The Prince George peewee Axemen have booked themselves a playoff date in Kamloops.
A convincing 26-6 win over the Vanderhoof Vikings 26-6 Saturday afternoon at Masich Place Stadium locked up the Prince George Minor Football Association peewee title. The Axemen will play for the provincial championship in a one-game final Nov. 9 against the Interior league champion.
"Our defence won it for us," said Axemen coach Grant Erickson. "[The Vikings] had a tough time moving the ball after the first quarter.
"They have a bit smaller bench and some of their key guys were taking a pounding. It's tough for a 10- or 11-year-old kid to touch the ball 20 or 25 times a game, their bodies aren't built for that kind of punishment, whereas with us, we have a lot more kids and can spread the ball around so our key guys aren't taking shots every play."
The Vikings lost a war of attrition caused by injuries to those key individuals, which limited their second-half playing time. Three Vanderhoof running backs -- Bridger Jensen, Kayden Young and Owen Teichroeb were sidelined and quarterback/middle linebacker Tadyn Jacobsen missed most of the fourth quarter with a neck injury. All four are vital ingredients to the Vikings' defence and without them the Axemen were able to dictate the play on both sides of the ball.
The Axemen went 9-1 this season in the three-team peewee division.
Jensen scored the Vikings' touchdown to tie the game in the first quarter after Axemen quarterback Mark Vohar opened the scoring with a 60-yard run. Vohar scrambled into the end zone twice. Alex Thanos had great success moving the ball at running back and scored on a 25-yard play. Ben Johnson and Seth Ross also ran in for touchdowns for Prince George.
Defensive ends Max Vohar and Daniel Sturgeon anchored the Axemen line and they refused to bend.
"Prince George played a good physical game and we just couldn't keep up with them, their running back Alex [Thanos] was hard to bring down," said Vikings head coach Bo Jacobsen. "When key guys go down with injuries you have to shift guys around a lot."
n Saturday's atom division final pitted two teams whose combined regular-season records showed just one loss. The 6-0 Prince George (Purple) Ravens were denied a chance to advance to the provincial nine-man football final Nov. 9 in Kamloops by the 5-1 Prince George Integris (White) Stashers, who defeated the Ravens 14-0.
Stashers quarterback Ryan Shaw took off on a 25-yard touchdown run in the first half. The guys in white added to their lead in the second half with a designed play to offensive lineman Dayton Pitman that resulted in 15-yard TD run.
"The Ravens have some very fast kids and we were able to work well as a defence to contain them," said Stashers head coach Mike Keryluik. "The old saying, offence sells tickets and defence wins championships. We focused on that, and the kids did it."
n In the junior bantam final, the Prince George Axemen completed an undefeated season, defeating the Vanderhoof Vikings 53-6. The Axemen will travel to Kelowna this Saturday for a one-game playoff against the Kelowna Dragons, the sixth-place team in the Southern Interior league.