Douglas Farrow/Contributor Rutland’s Kyle Downer tries to shake off the tackle of KSS Owls’ defenders Clarke Kenny and Kyle Zakala.

Bears, Owls kick off high school season

Mt. Boucherie Beats open regular campaign Friday at Apple Bowl; Owls travel to Burnaby

Surrey’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers will provide the opposition when the Mt. Boucherie Bears kick off the 2017 B.C. AAA high school football season on Friday night at home.

Kick off at the Apple Bowl is 6:30 p.m.

Mike Godwin’s Bears went 1-1 in the preseason, beating Rutland 14-6 and falling to Wenatchee 38-7. Last season, Mt. Boucherie posted a 3-4 record playing in the Eastern Conference.

The KSS Owls will open the new season Friday afternoon in Burnaby against St. Thomas More.

The Owls are looking to take some big strides in 2017 after going 0-7 last year.

“We expect our team to compete every week,” said Owls coach Chris Cartwright. “I believe we have a group here that can compete with any team in our conference. We are giving the ownership to the players to set the expectations for the team.”

The Owls will look for leadership from a number of key returnees this season, including Marcus Athans (starting QB), Blaise Beauchemin, Kyle Zakala, Quinn Large and Nathan Tonogai.

KSS is coming off a 21-20 victory over the Rutland Voodoos in the Owls’ only preseason game.

KSS scored on a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive, with Kyle Zakala catching the winning two-point conversion.

Athans threw for 223 yards and scored a TD, while Beauchemin and Kieran Carter also had majors. On defense, Tyler Klotzbach had eight tackles.

For Rutland, Matt Klak rushed 101 yards, scored a touchdown and had four tackles. Jhavoun Blake rushed for 139 and returned two kicks for 108 yards, including a touchdown.

On defense, Brayden Anderson had 11 tackles, while Shad Manongod had an interception and three tackles.

“Our defense and special teams played outstanding, kept us in the game most of the night,” said Voodoos head coach Pete McCall. “But we couldn’t get on track offensively and struggled to find any rhythm.”

Still, with another three preseason games to play, McCall expects his team will be ready to roll when the regular season kicks off Oct. 13.

“We have a month of non-conference play to get all our alignments, assignments and personnel figured out,” McCall said. “We have a steadily growing roster with the new players coming out each day. I think it’s going to be a fun fall of football.”

At 2 p.m. Friday, the Voodoos will be in Vernon for an exhibition game against the Clarence Fulton Maroons.