A trio of Central Okanagan football teams are headed north on Saturday in hopes of bringing home a B.C. minor football championship.
The Southern Interior FootbalI Conference champs in three divisions—junior bantam, peewee and atom—will be crowned in Kamloops at the provincial 9-man finals.
Junior bantam RedBlacks
The West Kelowna RedBlacks will carry the Southern Interior’s colours at the B.C. junior bantam championship in Kamloops.
The RedBlacks will take on the Prince George Axemen in the JB final Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
The RedBlacks advanced with a 22-16 win over Vernon in Sunday’s conference final at CNC.
Mitch Kopp scored a pair of touchdowns for Kelowna, one on a pass from quarterback Dylan Milligan.
Kopp also threw to Zander Large for the RedBlacks’ other major.
The Kelowna Lions punched their ticket to the B.C. finals with a 51-8 win over Salmon Arm Sunday at the CNC turf.
Nate Beauchemin had a big day for Kelowna with 178 yards and three touchdowns. He added another TD on a 60-yard kick return and made 11 tackles on defence.
“Our offensive and defensive lines dominated the game controlling the line of scrimmage,” said Lions coach Kendall Gross. “While the coaching staff is very pleased with the success the players have had this season and couldn’t be prouder of them, the team still has one more goal—a provincial championship.”
The Lions will play games against Northern and Island champs to determine a B.C. winner.
The Kelowna Lions and Kelowna Riders teams played to a tie during the regular season, so it came as no surprise that the SIFC atom division championship between the teams Sunday came down to the final play.
With one second remaining on the clock, Lions defensive end Carter Gabel tackled the Riders’ Max Gainey for a three-yard loss to preserve a 24-22 win for the Lions.
Ethan Irvine led the way offensively for the Lions with three touchdowns.
The atom Lions will be in Kamloops on Saturday for the B.C. championship and will play against the champions of the Fraser Valley and Northern Conferences.
Bantam Lions eliminated
The Kelowna Lions saw their SIFC season end on Saturday in Salmon Arm in a 45-7 loss to the host Chargers in the final.
Salmon Arm will represent the conference at the B.C. finals on Saturday in Kamloops.
Hall of Fame visitor
The Kelowna peewee and atom Riders welcomed a special visitor to Kelowna on Sunday. Former CFL receiver Don Narcisse attended the team’s post-game party and spoke to the players about hard work and never giving up. Narcisse, who was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2010, played 13 seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, won a Grey Cup in 1988 and was a four-time CFL all-star.