Junior Varsity Rams Fall Short in Defensive Battle With Notre Dame

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Notre Dame Juggler Junior Varsity running back Caleb Hoey (17) leaps through a gap during first quarter play against the Mt. Douglas Rams Wednesday in Victoria. The Jugglers would emerge with a 14-8 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

September 27, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Mount Douglas Rams Junior Varsity squad began their 2017 BC High School Junior Varsity season Wednesday by hosting the Notre Dame Jugglers and came up just short, dropping a 14-8 decision to the visitors in a defensive battle at Mt. Douglas field in Victoria.

Mt. Doug running back Jordan Clark (30) tries to avoid being stripped of the ball by Notre Dame defender Ian Marin (4) while bracing for a hit from another defender to his left (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug running back Jordan Clark (30) tries to avoid being stripped of the ball by Notre Dame defender Ian Marin (4) while bracing for a hit from another defender to his left (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The teams would exchange first quarter possessions, before Notre Dame quarterback Kaelen Bossa and his team mounted a sustained drive that took the ball to the Rams goal line. The Rams would put up an impressive stand though, stopping the Jugglers on 4th and goal at the one to take possession on their own half-yard line.

Mt. Doug quarterback Jackson Reid (7) looks for some running room during Wednesday's 14-8 loss to Notre Dame (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug quarterback Jackson Reid (7) looks for some running room during Wednesday’s 14-8 loss to Notre Dame (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The high of that defensive stop did not last long however, as on the very next play, a wild snap went over the head of Rams quarterback Jackson Reid and into the end zone, where the Jugglers fell on it for the first score of the game, and with the extra point, jumped into a 7-0 lead.

Mt. Doug's Kai Harris (11) protects the ball from Notre Dame defender Matthew Battad (8) as he charges into the end zone for the Rams only score of the game Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug’s Kai Harris (11) protects the ball from Notre Dame defender Matthew Battad (8) as he charges into the end zone for the Rams only score of the game Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The teams would once again trade possessions to begin the second quarter, with the Rams beginning their second possession of the frame on their own 19-yard line.  A nice end-around run from Jordan Clark, with a Notre Dame penalty tacked on at the end, took the ball down to the Jugglers 20-yard line, where Reid then hooked up with the Rams Kai Harris on a pass and run play for the score, and with a successful two-point coversion pass to Linden Williams, put the Rams up 8-6.

Notre Dame running back Jude Buchanan (7) rumbles for yardage against the Rams defence on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Notre Dame running back Jude Buchanan (7) rumbles for yardage against the Rams defence on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Jugglers would respond quickly on their next possession, taking the ball on the Rams 48-yard line and capping a solid drive with a 20-yard touchdown run from Jude Buchanan that moved Notre Dame back into the lead 14-8.

Rams receiver Joseph Lucas (4) would come up just short of reeling in this Jackson Reid pass, a metaphor for the game in which the Rams fell 14-8 to the Notre Dame Jugglers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Rams receiver Joseph Lucas (4) would come up just short of reeling in this Jackson Reid pass, a metaphor for the game in which the Rams fell 14-8 to the Notre Dame Jugglers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The teams would take that lead into the half and then the respective defences would dominate the rest of the way, exchanging fumbles at mid-field in the third and then the Jugglers coming up big early in the fourth when Ian Marin would stop a Rams red-zone opportunity by making a key interception and returning it deep into Rams territory.

Mt. Doug quarterback Jackson Reid (7) would do his best to throw past the reach of the Juggler's defensive line, eventually striking or a touchdown pass to Kai Harris late in the first half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug quarterback Jackson Reid (7) would do his best to throw past the reach of the Juggler’s defensive line, eventually striking or a touchdown pass to Kai Harris late in the first half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Once again, it would be time for the Rams defence to shine and they would come up with their second big goal line stand of the game to keep the Jugglers out of the end zone and keep the score at 14-8.

Notre Dame receiver Joseph Lucas (4) has eyes wide open as he looks to navigate his way past Notre Dame defenders Jude Buchannan (7) and Calenb Hoey (17) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Notre Dame receiver Joseph Lucas (4) has eyes wide open as he looks to navigate his way past Notre Dame defenders Jude Buchannan (7) and Calenb Hoey (17) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams then went to Caeden Reiter in the quarterback slot and he seemed to fall victim to a group of receivers that suddenly developed a bad case of the “dropsies”, as a number of easily catchable balls fell incomplete in the Rams final two series, including a last gasp fourth down attempt to Williams with time running out, that ended any hopes the Rams would have of driving for the tying or winning points.

Mt. Doug running back Jordan Clark (30) is tackled around the neck by the Jugglers jude Buchannan (7) on this play in the second half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug running back Jordan Clark (30) is tackled around the neck by the Jugglers jude Buchannan (7) on this play in the second half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

After that chance, Notre Dame simply ran out the clock and escaped back to the Mainland with the 14-8 win in their pocket.

Next up for the Junior Varsity Rams are the cross-town rival Belmont Bulldogs, as the Rams travel to the Westshore to meet them in a 3:30 pm start on October 6th.  They then head to the mainland for a tilt with Terry Fox on Thursday October 12, before returning to host Lord Tweedsmuir on Wednesday October 18.  They close the season with road games at Vancouver College on October 28 and Seaquam on November 2.

Mt. Doug receiver Linden Williams (82) reacts as he can't come up with this pass on a fourth down attempt late in Wednesday's 14-8 loss to Notre Dame (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug receiver Linden Williams (82) reacts as he can’t come up with this pass on a fourth down attempt late in Wednesday’s 14-8 loss to Notre Dame (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Varsity Rams are back in action this Friday September 29 as they host the Varsity Notre Dame Jugglers. The Rams dropped their home opener to New Westminster las week 29-6 and will be looking for their first win of the 2017 season. Game time for that is 3:00 pm at Mt. Douglas Field.

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