AA SEMI-FINAL: VERNON PANTHERS VS. JOHN BARSBY BULLDOGS

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Saturday, November 29 – David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium

Kickoff at 12 PM

Game broadcast online at http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/football/hs-fb/bc-hs-fb/2014-game-of-the-week

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Photo Credit: Scott McKenzie, Daily News

The top-ranked Double A team, the Vernon Panthers, will face last year’s Double A Subway Bowl champion, the John Barsby Bulldogs, in what should be a very exciting semi-final match up.

In last week’s 36-6 win over Abbotsford, the Panthers were led offensively by Zac Kronbauer. Kronbauer rushed for 70 yards, caught a 46 yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Garvie, and also returned an interception 60 yards for a score. Even more impressive was the team’s defensive efforts led by Karson Patommel, who recorded six tackles and a forced fumble. Carson Labrecque (five tackles and one sack) and Ben Hladik (five tackles and two sacks) also came up huge for the Panthers.

The Bulldogs, who are coming off a close 27-24 win over Seaquam, were led by Cole Virtanen, who was crucial in the team’s win. Virtanen rushed 19 times for 135 yards and three touchdowns in the game, while Trentyn Anderson carried 14 times for 130 yards and caught a touchdown pass from quarterback North Rainey. On defence, Virtanen again proved critical with 13 tackles while Parker Bowles recorded 12 tackles in the game.

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AA SEMI-FINAL: MISSION ROADRUNNERS VS. BALLENAS WHALERS

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Saturday, November 29 – David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium

Kickoff at 2:30 PM

Game broadcast online at http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/football/hs-fb/bc-hs-fb/2014-game-of-the-week

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Photo Credit: PNG photo

After defeating last year’s Subway Bowl finalist, Carson Graham, in the quarterfinals, the Mission Roadrunners will face the Ballenas Whalers this Saturday in a game featuring the top-two rushing leaders in Double A.

The Roadrunners are led by Jesse Walker, who rushed for all five of his team’s touchdowns in their 34-14 win over Carson Graham. Walker rushed for an impressive 287 yards in the game and is currently ranked second in the playoffs in rushing with 340 yards off 27 carries to go with seven touchdowns. On defence, the team is led by Landon Rayburn, who is currently ranked third in the playoffs with fifteen tackles and tied for first with three sacks in two games.

The Whalers are led by running back Coltin Laplante, who has scored ten touchdowns while rushing 47 times for405 yards in two playoff games combined. In last week’s 42-12 win over Hugh Boyd, Laplante carried 34 times for 276 yards and six touchdowns, which amounted to all of his team’s touchdowns that game. Quarterback Garrin McDonnell, who kicked all six converts, will also be a key player for the Whalers. On defence, players to watch out for are Jonah Hay, who had seven tackles and a fumble recovery against Hugh Boyd, and Matt Price, who finished with six tackles in that same game.

AAA SEMI-FINAL: TERRY FOX RAVENS VS. SOUTH DELTA SUN DEVILS

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Saturday, November 29 – David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium

Kickoff at 8 PM

Game broadcast online at http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/football/hs-fb/bc-hs-fb/2014-game-of-the-week

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Photo Credit: Phillip Chan, Football BC

After a convincing 37-0 win over New Westminster last weekend, the Terry Fox Ravens will play the South Delta Sun Devils for the first time this season for the right to advance to next Saturday’s Subway Bowl final. The Ravens are looking to get back to the title game after falling last year to Mt. Douglas.

In their win over the Hyacks, the Ravens proved their ability to easily capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes scoring off of two New Westminster fumbles and also running the ball to the end zone after an interception. Despite difficult playing conditions, quarterback Conner McKee went 5-of-11 for 101 yards, including a 28 yard touchdown strike to Mike West, and also scored on a touchdown run of his own. West was also a valuable player on defence recording ten tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

The Sun Devils, coming off a hard-fought and close 9-7 win over Lord Tweedsmuir, proved that they could win close games without having to rely solely on their passing game. Due to weather conditions on Friday, the Sun Devils were forced find different ways to run the ball and create opportunities for the team. Quarterback Lucas Kirk went 13-of-23 for 188 yards, including hitting Bryce Connors on a 37-yard touchdown strike for the points that proved to be the winning ones. Jack McDonald kicked a 32-yard field goal early in the first quarter to open the scoring. He also led the team with nine tackles.

AAA SEMI-FINAL: MT. DOUGLAS RAMS VS. ST. THOMAS MORE KNIGHTS

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Saturday, November 29 – David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium

Kickoff at 5 PM

Game broadcast online at http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/football/hs-fb/bc-hs-fb/2014-game-of-the-week

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Photo Credit: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

After rolling past the Kelowna Owls 57-0, the Mt. Douglas Rams are one step closer to a historic four-peat but they’ll have to get past the St. Thomas More Knights in the semifinals this Saturday, a team that has flourished in under pressure situations so far in the post-season.

Last Friday the Knights redeemed a previous 50-32 regular season loss to Vancouver College by beating their long-time rival by a 54-20 score. The Knights were led by quarterback Terrell Jana, who showed his offensive abilities once again throwing a touchdown pass and also rushing for a pair of scores himself and amassing 94 yards of total rushing on the night. Running back Shane Noel also proved to be a workhorse, carrying for 143 yards and a score. On defence, Spencer Moore led the team with nine tackles while Andrew Flett and Matt Duda capitalized on Vancouver College’s mistakes by each returning an interception for a touchdown.

