In 2017, a last-minute defeat against the Edmonton Frost left the Kelowna Blues feeling cold.
A year later, on a warm spring afternoon, the Blues refused to repeat history by capturing the 38th annual Maybowl Touch Football Tournament.
The Kelowna squad defeated the Vancouver Raiders 26-13 in Sunday’s final to claim the top flight championship for the second time in four years.
The Blues, featuring a blend of players with professional, university or junior football experience, opened slowly with a 35-34 loss to the Raiders on a last-minute touchown.
Kelowna then bounced back with a 48-22 victory over the Edmonton Whalers to secure second place in pool play.
In the quarterfinals, the Blues made amends for last year’s heartbreaking loss to the Frost with a thrilling 43-42 victory over Edmonton. With just three plays remaining in the game, Greg Patchell threw a touchdown pass to Mike Pullin to tie the score 42-42. Patchell then connected with Josiah Joseph in the back of the end zone for the winning point.
In the semifinals, Kelowna defeated the Vancouver Rams 36-23, while Vancouver Raiders defeated the Edmonton Whalers in the other semi, to set up a Blues/Raiders rematch in the final. The Blues took control of the game early, then put it away late in the second half on a pass from Patchell to Eric Glavic from 20 yards out.
Brennan Van Nistelrooy and Kyle Patchell led the Blues with six touchdowns each, while Mike Pullin scored five and Liam Wishart added four majors. Greg Patchell threw 22 touchdown passes, with Erik Glavic—a former Hec Creighton Trophy winner—throwing two and Kyle Patchell throwing for another touchdown.
Jesse Warawa and Van Nistelrooy were outstanding in every game on defense. Tryone Kane and Cody Patchell both had key interceptions and Lerone Robinson was a lockdown rusher in Sunday’s playoff games.
Other members of the Blues are Tyler Robson, Cord Delinte and Andre Knights
The Kelowna Shockers, made up of all ex-Okanagan Sun players, defeated the Winnipeg Dogs in the intermediate final for a Kelowna sweep of the top two divisions.
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