Vernon Panthers top John Barsby Bulldogs

Cats down Bulldogs 30-16 in JV high school football action Friday on Vancouver Island

Vernon Panthers beat Nanaimo's John Barsby Bulldogs 30-16 in junior varsity high school football action Friday on Vancouver Island.

Vernon Panthers beat Nanaimo's John Barsby Bulldogs 30-16 in junior varsity high school football action Friday on Vancouver Island.

Vernon Panthers finally have a win over Nanaimo’s John Barsby Bulldogs.

The Junior Varsity Panthers scored a 30-16 exhibition high school football win at a rain-soaked Merle Logan Field on Vancouver Island Friday.

“Our program has never defeated Barsby in four tries,” said Panthers head coach Sean Smith. “They’ve knocked our senior teams out of the playoffs three times and also beat us in Vernon last year in exhibition. This was a big win for our boys. They went toe-to-toe with a very big, tough team and came out on top.”

The schools’ senior teams squared off Saturday.

The Cats got on top early and never relinquished the lead. Quarterback Thomas Hyett hit Riley Macgillivray on a four-yard touchdown strike on their opening drive with Charles Lemay converting the two-point convert.

Vernon extended its lead to 16-0  when Lemay (21 rushes for 105 yards, 2 TDs) ran in from five yards out.  Barsby countered with a touchdown rush to cut the deficit to 16-8 at the half.

Quarterback Zack Smith took over play-calling duties in the second half and completed his first six passes, the final one a scramble throw in the end zone to Caden Danbrook.

Lemay added a two-point convert to go up by 16. The teams traded touchdowns in the final quarter with Lemay adding his second major.

“We had some unsung heros on the defensive line that did the grunt work for us,” said Smith. “Trey Defoor was stellar all game. On offence, we completed passes to seven different receivers on 24 passes and had five different rushers. If we can remain that balanced on offence, we are going to be tough to play against.”

Lemay was a workhorse on offence and defence recording 100 yards rushing and a game-high 15 tackles. Kael Black chipped in with eight.

The Panthers (2-0) open league play against Fulton on Wednesday at Greater Vernon Athletics Park (4 p.m).