The Rutland Voodoos are nothing if not confident.
A 54-0 win to start their B.C. High School Football season will do that to you.
“We’ve got some tough competition later in the year,” Voodoos lineman Garrett McCarthy said. “If we can get off to a good start here, and start getting our team to mesh a little bit more, we definitely can win it.”
The Voodoos (1-0 regular season, 2-2 overall) are heading into Week 2 of the season following their lopsided win last week over Sullivan Heights of Surrey.
Running back Jhavaun Blake stomped all over the Stars, rushing for 185 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries. He also caught a 71-yard TD pass.
“This kid is a phenom,” RSS coach Pete McCall said.
Quarterback Liam Atwood completed just six passes, but three of them went for major scores. He ended the day 6-for-11 with 196 yards through the air and no interceptions.
Atwood — a Grade 11 starter — also rushed for 85 yards on four carries.
“Liam’s been doing a great job, he’s an elusive runner, too,” McCall said.
Coltin Peterson and Ryan Dovedoff also caught TD passes.
On the defensive side, linebackers Danny Tran (eight tackles) and Kai Brydon (seven) stuffed the run. Defensive backs Brad Koebel (six tackles) and Dovedoff (five) sewed up the secondary.
But as much fun as winning big can be, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t repeat your success. The Voodoos will try to do just that this afternoon against the Eric Hamber Griffins (0-1) in Vancouver.
It’s just a five-week season, so there’s no room for error.
McCall said he likes the RSS schedule because it’s allowing the Voodoos to ease into the campaign.
“This is the perfect schedule for us, because the teams get better as we go,” he said.
It’s also giving RSS time to master a new offensive playbook. The team is smaller than previous seasons, so will rely on speed and quickness.
In the early going, the Voodoos are concerned about learning from their mistakes and avoiding any “self-inflicted wounds.”
“If we can clean our act up, and get better as this year goes, then I don’t think it’s a problem,” he said. “We can win the conference outright.”
RSS plays in the Pacific South alongside their Valley rivals, the Mount Boucherie Bears.
The Bears and Voodoos play Nov. 1 at the Apple Bowl, a game McCall predicted could decide the conference champion.
The Pacific South and North are Triple-A conferences, but consist of smaller schools. They don’t face the larger schools — Kelowna Secondary or Terry Fox, for example — until the playoffs.
The top two Pacific teams will qualify for the Subway Bowl and get at least one game in B.C. Place.
RSS has played a couple of exhibition games against larger schools, and came away with some harsh lessons.
The Voodoos lost 42-0 against the KSS Owls just prior to the regular season.
“That was a tough game,” said McCarthy. “We did just about as good as we could have, and it was a really good learning experience.”
Overall, he described the preseason as instrumental. RSS also defeated Fulton 52-14 and lost 28-25 to South Kamloops.
RSS was driving late against SoKam, but came up a yard short on a 4th-and-10 that ended the game.
“We’re definitely prepared for everything,” McCarthy said.
Kelowna (1-1) at St. Thomas More (2-0)
The Owls are in Burnaby to face the Knights hoping to capitalize on last Friday’s statement game.
KSS knocked Tweedsmuir Panthers from the No. 1 ranking in B.C.
KSS is now ranked No. 5 in B.C. The New West Hyacks (2-0) are No. 1.
BChighschoolfootball.com is to broadcast this one online at 4:30 p.m..
Boucherie (1-0) at Sullivan Heights (0-2)
Sullivan Heights might be tired of playing Okanagan teams with the Bears arriving today. MBSS defeated Sardis 32-19 last weekend to open the season.
Sardis (1-1) at OKM (0-0)
The double-A Okanagan Mission Huskies will conclude their preseason with a game against the triple-A Falcons. Game time at the Apple Bowl today is 6 p.m.