By Cam Tucker, The Times November 19, 2010
Bruised and nicked up from a recent scrap with the Terry Fox Ravens, the W.J. Mouat Hawks varsity football team is back circling the skies again in search of victory.
The Hawks, now ranked No. 2 in B.C., according to The Province, were systematically picked apart by the Ravens two weeks ago today in a 36-6 loss in Coquitlam.
The loss, which put the Ravens in the driver’s seat heading into the B.C. High School Football Triple-A playoffs, acted as a helpful reminder for the local gridiron group as Mouat tackles the Carson Graham Eagles in the quarter-final Saturday at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.
“It really [helps]”said Hawks Braden Churly of the defeat to Terry Fox.
“We prepared pretty hard for that one and to lose like that, it really doesn’t feel great and knowing how it feels, that really pushes us.
“We don’t want that again.”
Through the first two months of the football season, the Hawks looked to be on cruise control through the B.C. league.
Handing out loss after loss to opponents both in the province, as well as Stateside, it looked inevitable the Hawks would once again be the frontrunner for the Subway Bowl.
Players and coaches have said they never took anything for granted this season, but being dusted up by a big, physical team from Terry Fox had Mouat working overtime in preparation for Saturday’s tilt with the Eagles.
“We realize that we have to refocus and hopefully we have three games left to go,” said Hawks head coach Denis Kelly, who was sporting thick winter gloves as the cold air moves in.
“[The loss] has certainly had an impact on the way we practice. We practice harder, we’re more focused and we practiced longer than we ever have, so we think the kids would like to have a situation where we can make amends for that.
And the Eagles aren’t exactly pushovers.
The Eagles finished second in the Western Conference with a 4-2 record, and put up 37 more points than did Mouat, although the Hawks played just five regular season games.
Nonetheless, it should be another fierce battle between the two birds of prey.
“We’re a good football team, but not an overpowering football team,” said Kelly. “There are certain things we have to do well every game in order to win.
“Winning is a result of that effort, and nothing is a guarantee.”
The loss to Terry Fox, which could very well present a championship rematch on Dec. 4, has also brought the Hawks closer together.
“We can pull it together, we’re a good strong team,” said Churly. “We’re starting to get some [chemistry] and we’re feeling really good, coming together as brothers.”
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is at 8 p.m. at Thunderbird Stadium at UBC