The Mount Douglas Rams will remember the 2011 Subway Bowl as a game for the ages.
The W.J. Mouat Hawks will recall it as the one that got away.
In a game of wild momentum swings, the Saanich-based Rams roared back from a 22-point deficit in the second quarter to stun the Hawks 42-35 in the B.C. AAA high school football championship game at B.C. Place on Saturday.
Coach Mark Townsend isn’t surprised his team was able to win the B.C. championship, but the way it happened was “astonishing,” he said.
The play that changed it all was a Hail Mary by Jordan Deverill to close out the first half.
Down 28-6, the Rams held the ball on the Hawks’ 19 yard line. Deverill rolled to his right to escape pressure and lobbed the throw, a set play, into the right corner of the end zone. Two Mouat defenders had inside position, with the Hawks’ Deion Bain getting a hand on the ball. His tip bounced right into the arms of diving Rams receiver Brian Dowds.
“It was like everything froze,” recalled Dowds, who hustled over from the far side of the end zone when he saw Deverill scrambling. “I saw them tip it, and it was just hanging there, so I dove for it.”
The play infused the Rams with a sense of belief, and they outscored the Hawks 30-7 in the second half.
“It gave us life,” Townsend said. “Dowds’ TD was a big momentum-changer.
“Mouat really did play a great game, we were just able to keep our composure and battle back, a credit to the focus and play of our players. I really am at a loss of words, just an incredible job at keeping composure and sticking with it.
“I can’t say it enough.”
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Deverill hit Taylor Young in stride for a 76-yard touchdown. Hawks running back Matt Logan responded with a six-yard scoring run, but Mason Swift, the game’s MVP, took over from there. The Grade 11 scored three straight touchdowns.
“Every time he had his hands on it, he was determined to get the ball into the end zone,” Townsend said.
Swift scored on a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 35-28 and then on an 18-yard run to tie it 35-35, both in the third quarter.
“Terrell Davis and Swift were tremendous in blocking for each other to move the ball down-field,” the coach said.
Deverill then hit Swift with a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. It was Swift’s third straight TD and the final scoring play of the game.
The Hawks mustered one last drive, marching the ball to the Rams’ 10 yard line with just over four minutes left. But on second and goal, the Hawks tried a reverse, and the ball hit the turf as Logan handed off to Strauss. Mount Douglas recovered, and was able to run out the clock.
Overall, Deverill went 21-for-28, totalling 352 yards in the air.
“Quite frankly the best game of the season by Deverill,” Townsend said. “After four years of stellar performances, his best game comes on the biggest stage. He made adjustments and threw the ball tremendously throughout the contest, specifically in the second half.”
Swift and Davis each carried the ball 15 times for 75 yards and 104 yards, respectively.
Swift also had an 80-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, though his team was unable to finish that drive with a scoring play.
– With files from Dan Kinvig
The Mount Douglas Rams junior varsity squad lost a hard fought AAA JV final 27-20 to the St. Thomas More Knights.