The Vernon Yellow Jackets brushed back the Salmon Arm Colts 12-6 Sunday to earn a berth in the Southern Interior Pee Wee Football Conference semifinals versus the West Kelowna Sundevils.
Vernon opened the scoring on their second possession of the game. Zach Benn took a reverse for a 45-yard run down to the 15-yard line after which Dylan Huber ran the ball in on a 15-yard quarterback sweep.
After that, it was a defensive battle until the final two minutes when Salmon Arm broke loose for a 60-yard middle run to tie the game.
On the very next offensive play for Vernon, Riley MacGillvray took a wide pitch and scampered 55 yards for a touchdown to put Vernon ahead 12-6.
Also contributing significant yards for the Jackets was Issac Olsen who ran for 45 on the day.
“Once again, the Yellow Jackets’ ‘Big Mac’ attack defence used the team approach to stop the Colts,” said Vernon head coach Ed Huber. “Defensive standouts were Garret Black-Thomas and Issac Olsen with six tackles each and Thomas Mackiewich with two tackles and an interception. Bryce Turner, Tristen Baker, Kaden Doughty, Thomas Satterthwaite, Bryce Thachuk and Trey Winstanley also contributed with tackles.”
The Valley semifinal goes Sunday afternoon at the Mission turf field in Kelowna.
In Junior Bantam playoff action, the Vernon Marauders bested the Kamloops Broncos 58-0 Sunday at Grahame Park.
The Marauder O line, consisting of Jett Carey, Hayden McLean, Bryce Goodrich, Mike Tesarski and Daniel Henrie, provided outstanding blocking for both their running backs and their QB.
Wide outs Kieran Webster and Mack Henrey, along with slot Josh Hyer, also supplied some key blocks to spring their teammates for big yards.
Hard-running fullback Carson Labrecque laid out some punishing blocks, rushing for 65 yards on four carries and scoring three TDs. Jonah Waterstreet played a solid game, with a 44-yard TD run and a 34-yard TD pass reception.
Levi Nicholas was also a force, rushing for 50 yards and a TD on three carries, and hauling in two TD passes, one for 50 yards. QB Trey Isaac was good on 4-of-8 convert attempts, 5-for-11 pass attempts and rushed for 115 yards on the day.
The Marauder defence allowed just 64 net yards rushing and passing combined. Bryce Sorensen was the tackle leader with seven and a sack, Tyler (Ducky) Sova had six tackles and Weston Vanderveen had five.
Corners Hunter Koopmans, Tyler Braun, and Connor Kaman were stellar, as was Koalden Oakden who had three tackles and a pick.
“This win was a real team effort,” said head coach Ron Kirschner. “All of the boys played with playoff intensity.”
The Marauders meet the host Kelowna Sundevils Sunday in a quarterfinal game.
The Vernon Magnums will face the Penticton Cougars in the B.C. Nine-Man Midget Championships this Saturday (3 p.m.) at Thompson Rivers University Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.
Penticton coach Terence Westera says the Cougars know all about the powerful Magnums.
“They are big and strong obviously,” he said. “We have always kind of had a small team so we’re used to that now. They are really good at running the ball, especially in the middle and onto the outside.
“They are good at blocking. I’m not worried about their passing game whatsoever. We have played them twice now and it’s a non-issue. I think we have picked them off five or six times over two games.”
The Vernon Atom Blue Bombers will also be playing for a provincial championship Saturday at the same venue (9 a.m.) against the Prince George Axemen.