Ball carrier Charles Lemay of the VSS Panthers makes up some yardage before being taken down by the John Barsby defence Friday night at the Greater Vernon Athletic Park. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Panthers advance; Maroons fall to Dukes

The Vernon Panthers are moving to the B.C. Subway Bowl semifinals, while the Fulton Maroons are done

The Vernon Panthers exorcised some ghosts from their past, defeating the John Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo 20-6 in B.C. Subway Bowl Senior AA Varsity Football League quarterfinal action Friday night at Greater Vernon Athletic Park.

The Panthers, who had previously dropped two semifinal tilts to the Bulldogs, prevailed despite turning the ball over five times on fumbles.

“We were lucky to come away with the win,” said Panther head coach Sean Smith. “Anytime you give the ball away that many times, you’re usually not going to win against a quality opponent. We were fortunate that the turnovers didn’t end up costing us, but we left a lot of points on the field when we turned it over deep in their territory.”

After a scoreless first quarter, the Panthers took a 6-0 lead with two field goals coming off the foot of Perez Vermeulen.

Barsby responded in the final minute of the half with a short TD pass to even the score. The ensuing errant snap on the extra point kept the score tied at the break.

The third quarter was all Panthers. Valley Conference Defensive MVP Brad Hladik got the ball rolling with a pick six, returning an interception 23 yards.

Shortly after, Thomas Hyett (10-of-13 for 97 yards) found Riley Macgillivray on a 20-yard strike to put the Cats up by two majors.

“Hats off to Barsby. We always know what we are in for when we play them,” added Smith. “They brought it on every snap and gave us all we could handle until the final whistle. I was very happy with how my boys responded physically in the game. I thought our defence was lights out and our dline got lots of penetration on their inside run plays. We made a couple of coverage errors, but otherwise were very stout.”

Tailback Charles Lemay was, once again a workhorse for the Panthers, carrying the ball 22 times for 115 yards.

Defensively, Lemay had a game-high nine tackles and a pass deflection that saved a touchdown.

For the second game in a row, the interior defensive line was tough to handle. Defensive tackles Trey Defoor and Liam Alder both recorded eight tackles, with many of them coming in the backfield.

“This was a great win for our program,” said Smith. “Barsby has been the gold standard in AA football and they’ve had our number in the playoffs and ended our season quite a few times. We have a lot of respect for their program and what they’ve been able to accomplish, so to beat them when it counts was great for us.”

The Panthers will now face the winner of the Abbotsford Panthers and Hugh Boyd Trojans in the provincial semifinal next weekend.

Meanwhile, the Fulton Maroons fell to the No. 1 ranked Windsor Dukes of NorthVancouver 49-13 in quarterfinal action Saturday morning at B.C. Place.

“They were better than we are,” said Fulton head coach Mike Scheller. “They’re better coached and they played better than us. That happens in football. Our guys went hard all game.”

Caden Doyle recorded both TDs for Fulton, one on an eight-yard pass from Ike Olson and another on an 80-yard kick-off return.

Fulton won their wildcard game last Fridaty.


Thomas Hyett and Riley MacGillivray of the Panthers celebrate after a long touchdown pass Friday night at the Greater Vernon Athletic Park. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Just Posted

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

VIEX all set for 125th anniversary fair

Vancouver Island Exhibition taking place at Nanaimo’s Beban Park from Aug. 23-25

Nanaimo’s ‘Kidney Condo’ accommodates out-of-town dialysis patients

Facility first of its kind on Vancouver Island, according to Kidney Foundation of Canada

Warrant issued for man who wielded machete across from Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

VIEX all set for 125th anniversary fair

Vancouver Island Exhibition taking place at Nanaimo’s Beban Park from Aug. 23-25

Vancouver Island father says he attempted suicide a month before murders

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

BREAKING: Province approves Surrey police force

Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth green-lights city’s municipal police force

Thermal imaging cameras eye Salish Sea in hopes of better detecting whales

Cameras installed at BC Ferries’ terminal on Galiano Island, and off southern Gulf Islands

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Kelly Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Most Read