.
“It was a great team effort today and we played well in all aspects of the game, the kids had been pumped to play at home in front of friends and family, and I think they channelled their frustrations well and came out hitting on D and blocking great on the line,” said Magnums coach Bryan Cragg on the win and having to play on the road.
The Magnums are slated to host Kelowna Junior Sun Grey in the championship Sunday at Greater Vernon Athletic Park. Vernon beat Grey 24-6 in the final game of the regular season two weeks ago.