Varsity Rams Crush Carson Graham, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

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Mt. Doug running back Zairech Kremler (21) had a pair of touchdowns, one passing, one rushing and scrambled for 87 rushing yards to lead the Rams to a 44-0 win over the Carson Graham Eagles on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

October 20, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – As quarterback Gideone Kremler goes, so go the Mount Douglas Rams.  Kremler threw for three touchdowns and 238 yards on Friday, as the Rams earned their second win of the season, crushing the Carson Graham Eagles 44-0 at Goudy Field in Victoria, keeping their 2018 BC High School AAA Varsity Football playoff hopes alive in the process.

The Rams Gideone Kremler (1) looked in top shape Friday, throwing for three touchdowns and 238 yards in the Rams 44-0 win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Rams Gideone Kremler (1) looked in top shape Friday, throwing for three touchdowns and 238 yards in the Rams 44-0 win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Kremler, who is battling his way back into shape from off-season knee surgery, appeared to be in top form on Friday and if that is the case, it bodes well for the Rams in their final two games against Vancouver College and Seaquam and in their run to the playoffs and a possible appearance in yet another Subway Bowl at BC Place.

Mt. Doug running back Ben Pierik (2) looks for a way to get by Carson Graham defenders Kinneth Balucos (2) and Ryan Leskiw (44) in first half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug running back Ben Pierik (2) looks for a way to get by Carson Graham defenders Kinneth Balucos (2) and Ryan Leskiw (44) in first half action Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That is a long way off however and at the start of Friday’s game, Head Coach Mark Townsend urged his players to simply take things step-by-step and go out and compete hard and win every play and the rest would take care of itself.

Mt. Doug running back Zairech Kremler (21) navigates his way through the Carson Graham defence for some of his 87 rushing yards in the 44-0 win over the Eagles Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug running back Zairech Kremler (21) navigates his way through the Carson Graham defence for some of his 87 rushing yards in the 44-0 win over the Eagles Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

They would do that in spades, starting with Carson Grahams’ opening drive of the game which was shut down by defensive back Hayden Naylor picking off a Charlie McMillan pass in the end-zone to end what was the Eagle’s best scoring chance of the day.

Mt. Doug quarterback Gideone Kremler would lead the Rams by going 13 of 16 through the air for 238 yards and 3 TD's in the win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug quarterback Gideone Kremler would lead the Rams by going 13 of 16 through the air for 238 yards and 3 TD’s in the win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams would come away empty on their subsequent opening series and punt the ball away, but on the first play of their second series, the Eagles would fumble, with the Rams Ben Pierik recovering the ball on the Carson Graham 40-yard line.

Carson Graham quarterback Charlie McMillian (8) found the going tough Friday, here trying to elude the grasp of the Rams Aiden Bertuzzi (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carson Graham quarterback Charlie McMillian (8) found the going tough Friday, here trying to elude the grasp of the Rams Aiden Bertuzzi (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Mount Doug would make the Eagles pay for that error, capping a short drive with a 25-yard touchdown run from Sebastien Hansen to open the scoring and, with the extra point, jumping into a 7-0 lead.

Mt. Douglas defender Zairech Kremler (21) knocks the ball away from the Eagle's Ryan Leskiw (44) on this pass play in the first half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Douglas defender Zairech Kremler (21) knocks the ball away from the Eagle’s Ryan Leskiw (44) on this pass play in the first half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams would add to that lead on their next series, taking the ball at their own 10-yard line and then capping off an impressive 90-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run from Sam Mosky to go ahead 13-0.

Carson Graham running back Liam Clark (33) prepares for a tackle from the Rams Connor Clarke (15) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carson Graham running back Liam Clark (33) prepares for a tackle from the Rams Connor Clarke (15) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Kremler and the Rams would use the second quarter to put the game away, with Kremler first converting a Connor Clarke interception into a 34-yard touchdown pass to Dante Carbone to make it 19-0 and then later hooking up with brother Zairech Kremler for a 20-yard pass and run score to make it 25-0.

Mt. Doug Rams running back Zairech Kremler (21) would have 87 yards rushing with a TD, as well as 52 yards receiving with a TD, in the Rams 44-0 win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug Rams running back Zairech Kremler (21) would have 87 yards rushing with a TD, as well as 52 yards receiving with a TD, in the Rams 44-0 win over Carson Graham (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Kremler would then cap the first half scoring off with his most impressive toss of the day, a 45-yard touchdown strike to Hayden Naylor to make it 31-0 into the half.

The Rams could have had an even bigger lead at the half, as lineman Soren Hallschmid picked off an Eagles pass mid-way in the second quarter and returned it into the end zone for a touchdown, but the play was called back on a Rams penalty denying the big lineman his moment of glory.

