Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
The Mt. Doug Rams overcame a 21-0 deficit to defeat WJ Mouat 42-35 and capture the BC AAA Varsity Provincial Football Championship on Saturday at BC Place in Vancouver.
December 3, 2011, Vancouver, BC
– This could quite simply go down as one of the best, if not THE
best BC High School Football AAA Varsity Provincial Championship game ever.
It certainly was for the Mt. Douglas Rams, who overcame an early 21-0 deficit, to storm back and defeat the WJ Mouat Hawks in a 42-35 thriller in the BC High School Football AAA Varsity Provincial Championship game at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on Saturday.
The win for the Rams avenges an early season loss to the Hawks, and to some degree, the 27-20 loss earlier in the day of the Junior Varsity squad in the AAA JV title game which went to St. Thomas More.
WJ Mouat’s Devin Logan sprints unobstructed to the end zone on the Hawks second play of the game to give the Hawks an early 7-0 lead.
The night started poorly for the Rams even before the game began, as during the pre-game introduction of their first player Jordan Deverill, the Rams mascot tripped and fell to the turf in front of Deverill.
That bad omen carried over to the second play from scrimmage, as WJ Mouat running back Devin Logan found a gap in the Ram’s defence and scampered 56 yards to the end zone for the opening score of the game just 45 seconds in.
Mt. Doug’s Mason Swift leaves a couple of WJ Mouat defenders in his wake en route to an 80-yard kick-off return in the first quarter Saturday.
On the ensuing kick-off, the Ram’s Mason Swift provided an omen of things to come of his own, as he took the kick and rambled 80 yards to the Mouat 13 yard line. Unfortunately the Rams drive fizzled when the Hawks forced a Deverill fumble and the score remained 7-0 Mouat with just over nine minutes to play in the quarter.
Thanks to defensive efforts of both teams, the 7-0 score held up for the remainder of the first quarter and for the early part of the second, then with just over nine minutes remaining, Mouat quarterback Daniel Markin found receiver Deion Bain for a 13 yard touchdown pass and the Hawks went up 14-0.
WJ Mouat quarterback Daniel Markin had his team firing on all cylinders early as the Knights jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the Rams.
On the ensuing kick-off, the Hawks surprised the Rams with a short kick that they recovered on the Rams 43-yard line. After a nice pass and run play from Markin to Bain again, the Hawks struck for a 10-yard reverse play to take a 21-0 lead with 7:55 remaining in the half.
The Rams would not fold however, and on their next possession, following two near identical pass receptions over the middle from Deverill to Swift, AAA Offensive Player of the Year Terrell Davis capped off the drive with a 13-yard run to get the Rams on the board. The convert was missed, making the score 21-6 Mouat.
Mt. Doug’s Terrell Davis got the Rams on the board with a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Saturday.
After an exchange of possessions, the Hawks scored again with just under two minutes remaining in the half as Markin hit Logan with a short screen pass for a 30-yard touchdown. With the convert, the Hawks were up 28-6.
Mouat’s Devin Logan would score his second TD of the game to give the Hawks a 28-6 lead over the Rams late in the first half.
Many teams in the Ram’s position would have been content to get the ball, kill out the rest of the half and regroup in the locker room. However the Ram’s are NOT like many teams.
Instead, on the last play of the half, Deverill threw up a “Hail Mary” pass that somehow found it’s way into the arms of receiver Brian Dowds for the score and the Rams went to the locker room down 28-12 (a 2-point convert attempt failed) and feeling good about the events on the field.
The Rams got the ball first in the second half and looked to quickly capitalize on their first-half ending momentum. After getting a first down, the Ram’s did just that, as Deverill hooked up on a beautiful 76-yard pass and run play to the speedy Taylor Young, and with a 2-point conversion run by Terrell Davis, the Rams had pulled to within 28-20.
Mt. Doug’s Taylor Young looks back to see that Mouat defender Brandon Barratt is nowhere close after snagging a 76-yard touchdown reception to start the second half.
That play did not seem to phase the Hawks though, as they took the ensuing kick-off and marched down the field to score on a 4-yard run and push their lead back to 35-20.
WJ Mouat’s Nathan Henczel gets set to haul in a pass in front of the Ram’s Taylor Young during the third quarter Saturday.
