WJ MOUAT HAWKS 14 VANCOUVER COLLEGE FIGHTING IRISH 13by Howard Tsunamura, The Province
VANCOUVER — The rubber match goes to the W.J, Mouat Hawks.
Meeting for the third straight season in the Subway Bowl semifinals, the No. 2-ranked Hawks topped the No. 3-ranked, defending B.C. champion Vancouver College Fighting Irish 14-13 in a tense, defensive struggle at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.
Leading 14-7 heading into the stretch drive of the fourth quarter, the Hawks yielded a touchdown off a one-yard dive to fullback Liam Mahara that made it 14-13 with 5:36 remaining in the contest. However the extra-point attempt by the Irish went wide and neither team was able to put points on the board the rest of the way.
“This must be heartbreaking for (Vancouver College kicker Justin) Sanvido because he has had such a good year and he’s a great player,” remarked Mouat head coach Denis Kelly. “It wasn’t pretty, we made some errors, but we’re in the B.C. finals and we will give Mt. Douglas everything they can handle.”
Mouat the scored the points which would ultimately stand as the winning touchdown in the third quarter.
Defensive back Nathan Henczel picked off Irish quarterback Hunter Robinson at the Hawks’ 21-yard line, and from there, Mouat mounted a 79-yard scoring drive capped by quarterback Daniel Markin’s six-yard run.
However Vancouver College gave itself a short field to equalize when Stephen Blanchette intercepted Markin at the Mouat 34-yard line with 9:10 remaining.
A completion to Colin Patterson at the Mouat 12-yard gave the Irish another first down. Then, on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line with 5:36 left, Mahara took the handoff and threw himself head-first over the Mouat defence and into the end zone. However Sanvido’s convert attempt was wide, leaving the Hawks clinging to a 14-13 lead.
The Irish had opened the scoring on a two-yard run by Mahara but tied the score 7-7 on a one-yard run by Devin Logan.
Again, the theme of the night for Mouat was survival, and finding ways to make just enough plays to hold off the defending B.C. champs.
“They played an eight-man front and we weren’t successful in loosening them up, so they stayed in it and it was successful for them,” said Kelly of the plucky Irish defence. “They started to blitz more. But we were able to do just enough and stop them on drives a couple of times in the second half and that was the difference. Nothing has been easy for us and we came in here knowing that.”
Now, it’s the rematch of the 100-point game from September.
And now that it’s indoors at BC Place, what should we expect?
“I shudder to think what Terrell’s going to do,:” Kelly said of Mt. Douglas running back Terrell Davis who rushed for three scores in his team’s stunning 54-7 win over No. 1 St. Thomas More. “But it’s going to be a great game and we’ll prepare hard. I don’t know if it will be 100 points, but under those conditions, we should see the offence do real good work.”