As B.C. high school football classics go, Friday’s matchup between the Mt. Boucherie Bears and Kelowna Owls couldn’t have been too far from the top of the list.
In a showdown for top spot in the Okanagan AAA Conference between two longtime rivals, the unbeaten Bears (5-0) prevailed 26-23 in dramatic fashion at the Apple Bowl.
With the Owls (3-2) leading 23-20 and with just over a minute to play, Boucherie quarterback Josiah Joseph hooked up with Spencer Humes on a 27-yard pass for the winning points.
Despite some key injuries and a few mental errors, Mike Godwin’s Bears found a way to get the two points and clinch top spot.
“It was a little stressful,” said Godwin. “We had some guys get hurt (Joe Court and Peter Briker) and we turned the ball over too many times. You want things to be perfect, but they never are. We pulled it off and got the win, so that’s what matters.”
The Bears jumped on top in the second quarter with back-to-back touchdowns from Briker, both on passes from Joseph to make it 14-0.
Shawn Gordon connected with Eli Haynes to get KSS on the board and it was 14-7 at the half.
The Owls got even in the third quarter when Nathan Brown electrified the crowd and his teammates with a 58-yard TD run.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Peter Briker broke loose for an 85-yard run to score and make it 20-14.
In the fourth quarter, Hudsen Anderson’s major and a Callum Reid field goal gave the Owls their first lead of the game, setting the stage for Humes’ winning score.
“Good clean game which could have gone either way at any point,” said Owls’ coach Shane Sommerfeld.
“The second half may have been the best high school football game seen in a very long time.”
The Bears will close out the regular season Friday against Salmon, then will host a playoff game the weekend of Nov. 16 and 17.
The Owls will finish up against Rutland this Friday, before heading to the Lower Mainland for a first-round playoff game the following week.
Rutland 27 Salmon Arm 10
The Rutland Voodoos overcame two early turnovers and a 10-0 deficit to defeat the Salmon Arm Golds 27-10 Friday night.
Devon Doherty moved to tailback for the Voodoos and produced 202 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.
No. 1 quarterback Keith Prescott returned to the lineup after missing three games with injuty and completed seven of 17 passes for 133 yards and one TD. Kyle Hillier scored the other Voodoos major on a 51-yard interception return.
On defense, Quinn led the way for Rutland with six tackles and two sacks.
The Voodoos (2-3) will close out the regular season this Friday night against KSS. Rutland will travel to the Lower Mainland the weekend of Nov. 9 and 10 for the opening round of the playoffs, most likely against West Vancouver.