Vernon Secondary School junior and senior football clubs crowned B.C. champs

It came right down to the wire, but the VSS Panthers Senior Varsity AA team captured their third provincial title since 2018 at BC Place Stadium on Saturday.

The Panthers went undefeated in league play this season, but their opponent in the championship game, the John Barsby Bulldogs from Nanaimo, also had an impressive run during the regular season, earning six wins and just one loss, setting up a nail-bitter between the two powerhouse clubs.

With just over two minutes left on the clock, the Panthers looked to be in control, up by a score of 23-14, when the Bulldogs scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion to cut the deficit to just one point.

Click to play video: 'Vanier Cup gives Kingston tourism a boost'
Vanier Cup gives Kingston tourism a boost

But the Panthers stuck to their game plan. Quarterback Cole Budgen managed to pick up a couple of first downs, converting on a fourth and inches. And with just 1:21 seconds left, Panthers’ running back Johan Lee put the game away with one final first down to run the clock out.

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The Panthers were also crowned provincial champions in 2018 and 2019.

The VSS Junior Varsity Panthers also won their provincial championship game on Saturday, defeating the Parksville-Qualicum Ballenas Whalers 61-22. Last year, the junior squad lost 13-12 to the Windsor Dukes in the finals.

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