Cousins Justin Haverkamp and Zach Hyer took turns delivering highlight packages for the VSS Panthers in a 38-6 junior football win over the Salmon Arm Golds Thursday at Grahame Park.
Haverkamp supplied two touchdowns on long runs as the Cats moved ahead 16-0 early in the first quarter. Both scores were converted on passes from quarterback Keegan Vickland to tight end Ben Hladik.
VSS then got a TD off a power scamper by Carson Lebreque followed by a Hyer conversion. It was 24-0 Cats at the half.
“It was a terrific start to the game,” said VSS head coach Dave Tetrault. “We lost to this team 13-0 a month ago. We focused on getting better and the results indicate we did.”
Hyer scored on a terrific misdirection reverse and Haverkamp plunged for the two-point conversion, making it 32-0.
The final quarter saw first-year running back Riley Bos register two long runs which led to the Cats’ last score.
Haverkamp finished with 150 rushing yards, Hyer put up 110, Bos earned 70 and Lebreque recorded 45.
Lebreque, a middle linebacker, led the defence with 10 tackles and two sacks, while Haverkamp reeled off eight tackles and Hladik had two sacks.
Charis Ondrik and Hyer each pocketed two picks, while Jesse Bielski and Josh Hyer both scooped fumbles.
“I am extremely proud of all the boys,” said Tetrault. “Our young guys are stepping up and making plays. Our defensive and offensive lines are working to get better. Tyler Semeniuk, Jacob Marshall, Tyler Riva, Bielski and Josh Hyer have committed to blocking physically. It was a great team win.”
The Cats visit the Valleyview Vikings Thursday in Kamloops.
The Senior Panthers resume play Saturday in Cranbrook against the Mt. Baker Trojans. The Fulton Maroons host the Salmon Arm Golds the same day (noon) at Grahame Park.
Sun face Rams in semifinal today
The Okanagan Sun host the Langley Rams today (2 p.m.) at the Kelowna Apple Bowl in the B.C. Football Conference semifinal.
Langley scored 28 points in an eight-minute span before eventually falling 29-28 to the Sun after a last-second field goal came up short, in an August game.
“Everyone is chomping at the bit,” said Rams’ coach Ted Kirby.
The Sun placed second in the regular season at 8-2 and Langley was third at 7-3.
“You face adversity through a football season and that was definitely the most adversity we had faced this year,” said Kirby.
The Vancouver Island Raiders (8-2) battle the Kamloops Broncos (2-7-1) in the other semifinal today in Nanaimo.