Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
December 1, 2012, Vancouver, BC (ISN) – Marcus Davis and Mason Swift were simply sensational, scoring six of the Mt. Doug Ram’s seven touchdowns, including four by Swift, to power their way to a 51-14 win over the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the BC High School Football Varsity AAA Championship game Saturday night at BC Place in Vancouver.
The Fighting Irish, who had won the Subway Bowl two years ago, came into Saturday night’s game against Mt. Doug – the defending 2011 Champions – as the visiting team on the scoreboard, but clearly with the home team advantage in the stands, as a loud and enthusiastic student body showed up to provide their support.
Fans of the Fighting Irish were out in full force Saturday, but it would not be enough to spur their team on to victory, as they were crushed 51-14 by Mount Doug (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Perhaps the student body should have dressed in shoulder pads and jerseys and stepped on the field, because the Irish needed way more than the 11 players they had on the defensive side of the ball to stop Davis, Swift and the rest of the Rams on this night.
Mt. Doug’s Mason Swift give Irish defender Tyler Mayzes a goos stiff arm at the end of a long-run in the first quarter Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Mt. Doug carnage began early. After the Ram’s Brian Dowds picked off a Hunter Robinson pass on the 15-yard line to end Vancouver College’s first series of plays, Ram quarterback Ashton MacKinnon flipped a screen pass to Swift, who promptly scampered deep into Irish territory. After a nice run by MacKinnon, Swift then finished the drive with a leap into the end zone and after the convert, the Rams led 7-0.
The Ram’s Mason Swift would open the scoring with this leap into the end zone, his first of four on the night, giving the Rams a 7-0 first quarter lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After the kickoff, the Irish began on their own 14-yard line and put together a bit of a drive before a third down sack forced the Irish to punt. They made the mistake however of punting to the BC High School AAA Football Player of the Year – Davis – who took the ball at his own 35-yard line and, after making a cutback move that would have torn the knee ligaments of a mere mortal, scampered 65 yards for the score to make it 14-0.
Player of the Year Marcus Davis would electrify the crowd with this 65-yard punt return and later an 85-yard scamper, both for touchdowns, to put the Braves up 20-0 early (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Needing to punt again after their next drive stalled early in the second quarter, the Irish, smartly this time, punted the ball out of bounds to keep it out of the hands of Davis. It didn’t matter however, as on the very next play, MacKinnon pitched the ball to Davis, who once again worked his magic, dancing past Irish defenders for an 86-yard touchdown run and giving the Rams a commanding 20-0 lead.
On the next series, the Irish would finally find a chink in what to then had been a pretty impressive Ram’s defence, as Keegan Yang would scamper for a big gain, setting up a 7-yard touchdown run by Liam Mahara to make the score 20-7 with 7:09 left to play in the half.
Vancouver College’s Keegan Yang would use this run to help set up the Irish’s only score of the first half (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
On the next Mt. Doug possession, the offensive line continued to open up huge holes and after nice runs from both Davis and Swift, Swift would take a swing pass from MacKinnon and waltz 11-yards into the end zone for yet another Rams score with 6:34 remaining in the half.
Irish quarterback Hunter Robinson was pressured regularly by Ram defenders in the first half, here trying to avoid the rush of James Nicholas (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After a field goal by Callum Duke made it 30-7, the Irish would fumble the ensuing kickoff back to the Rams at their own 18-yard line and then pay the price, as Swift would bang home with 37 seconds remaining for his third touchdown of the day, making it 37-7 as the teams went to the locker rooms for halftime.
The Rams Mason Swift hits the gap en route to his third touchdown of the first half against Vancouver College Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
If the Irish had any hopes of making a grand comeback in this game, they were doused very early in the second half, as the Rams took the kickoff and marched downfield for yet another score by Swift, his fourth, to go up 44-7.
They would add to that lead, and effectively put the game on ice with 2:04 left in the quarter, when MacKinnon would throw his prettiest pass of the night, perfectly hitting Brian Dowds in the corner of the end zone for the Rams seventh touchdown of the night and making it 51-7.
While Rams quarterback Ashtom MacKinnon did not need to run very often, when he did, he was very effective, scampering for key yards against the Irish (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With the clock continuously running due to the mercy-rule, the Rams used the 4th quarter to get some of their subs some playing time under the dome at BC Place, and while the Irish were able to strike for a nice pass and run play from Robinson to Rashaun Simonise to make it 51-14, it would not be nearly enough as the Rams wound down the clock to preserve the win and come away with their second consecutive BC High School Varsity AAA Championship.
A punishing Rams defence made the Irish’s Hunter Robinson’s life miserable in the first half Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Rams become the first team since 2000-2001 to win back-to-back Subway Bowls and with the return of key players like MacKinnon, Davis and much of their offensive line, the Rams could be standing at BC Place again next year hoisting the trophy yet again.
Ram’s Captain Matt Power (63) raises the Frank Gnup Trophy in a victory celebration with his teammates Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Rams Head Coach Mark Townsend, was cautious to use the word dynasty in describing his team, “Well there is always so much parody in AAA Varsity football, but we lose only nine players and we have key guys like Ashton and Marcus coming back, plus a great supporting cast of Grade 10 and 11 players, so who knows, the future of Mt. Doug football certainly looks very bright.”
The Ram’s Marcus Davis (left) was named Outstanding Back, while teammate Mason Swift (right) was awarded the Game MVP award (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Asked about his team’s quick start today, Townsend noted, “We challenged our kids to come out and carry over the great intensity, aggression and heart that they had last week and that if we did, good things would happen for us. I am so proud of how the boys played, our offensive line, our defense, which really dominated in the first quarter, and what can I say about Mason and Marcus, big performances by our big players on the big stage. It was so heartfelt for me to see these guys end the year with a game like that. They deserved everything they got tonight.”
The Ram’s defensive backs celebrate their victory (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Game MVP for the second year in a row, Mason Swift is graduating this year and was nearly at a loss for words at how he felt, “Words can’t really explain getting a championship two years in a row. It’s amazing. The MVP is nice but winning and being here with my ‘family’ means the most. To finish off four years of my high school career with two championships is just amazing.”
Mt. Doug quarterback Ashton MacKinnon was a cool customer in his first appearance in the Subway Bowl, but credits his appearance in the Junior Varsity final last year at BC Place in helping calm his nerves, “Having been here last year, walking into BC Place and the atmosphere here really was not that big of a deal this year and it helped keep me calm at the start of the game. It helps too when I can dish the ball off to guys like Marcus and Mason and just watch them do their work. It feels awesome to win and I can’t wait to get back here next year.”
The 2012 Subway Bowl Champion Mt. Doug Rams (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)