Cue Mason Swift. With the Mouat defence keying on Davis and keeping him in check fairly effectively (limiting him to just 104 yards rushing on the day, well below his normal game average), the Rams decided to put their trust into the hands of hard-running Swift. With just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, this paid off, as Swift capped off a nice Ram’s drive with a 15-yard run to make the score 35-28 (2-point convert was successful).
Hard charging Ram Mason Swift would score two third quarter touchdowns to bring the Rams all the way back and tie the game 35-35.
On the Ram’s very next possession, Swift would strike again, this time going around the end and making a spectacular dive into the end-zone, tying the score at 35-35 with just under a minute to play in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, it appeared that momentum was going to swing Mouat’s way, as the Rams failed to score on one drive when a touchdown pass attempt to Swift just tipped off his fingertips, and on another, when three consecutive penalties took the Rams out of range for a possible go-ahead field goal.
Mt. Doug’s Mason Swift would finish the day with a combined total of 142 yards (75 yards on the ground and 67 via the pass) to help propel the Rams to their comeback win.
It appears that Mason Swift is about to catch this go-ahead touchdown pass, however the ball escaped his grasp when he fell to the ground and went incomplete.
The Ram’s defence would hold however and with 8:49 remaining, the Rams took the ball on their own 39-yard line. After gaining a first-down, Terrell Davis made a great catch over the middle to keep the drive alive and then with 6:11 remaining in the game, Swift took a little swing pass from Deverill and barged into the end zone for his third touchdown of the half, giving the Rams a 42-35 lead.
This Terrell Davis catch in the fourth quarter would extend a Rams drive and set up Mason Swift’s game winning touchdown.
Mason Swift rumbles into the end zone for his third TD of the game and the eventual game winner with 6:11 remaining in the game.
The Hawks offence then took over on their own 35-yard line and began what appeared to be a game tying drive, however with 4:32 remaining and the ball on the Rams 15-yard line, the Hawks attempted a reverse and fumbled the exchange, turning the ball, and essentially the game, over to the Rams.
Mouat quarterback Daniel Markin had his team in position to tie the game late, but a costly turnover on a botched reverse gave the ball, and the game, back to the Rams.
Using their “ground and pound” offence that was the theme of many Rams wins this season, Mt. Doug was then able to march the ball down deep into Mouat territory, killing out the rest of the clock and closing out the exciting 42-35 victory.
The Rams killed the clock at the end of the fourth quarter thanks to some “ground and pound” yards by running back Terrell Davis.
Rams quarterback Jordan Deverill, with his voice clearly shaky with excitement noted, “This is unreal! What a hell of a performance by our team! Our nerves got to us in the first half as playing in this stadium was a bit overwhelming, but kudos to the boys for turning it around….I am so proud of them.”
Deverill should also be proud of himself for his efforts, as he finished the game 22 for 28 in passing, with 352 yards total and 3 touchdown completions, with Taylor Young being on the receiving end of 5 of those for a total of 122 yards. Mason Swift also had 5 receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown.
On the ground, Terrell Davis finished with a quiet (for him) 104 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. Mason Swift also had 15 carries for a total of 75 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Mt. Doug Ram captains Terrell Davis (24), Travis Johnson (7), Mason Swift (22) and Jordan Deverill (2) accept the Championship Trophy following the game.
Head coach Mark Townsend also echoed his praise for his team’s turnaround, “I told the kids at half-time to never give up, to take our time and refocus, I am so proud that they had the perseverance and intestinal fortitude to do this and come back.”
The Rams hoist the Championship trophy.
Asked what he felt was the turning point, Townsend replied, “I thought that touchdown at the end of the half was huge. We knew we were getting the ball first in the second half, so to score there swung the momentum a bit and we were able to capitalize right away when the second half started and get ourselves back in the game.”
Following the game, the Ram’s Jordan Deverill was awarded the “Back of the Game” award, while Mason Swift took the “Player of the Game” honors.
The 2011 AAA Varsity Champions – Mt. Doug Rams.
With the win, the Rams became Vancouver Island’s first-ever AAA champions and were also the first team from outside the Greater Vancouver area to win the title since 1990.