A second straight victory over a powerhouse program has kept the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers among the ranks of the unbeaten in the B.C. High School Football Association.
In its fifth season at the Senior AAA level, the Panthers have established themselves as one of the top teams in the province with a 21-0 victory over the previously undefeated St. Thomas More Knights Friday in Burnaby.
“We are right in the thick of things and have never been in this position during our first four years of AAA football,” said Panthers head coach Kurt Thornton. “To beat teams ranked ahead of us in back to back weeks legitimizes our program in a big way.
“That being said, we have high goals and there is a lot of work yet to be done over the next few weeks.”
Jamel Lyles scored all through Panthers touchdowns, including one on a 90-yard run on the second place from scrimmage. Connor McKay kicked all three converts.
Leading defense was Brendan Woods with 12 tackles, Mike Carter with eight tackles and a quarterback sack, Jairo Salazar with six tackles and an interception, Austin Thornton with six tackles and three sacks and Reece Russell with six tackles.
“We have had a negative history with STM (St. Thomas More) that includes several close losses in senior along with several playoff losses at junior,” said Thornton. “Our players were highly motivated and I am proud of the way they played and conducted themselves.”
Now at 3-0 (won-lost) in league play, the Panthers are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Terry Fox Ravens. Tweedsmuir will be on the road tomorrow (Friday) to play the 0-3 Mt. Boucherie Bears in Kelowna.
Two of the three local teams in the Senior AA category won last weekend, leaving all three with one loss in the middle of the pack in the Southern Conference.
The Holy Cross Crusaders lost their game, but impressed in a 13-6 loss to the undefeated South Delta Sun Devils Saturday at Holy Cross Secondary.
South Delta had scored 88 points in their first two league games of the season, but were held to just two scores by the Crusaders defense.
“I’m very proud of the way the guys played and we believe we should have won that one as we had the better scoring chances,” said Crusaders head coach Ken Buchan. “We let that one get away.”
Patrick Shoemay tossed a 256-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Mendoza for the Crusaders score.
Now at 1-1 in league play, Holy Cross will host the 0-2 Hugh Boyd Trojans Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
The Trojans lost a shootout last Saturday in Richmond, a 46-32 setback against the Seaquam Seahawks.
After running back Sam Orlick ran 45 yards for a touchdown to give Seaquam an early 8-0 lead, Hugh Boyd scored four consecutive times to jump in front 26-8 late in the second quarter.
Grade 10 defensive back Masaki Kawanami provided the Seahawks with a bit of a park, intercepting a pass and returning it 70 yards for a major score. A two-point convert attempt was successful, and the Seahawks began the second half behind 26-16.
Seaquam scored four consecutive touchdowns after the break, and led 46-26 before the Trojans scored an unconverted touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Seahawks are 1-1 in league play, and will visit the 2-1 Frank Hurt Hornets tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Frank Hurt Secondary in Newton.
The Hornets have won two in a row, the latest win a 45-7 romp past the Spectrum Thunder at home last Friday.
Bash Sise-Odaa rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while Danile Horvath added another 100 yards on the ground on just eight carries.
Quarterback Josh Zivney had a huge game, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 150 yards and two more scores on passes of 50 yards to Hamza Khan and 45 yards to Brendan Zivny.
Geordelan Gamez ran five years for one touchdown.
Linebackers Alex Garcia, Khan and Raj Sandhu combined for five quarterback sacks and 12 tackles.
“We made some mistakes but we came out and played a little more physical football,” said Hornets head coach Duane Linnen. “But we still need to pick it up. Our next two conference games won’t be easy, we play two very good teams.
“The next couple of conference games will determine if we make playoffs.”