The Rams have several key players on offence, such as running back Seye Farinu and receiver Gavin Cobb. In last week’s game, Farinu scored on runs of 25 yards and 44 yards, respectively, and also caught a 49-yard strike from quarterback Joe Clarke, who threw two touchdowns and also rushed for a score of his own. On special teams, Cobb returned three punts for 183 yards, including one for 85 yards which set up a Clark run for the first score of the game. Cobb also recorded two tackles, 15 yards rushing on a pair of carries, and an interception in the win. Defensively, the Rams created five turnovers and were led by Jonah Merino, who recorded five tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery.

Jay Prepchuk Announced as a NFL Youth Coach of the Year Finalist

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Jay Prepchuk, head coach of the Handsworth Royals football team, has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2014 NFL Youth Coach of the Year award as announced by the NFL on Wednesday.

The award, now in its 16th year, recognizes community or high school level coaches who dedicate themselves to the development of young players on and off the field.

Shortly after the announcement was made, Coach Prepchuk took the time to speak with me despite his busy schedule working as a counselor at Handsworth Secondary.

“I’m very honoured and privileged to be a finalist. It’s almost hard to believe,” said Jay, who was the only BC coach to make the finalist list consisting of only ten coaches across Canada.

Prepchuk, who first started coaching in grade 11 with the Handsworth junior varsity team, credits his love for coaching to Dave Pearce, a football coach at Handsworth at the time. After his first taste of coaching, Jay never looked back and his love for coaching blossomed over the years.

Although his team has faced some adversity this season, his players are still as determined as ever.

“We have some excellent young players coming into the program,” explained Jay. “They’re already excited for next season and looking ahead.”

What really stuck me about Coach Prepchuk was his humble attitude towards being recognized among hundreds, even thousands, of coaches and nominees across Canada. He credits the coaches around him who he learns from everyday, as well as the players, support staff, parents, and the administration at Handsworth Secondary.

He explained that in football, there is no such thing as individual success, and is grateful for the opportunities he has had as a coach with the support he’s had over the years.

Earlier this year, Jay was also named the new U18 Team BC head coach. With the final cut-down camp fast approaching on December 13, he, along with his coaching staff, will have the difficult task of going over the list of prospects to select the final squad for the trip to the Tanoa Bowl in Auburn, Washington in late December.

For those players who make the team, Jay has some wise words of advice.

“Continue to stay in shape in the off season, and come out ready to represent Team BC and Canada”, said Jay. “It’s a Canadian pride thing just as much as it is a BC pride thing. We’re going to be the only Canadian team there, so we want everyone to come out excited to be a part of it.”

Congratulations on being selected as a finalist, Coach Prepchuk, and thank you for all that you’ve done for football in the province!

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AAA QUARTERFINALS: VANCOUVER COLLEGE FIGHTING IRISH AT ST. THOMAS MORE KNIGHTS

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Friday, November 21 – Burnaby Lake Sports Complex

Kickoff at 6 PM

Game broadcast online at

http://www.sportscanada.tv/index.php/football/hs-fb/bc-hs-fb/2014-game-of-the-week

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Photo Credit: Jason Lang/Burnaby NOW

After a 43-30 win over W.J. Mouat Hawks in the first round of playoff action, the Vancouver College Fighting Irish are on their way to a quarterfinal clash against archrivals St. Thomas More Knights.

For the Fighting Irish last weekend, standout player and running back Ovie Odjegba carried 14 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Odjegba ranked fourth in rushing this season, recording five touchdowns and 686 yards on 90 carries. Meanwhile, quarterback Giordano Belfiore was able to complete 7-of-16 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. In the regular season, Belfiore ranked sixth in passing in the conference going 45-of-94 for 864 yards and 12 touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Chris Ellis recorded 15 tackles in the win over the Hawks.

The Knights are led by Terrell Jana, arguably the most mobile quarterback in the conference. In the regular season, he ranked third in rushing with 722 yards on 55 attempts averaging 13.13 yards per carry and also scoring eight touchdowns in seven games. He also ranked fourth in the conference in passing going 55-of-92 for 1091 yards and 14 touchdowns. His favourite target will likely be JJ DesLauriers, who ranked second in the conference in receiving with 23 receptions for 553 yards and ten touchdowns in seven games this season. On defense, Spencer Moore will be a player to watch as he led the Knights in tackles with 56 and had four sacks in six games.

Great players making great plays – October was chock-full of that. Check out the best plays from this past month.

AAA QUARTERFINALS: KELOWNA OWLS AT MT. DOUGLAS RAMS

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Friday, November 21 – Westhills Stadium

Kickoff at 2:30 PM

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Photo Credit: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

After an impressive 46-12 win over Notre Dame last week, the Kelowna Owls are on the road to visit the defending AAA champions, the Mt. Douglas Rams, in the quarterfinals.

In their game last week, the Owls received a stellar performance from quarterback Parker Simon, who went 7-of-13 for 146 yards and two scores. In addition, he also rushed 17 times for 128 yards and a score, while also catching a touchdown pass of his own. On the other hand, receiver Seth Campbell also had a great day with five receptions for 76 yards and a score, while also rushing for one and throwing for another. Campbell ranked sixth in receiving in the regular season, catching 27 passes for 408 yards and touchdowns. On defense, Manny Chamberlain led the team with seven tackles, a fumble recovery, and three sacks.

The Rams, who were undefeated in the regular season, are led by Seye Farinu, who ranked fifth in rushing with 81 carries for 641 yards in six games averaging 106.83 yards per game while finishing tied for first place in AAA with 10 rushing touchdowns in seven games. Farinu is also the team’s best tackler accumulating 39 tackles this season. As for receivers, Gavin Cobb leads the team ranking eighth in the conference with 21 receptions for 378 yards and three touchdowns in six games.