If the Mount Douglas Rams were ever ready to upset the province’s No. 1 St. Thomas More Knights, this is it.
For one, the Rams have the province’s best player in Terrell Davis, who was officially named as MVP in B.C. on Monday. The Rams’ also have an all-star cast around Davis, including quarterback Jordan Deverill, receiver Taylor Young and defensive star Mitch Ottosen. The latter two joined Davis in earning provincial all-star recognition, while several more were named to the Western Conference team.
The Rams will meet the highly-touted Knights, of Burnaby, in the B.C. High School football semifinal on Saturday (Nov. 26), 5 p.m. at the University of B.C.
To get there, the Rams defeated the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers of Surrey 42-29 in their quarterfinal match at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford on Friday. Coincidentally, the Rams junior side met their counterparts from Lord Tweedsmuir as well, with Mount Doug winning 35-15.
The senior Knights endured a scare before winning 35-32 over un-ranked, but always strong, Centennial out of Coquitlam.
No AAA team in B.C. scored more during the regular season than Mount Doug’s 189 points, while only the W.J. Mouat Hawks’ 46 points against were better than the Knight’s 61.
Mount Doug surrendered 79 points, the fourth best defence of all 16 AAA teams.
Leading the attack for the Rams in the senior quarterfinal was the dynamic running duo of Davis and Mason Swift. They shared the rushing duties in a near split, with Davis cracking the Panthers for 160 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Swift going 150 yards with one touchdown on 15 carries.
Davis added a touchdown on a 95-yard kick return.
“Our offensive line was the story on Friday,” said coach Mark Townsend. “Easily their best game of the year opening up the running lanes for Swift and Davis. If you give those guys a five yard window they’ll do damage beyond the line of scrimmage.”
Running the ball wasn’t the Rams’ entire strategy going in. “We were prepared to run and it worked from the start so we stuck with it. Normally we like a balanced attack, 50-50. But it’s the playoffs.”
With just five throws in the game, QB Deverill and his No. 1 receiver, Young, found other ways to contribute. Deverill carried two touchdowns in on foot while Young made a monstrous interception off of Panthers’ star quarterback Mike Messenger to end a promising drive in the fourth quarter.
“Messenger does everything. He’s an incredible athlete. We did a great job containing him,” Townsend said.
Jr. Rams chomping for repeat
The defending AAA junior high school champion Rams are on the hunt for a repeat after their 35-15 win over the Panthers.
Next up for the juniors is a semifinal game versus the Terry Fox Ravens at Burnaby on Thursday (Nov. 24) at 2:30 p.m.
Mitch Ottosen’s brother Luc, also a former Rams standout, was in action with the midget Victoria Spartans on Sunday.