JV Rams Make Playoffs, Stun Handsworth in Wild Card Playoff Opener

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November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug quarterback Joe Lucas (4) would lead the Rams to an upset 36-17 win over the Handsworth Royals in BC High School Junior Varsity playoff action Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After narrowly defeating Seaquam 12-7 last week for their first win of the 2017 season, thus earning a wild card berth in the Subway Bowl playoffs, the Mount Douglas Rams continued their winning ways Wednesday afternoon, with a stunning 36-17 win over the Handsworth Royals in BC High School Football Junior Varsity wild card playoff action at Westhills Stadium in Victoria.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug running back Kai Harris (11) would have a solid day on the ground against Handsworth on Wednesday, rambling for some big gains and one touchdown in the Rams win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug running back Kai Harris (11) would have a solid day on the ground against Handsworth on Wednesday, rambling for some big gains and one touchdown in the Rams win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The favoured Royals, who finished tied with South Delta and Belmont with identical 4-1 records in the Coastal Conference, struggled early to find any offence against a tough Rams defence, with their biggest single offensive gain in the first half coming on a 30-yard double major penalty to the Rams.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Despite grabbing whatever he could, in this case the undershirt of Rams running back Peter Primeau (left), Handsworth defender Luke Grantham (89) could not prevent Primeau from scoring the first points of the game Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Despite grabbing whatever he could, in this case the undershirt of Rams running back Peter Primeau (left), Handsworth defender Luke Grantham (89) could not prevent Primeau from scoring the first points of the game Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams meanwhile, established a strong running game from the get go, with quarterback Joe Lucas leading the charge, along with solid performances from backs Kai Harris and Peter Primeau, with Primeau escaping the grip of Handsworth defender Luke Grantham to scamper in for a 21-yard touchdown run that, with a successful two-point conversion pass from Caeden Reiter to Linden Williams, put the Rams up 8-0 in the first quarter.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug quarterback Joe Lucas looks for a way around the end on this running play Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug quarterback Joe Lucas looks for a way around the end on this running play Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Royals would answer with a second quarter field goal to cut the lead to 8-3, but the Rams would mount a strong drive that was capped off by a three-yard run from Primeau for his second score of the game to put the Rams up, after another two-point conversion, 16-3.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Handsworth quarterback Brett Birch-Jones (16) would be kept on the run all day by the Rams defence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Handsworth quarterback Brett Birch-Jones (16) would be kept on the run all day by the Rams defence (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams would threaten again prior to the half, but Lucas was picked off deep in Handsworth territory to end the threat and after Handsworth quarterback Brett Birch-Jones returned the favour on the ensuing possession by giving up a pick to the Rams Cole Bunting, the Rams took the 16-3 lead into the half.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug running back Kai Harris (11) gets set to fend off a tackle during Wednesday's 36-17 win over Handsworth (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug running back Kai Harris (11) gets set to fend off a tackle during Wednesday’s 36-17 win over Handsworth (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the third quarter, Lucas’s second interception of the game, this time by Handsworth’s Kallum Fraser who caught the ball at his own five-yard line and returned it to mid-field, proved a bit more costly, as the Royals would march the rest of the way downfield, with Birch-Jones hitting Michael Dinoto with a 20-yard pass for a score to cut the Rams lead to 16-10.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mount Doug linebacker Cole Bunting (13) looks for a lane upfield after making an interception in the first half of Wednesday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mount Doug linebacker Cole Bunting (13) looks for a lane upfield after making an interception in the first half of Wednesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

After the Rams would chew up a ton of clock time and cap off a nice scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown run from Bunting at the start of the fourth quarter, Birch-Jones and Dinoto would strike again for the Royals, this time on a 40-yard pass and run score to make the score 23-17 Rams.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug running back Peter Primeau (24) and Handsworth linebacker Robert Lutman (6) appear to be exchanging blows on this tackle late in the first half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug running back Peter Primeau (24) and Handsworth linebacker Robert Lutman (6) appear to be exchanging blows on this tackle late in the first half Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams would continue their superior running game after that, this time taking the ball at mid-field and with relative ease, pushing the ball deep into the Royals end, scoring again when Lucas called his own number for a six-yard score to up the score to 29-17.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug defensive back Hamza Abdulahi (20) hangs on for the ride as Handsworth's Michael Dinoto (86) hauls in a pass during Wednesday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug defensive back Hamza Abdulahi (20) hangs on for the ride as Handsworth’s Michael Dinoto (86) hauls in a pass during Wednesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the ensuing Royals possession, the Ram’s Lucas would get into the defensive action, this time picking off Birch-Jones at the Handsworth 45-yard line and returning it to the nine. From there, Kai Harris would cap the short drive with a three-yard touchdown run to put the Rams up 36-17 and put the game on ice for Mt. Doug.

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug defenders Peter Primeau (24) and Cole Bunting (13) would manage to break up this pass intended for Handsworth's Dharan Cap (1) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug defenders Peter Primeau (24) and Cole Bunting (13) would manage to break up this pass intended for Handsworth’s Dharan Cap (1) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“It was a great team win today,” said Mt. Doug Head Coach Karn Dodd following the win.  “Lots of respect to Handsworth for a great battle and it was nice to see our offense scoring multiple times.  Our defence played well in the first half but had a few breakdowns at critical times in the second half that allowed them back into the game.  We still have lots of work to do before we see Terry Fox next week.”

November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC - Mt. Doug Rams quarterback Joe Lucas (4) looks for the end zone on this run against Handsworth late in Wednesday's game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 8, 2017, Victoria, BC – Mt. Doug Rams quarterback Joe Lucas (4) looks for the end zone on this run against Handsworth late in Wednesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Rams now move on to the quarter-finals of the Subway Bowl Junior Varsity playoffs and as noted by Coach Dodd above, will meet their conference rivals, the Terry Fox Ravens next Thursday, November 16th.  The Ravens finished one game ahead of the Rams in the Conference at 2-3 with one of those wins being a 26-0 win over the Rams on October 12th.

Senior Rams on a Roll Heading Into Playoffs
The AAA Varsity Mt. Douglas Rams are on a roll heading into the 2017 Subway Bowl AAA Varsity playoffs, having won their final three games of the season, including a 35-28 win over Seaquam last week, to improve to 4-3 on the season. They will travel to the mainland on Saturday to take on Mt. Boucherie in their opening round playoff game.

See the full set of images from the JV Rams vs Handsworth game at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p277737453

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