Carson Graham's Nick Rich (9) tries to avoid being tackled by the Rams Peter Primeau (24) and Hayden Naylor (10) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carson Graham’s Nick Rich (9) tries to avoid being tackled by the Rams Peter Primeau (24) and Hayden Naylor (10) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That missed touchdown became a distant memory very fast in the second half, as on the Rams first play from scrimmage, Zairech Kremler would take a handoff from his brother and ramble 50 yards for the Rams sixth touchdown of the day.

There was not much running room Friday for Carson Graham running back Ryan Leskiw (44) as the Mt. Doug defence would dominate the day (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
There was not much running room Friday for Carson Graham running back Ryan Leskiw (44) as the Mt. Doug defence would dominate the day (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The big lead would allow the Rams to rest Gideone Kremler the rest of the way and he would be replaced on the Rams next series by Isaiah Cardillcchia, who also found success against the Carson Graham defence, hitting Hansen for a 61-yard pass and run play for Hansen’s second touchdown of the day and, with the extra point, a 44-0 Mt. Doug lead.

While the Rams offence shone in this game, the defence was equally as good, forcing three Eagle’s turnovers and keeping Carson Graham away from the end zone all game.  In addition to the one end zone interception, the Rams denied touchdown passes on two other occasions and forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs three times.

Mt. Doug defender Sebastian Hansen (8) leaps to knock a sure touchdown pass away from Carson Graham's  Ryan Leskiw (44) in the first half of Friday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug defender Sebastian Hansen (8) leaps to knock a sure touchdown pass away from Carson Graham’s Ryan Leskiw (44) in the first half of Friday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Leading the defensive charge was Jake Ounsted with 6 tackles. Aiden Bertuzzi ‎had 5 tackles plus 1 sack, followed by  Soren Hallschmid, Sebastian Hansen and Peter Primeau with 5 tackles each, Hayden Naylor with 4 tackles and an interception, and Dante Carbone with 4 tackles. Connor Clarke had an interception and Ben Pierik had a fumble recovery.

On offence Gideone Kremler ‎led the offensive charge for the Rams completing 13 of 16 passes for 238 yards and 3 TD’s. Isaiah Cardilicchia also chipped in with 83 yards passing and a TD strike. Leading receivers for the Rams were Sebastian Hansen with 115 yards and 1 TD and Hayden Naylor with 106 yards and 1 TD. Zairech Kremler had 52 yards and 1 TD, and Dante Carbone had 34 yards and 1 TD.   On the ground, Zairech Kremler was the leading rusher with 8 carries for 87 yards and 1 TD, followed by Sebastian Hansen with 24 yards and 1 TD.

Carson Graham running back Liam Clark (33) gets a rare break of daylight, scampering away from the Rams Aiden Bertuzzi (64) and others in the second half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Carson Graham running back Liam Clark (33) gets a rare break of daylight, scampering away from the Rams Aiden Bertuzzi (64) and others in the second half Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“Our defensive play was stellar, forcing three turnovers, and Gideone Kremler guided ‎the offense in the win,” said Head Coach Townsend after the game.  “Carson Graham is a tough team, especially Quarterback Charlie McMillan, but we are very proud of the effort of our players today. We still have some work to do in not taking penalties, but overall, this was a good team win and one we needed in the worst way. We now turn our attention to the challenge of playing against a very strong Vancouver College team next week.”

The win improves the Rams record to 2-3 on the season and bumps them into fifth place in the Western Conference, just behind Notre Dame in fourth and ahead of Vancouver College in sixth. As the top six teams in the conference will make the AAA Varsity playoffs, next week’s battle with Vancouver College is, needless to say, yet another big game on the Rams schedule.

Mt. Doug quarterback Isaiah Cardilicchia (12) tries to scramble away from the pressure of the Carson Graham defence in the second half of Friday's 44-0 Rams win over the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Mt. Doug quarterback Isaiah Cardilicchia (12) tries to scramble away from the pressure of the Carson Graham defence in the second half of Friday’s 44-0 Rams win over the Eagles (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That game kicks off at 1:30 pm on October 28 at Vancouver College, with the Rams then wrapping up their regular season on the road with another tough battle against third place Seaquam on November 4 at 1:30 pm.

Junior Rams Update:  In Junior Varsity action on Wednesday the Mt. Douglas Rams were shut-out for the third game in a row, this time dropping a 12-0 decision on home turf to Lord Tweedsmuir.  The JV Rams are struggling to find some offence, having scored just eight points in their four games since losing an exhibition game to Terry Fox 20-16 on September 15th.  They will look to get back on track when they travel to Vancouver College on Saturday October 28th.

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