Sterling Hillman (left) of the Holy Cross Crusaders is tackled by Seaquam Seahawks Kyle Gervin and Robert Hodgins during a high school football game Saturday at Holy Cross Regional High School.

Panthers win second straight

Seahawks edge Holy Cross for their first win in league play

After an early loss to the first-place team, the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers have won two in a row to climb into third place in the Eastern Conference of the B.C. High School Football Association.

The Senior AAA team stopped the Centennial Centaurs 20-0 Friday night in Coquitlam, improving their record in the eight-team conference to 2-1.

“Our defense allowed only a handful of first downs the entire game,” said Panthers head coach Kurt Thornton. “A great defense, strong running game and special teams were the story behind the win.”

Keegan Rogers made the most of his first start of the season at defensive end, making six tackles which included four quarterback sacks. Hayden Hamilton also had a half dozen tackles with two sacks, and scored a safety.

Caleb Abraham also had a safety and an interception, while Colton Zayshley had six tackles.

Abraham and Zayshley led a very effective Panthers rushing attack. Abraham carried the ball 14 times for 92 yard and a touchdown, while Zayshley had 87 yards on 15 carries and one major score. He also had a 67-yard touchdown run called back on a holding penalty.

“We were able to control the game with our rushing attack,” said Thornton. “Our two running backs split time at tailback as they are both a huge part of our defense and they each bring a unique look to the offensive backfield.”

The Panthers will play three of their final four regular season games on the road, the first of which is Friday in Abbotsford against the 1-2 W.J. Mouat Hawks.

The Seaquam Seahawks earned their first win of their Senior AA schedule Saturday in Surrey, defeating the Holy Cross Crusaders 33-25. The Seahawks are 1-1 and in third place in the five-team Southern Conference. The Crusaders fell to 0-2.

“I am delighted that the kids got their first win of the year,” said Seahawks head coach Jerry Mullis. “We are still making some mistakes, which is due to the team being so young. A lot of the time, we only have one or two Grade 12 players on the field and the rest are either Grade 11s or Grade 10s.”

Grade 12 quarterback Joss Yanciw threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns, including tosses of 30 and 82 yards to Sam Orlick. Masaki Kawanami had a 68 yard touchdown reception, and Dante Makazu hauled one in for a 78-yard score. Yanciw also ran for one touchdown.

For the Crusaders, quarterback Patrick Shoemay ran for a 10-yard score, and threw for 192 yards with touchdown passes of 25 yards to Sterling Hillman and 60 yards to Marcus Browne. Browne also ran for 145 yards and a second touchdown.

Cole Barron and Vikram Varpaul led the Holy Cross defense with nine tackles each.

“We started of slow and were behind very early but our guys fought back and played hard,” said head coach Conrad Deugau. “We had a couple opportunities to get up on Seaquam but fell short.

I was really proud that the kids never gave up. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing. They played hard and competed until the end.”

The Seahawks will travel to Burnaby Friday to play the 0-1 Moscrop Panthers, 38-6 losers to the Hugh Boyd Trojans last week.

“As far as Moscrop is concerned, they are big, physical and talented and people shouldn’t be fooled by the score in their loss to Hugh Boyd,” said Mullis. “We’ll have our work cut out to stay with them. Quarterback Abdinasir Abdi is a heck of an athlete and is a real game changer.”

The Crusaders will have a bye after dropping two close games to start their regular season, but will be practicing before closing out league play on the road against Moscrop and Hugh Boyd.

“We have some adjustments to make in all areas, offense, defense and special tams,” said Deugau. “The fundamentals need to be worked on. We need to continue to polish those.”

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