The GP Vanier Towhees kicked off their varsity high school football season Sept. 9 by defeating Surrey’s Frank Hurt Hornets 18-7.
The temperature was a sizzling 28 degrees C. at Bill Moore Memorial Park when the locals took on the defending Tier 11 B.C. varsity champions in their first exhibition game of the season, which came just three days into the new school year.
Vanier started slowly, showing the uncertainty sometimes seen at the beginning of a year’s first game. The Hornets began the game well, gaining yardage on the ground and holding Vanier’s offence to three downs and a punt for most of the first quarter.
By the end of the first quarter Vanier’s offensive and defensive lines settled down and began to “fire out” at the opponents, opening holes for Vanier running backs and stopping the Hornets’ running attack. By halftime Vanier had scored two touchdowns (without conversions) and kept the Hornets off the scoreboard.
The second half started slowly for both teams as the heat was taking its toll Vanier scored a third touchdown (without a conversion) and the Hornets scored a TD with a move somewhat similar to an Australian Rules Football bounce, and some good running by the Hornets slotback on a reverse. They converted to make the final 18-7. “Our kick conversion needs some work,” noted Towhee coach Bob Campbell.
Vanier’s offence was quarterbacked by Ian Curry who had two rushing plays for nine yards and completed his only pass of the game to Dylan Wyatt who initially made two Hornet tacklers miss but was finally brought down inches from the Hornets’ goal line.
Running back Clayton Guille had two carries for 10 yards and was just getting started when he was sidelined with an injury. Clint Gibson had two carries for eight yards. Brandon Hudson, who was recently converted into a running back, had a fine debut with 61 yards on 10 carries. Connor Willis managed 191 yards on 15 carries along with three touchdowns, four punts averaging 32 yards, four kickoffs averaging 46 yards, one kickoff return for 32 yards and one touch back … “Just an average game for Connor,” Campbell noted.
Vanier’s defence did quite well considering a couple of players had not played football before and the defensive system was new to most of the rest. By the end of he first quarter some wrinkles had mostly been ironed out and everyone was very aggressive and tackling hard.
Brandon Hudson (who also played running back) made seven tackles. Middle linebacker Nolan Laderoute made three tackles and had a brief appearance as a running back. Newcomer Cole Patterson had three tackles, one QB sack and a fumble recovery. Adam Riley and Steven Bradshaw each had three tackles.
The only unfortunate event came at warm-up when a Vanier coach was down on the ground after being beaned by an errant football. “The players needed to be reminded that just because we won, beaning a coach during the warm-up should not become a lucky talisman,” Campbell quipped.
Vanier varsity’s next exhibition is at Windsor high school in North Vancouver on Friday, Sept. 16.
– Vanier Towhees varsity football