High school football: Vernon Panthers eyeing B.C. championship

B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, which will host this weekend's provincial football championships. Google Maps

An Okanagan team will be gunning for glory this weekend at the B.C. high school provincial championships.

Vernon Secondary School will be facing Windsor Secondary of North Vancouver in the 2A junior varsity championship game on Saturday morning.

“We are ecstatic to be heading into the provincial championship game at B.C. Place,” said Vernon head coach Brett Fitzpatrick.

“We know we are up against a well-balanced, tough opponent. The Windsor JV squad has many outstanding playmakers on both sides of the ball and are supported by a strong coaching staff.

“We expect they will be tough to stop. We’ll have to play sound, error-free,  physical football if we want to stop them.”

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The final will take place in Vancouver at B.C. Place, which will also host the 3A junior varsity plus 2A and 3A varsity championship games.

In the 2A junior varsity playoffs, Vernon rolled through its first two games of the eight-team tournament.

In the quarter-finals, the Panthers smashed South Kamloops 40-13. Then, last Wednesday at Greater Vernon Athletic Park, they rolled over Robert Bateman of Abbotsford 35-14 in the semis.

In the other half of the draw, Windsor blanked Holy Cross of Surrey 13-0, the edged John Barsby of Nanaimo 14-13 to earn a berth in Saturday’s final.

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In the 3A junior varsity final at 11 a.m., Vancouver College will play New Westminster.

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Two Okanagan teams took part in the 3A junior varsity playoffs, though neither got past the quarter-final stage.

In the wildcard round of the 16-team format, Rutland Secondary bested WJ Mouat of Abbotsford 26-20, with Kelowna Secondary downing South Delta 21-13.

In the quarter-finals, though, New Westminster doubled up KSS 40-20, with Rutland falling 24-19 to Carson Graham of North Vancouver.

In the semis, New Westminster blanked Carson Graham 43-0. In the other semi, Vancouver College downed Notre Dame of Vancouver 38-6.

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The 2A varsity final, set for 4 p.m., features John Barsby Secondary and Robert Bateman Secondary.

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Two Okanagan teams were in the running in the 12-team format, but were ousted.

In the first round, Clarence Fulton of Vernon lost 40-0 to South Kamloops in the first round. However, in the next round, South Kamloops was bounced by Vernon Secondary, with the Panthers winning that quarter-final match 30-14.

In the semifinals, though, Vernon fell 36-14 to John Barsby.

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The 3A varsity final, scheduled for 7 p.m., will feature No. 1-ranked Vancouver College playing No. 2 GW Graham of Chilliwack.

The two teams met earlier this year, with Van College winning 28-23.

Two Okanagan teams took part in the 14-team playoff format, with both playing in the same bracket and being eliminated in the first round.

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Rutland Secondary fell 28-14 to Carson Graham, while Mt. Boucherie lost 35-22 to Seaquam of Delta.

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