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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

St. Thomas More jumped out to an early start and then hung on to defeat the Mt. Doug Rams 27-20 in the BC High School AAA Junior Varsity Championship Saturday afternoon at BC Place.


Saturday, December 3, 2011, Vancouver, BC
– The St, Thomas More Knights jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and then took advantage of a crucial Mt. Doug fumble on what could have been the game tying drive late in the game to hang on and defeat the Junior Varsity Rams 27-20 and capture the BC High School Football Provincial AAA Junior Varsity Championship on Saturday afternoon at BC Place in Vancouver.
The Knights shot out of the gate early in this one and on their second play from scrimmage, quarterback Chase Malcolm connected on a long touchdown pass to a wide open Jalen Jena who snuck behind the Ram defenders, giving the Knights a 7-0 lead.
IMG 2882St. Thomas More’s Jalen Jana scorches the Ram’s secondary for the first touchdown of the game Saturday.
On the ensuing Rams possession, quarterback Ashton Mackinnon would throw his first interception of the day, giving the ball back to the Knights on their own 26 yard line.  The Knights would make them pay, as following a near 40 yard run play by Malcolm, Jena would score his second touchdown of the day making it 14-0 Knights with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter.
IMG 2966Mt. Doug’s Ryan Yeske dives in vain in an attempt to tackle St. Thomas More’s Jalen Jana, who would score three touchdowns on the day.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Rams came to life as Julian Luis took the kick and reversed it to the Rams star back Marcus Davis, who promptly took the ball 90 yards for the touchdown, pulling the Rams to within eight at 14-6.
The Ram’s Marcus Davis takes a kick-off return 90 yards for the Ram’s first touchdown on Saturday.
After an unusually short kick-off by the Rams, the Knights once again moved easily down the field and Jena would score his third major of the day for the Knights as he ran in from about the 30-yard line, making the score 21-6.
On the ensuing drive, the Rams were starting to drive the ball down field, but with 40 seconds remaining in the quarter, MacKinnon’s second interception of the game killed a key scoring chance for the Rams and the quarter finished with the Knights up 21-6.
IMG 2914Mt. Doug’s Jesse Woollard throws a stiff arm at St. Thomas More’s Malcolm Lee in first half action Saturday.
At the start of the second quarter, the Rams took possession and Marcus Davis lined up in the quarterback position.  He promptly threw a beautiful touchdown strike to Ashton MacKinnon, who had lined up as a receiver, however the Rams were called for holding on the play and the touchdown was wiped out.
The Rams started to find their game in the second quarter and with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter, MacKinnon capped off a long Ram drive with a quarterback sneak for the touchdown, making the score 21-13.
IMG 9653Hard charging Ashton MacKinnon, would score the Ram’s second touchdown in the third quarter to bring the Ram’s close at 21-13.
The Knights had a chance just before the half ended to stretch their lead, but an exciting 50 yard touchdown run by Malcolm was called back on a penalty to the Knights and the teams went into half-time with the Knights up 21-13.
After the Rams started the third quarter going three and out, the Knights once again drove down the field to score and take a 27-13 lead.
With just under 5 minutes remaining in the quarter, the Rams comeback opportunity would take a serious blow, when Marcus Davis suffered a serious ankle injury at the end of a running play and did not return to the game.
IMG 9630Following this running play, the Ram’s Marcus Davis would leave the game with an ankle injury and not return.
The Rams kept battling however and with 9:46 remaining in the game, Julian Luis punched in from the three yard line and the score was 27-20.
The Ram defence shut down the Knights once again and with just under four minutes remaining in the game, the Rams were driving for a score, when quarterback MacKinnon fumbled the snap and turned the ball over to the Knights on the 25 yard line.
IMG 9639Julian Luis punches the ball into the end zone to bring the Rams to 21-20.
The Rams had one more chance, getting the ball back with a minute to play, but MacKinnon, completing a game he most likely wants to forget, threw his third interception of the game, effectively sealing the win for the Knights.
IMG 3069Julian Luis (left) leads the way for Marcus Davis during action Saturday.
Ram’s Head Coach Dave Wong was disappointed with the loss, but proud of how his team came back. “St. Thomas More got out to a fast start for sure, but we caught up…we showed we were a good team by beating them in the second half.  It was tough to lose that fumble when we did, as we were going to tie it up, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
IMG 3083Mt. Doug’s Ryan Yeske manages to hang on for the tackle on St. Thomas More’s Chase Malcolm.
“I give More a lot of credit…we were the defending champs and they were gunning for us.  We played them well, but we just did not execute some things when we needed to, and losing Marcus Davis when we did…well he is a big part of our offence and that certainly hurt.”
IMG 3144The Ram’s Julian Luis is tackled by More’s Darthe Capellan during Saturday’s action.
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St. Thomas More’s Chase Malcolm goes on one of his many runs against the Ram’s on Saturday. Malcolm was named the Back of the Game for his efforts.