The Mount Douglas Rams will play for their second straight provincial senior boys triple-A football championship after a very convincing 41-15 victory over the W.J. Mouat Hawks in the Subway Bowl semifinal Saturday.
The Rams opened up a 21-0 lead eight minutes into the game at UBC Thunder-birds Stadium and kept talented Hawks runningback Maleek Irons in check, building up a 28-0 lead by halftime.
Mount Doug will have an opportunity to become the first team in 12 years to claim back-to-back triple-A B.C. titles, the last team being St. Thomas More Collegiate, which defeated Pinetree 46-6 in 1999 and then Mouat 46-12 in 2000.
"Winning back-to-back championships at the triple-A level doesn't happen very often, so we're going to give it our best effort and work our hardest in practice this week," said Rams head coach Mark Townsend, who was busy scouting the second semifinal between Vancouver College and St.
Thomas More in the other late triple-A semifinal on Saturday night. The victors play next Saturday at B.C.
"Yeah, we're going back to the Subway Bowl final," an elated Townsend said.
"The kids were phenomenal. They played the game of their lives."
The storyline going in was to keep Irons in chains as he ran for a provincial record 491 yards against the Rams in a 52-49 win back in October.
"We held them on their first drive on defence, got the ball, and on our first play from scrimmage, Marcus Davis took it all the way for a touchdown," Townsend said. "That set the tone early, at least for the first half of the game."
The Rams then resorted to some good old-fashioned trickery on special teams to stun the Hawks, who failed to handle short, direct kicks.
"We recovered some squibbed kicks that we did purposely off their front line," Townsend said. "We did that twice in a row, which kept Irons off the field, and we were able to get a couple more touchdowns."
That changed the complexion of the game as Davis and the Rams offence struck quickly and often.
"When you're up 21-0 against even Maleek Irons and a run-oriented team, they were kind of behind the eight-ball," Townsend said. "I'm really proud of how our kids played."
Meanwhile, the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville suffered a crushing defeat in double-A semifinal play, losing 28-27 to the Mission Roadrunners after gambling on a two-point conversion in the dying seconds as head coach Jeremy Conn opted to go for the win. It backfired on the Whalers, who lost to Mission for the second straight year.
Then the South Delta Sun Devils battled back from a 12-11 deficit at halftime to defeat John Barsby Bulldogs of Nanaimo 27-12 in the other double-A semifinal at UBC.
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