By Howard Tsumura, The Province; -With Files From Jean Konda-Witte, Times September 25, 2012
Electric tailback Maleek Irons continues his torrid pace, scoring five touchdowns in W.J. Mouat’s 53-31 win over unbeaten Vancouver College Friday night at Mouat Field.
It was somewhat of a rematch of last year’s Subway Bowl semifinal, between the No. 2 ranked Hawks and the No. 3 ranked Fighting Irish, which was also won by Mouat.
“We wasted no time in taking control although they did open with long pass that set up an opening drive field goal,” head coach Denis Kelly said afterwards.
“Irons was again virtually unstoppable as the line took control.”
Already sporting a 20-3 lead after the first quarter which included a 97yard Irons’ scoring run and a 65-yard TD catch by Clovis Lumeka, Mouat went up 26-3 when Irons added his second major of the game.
The Irish were able to counter with a touchdown to make it 26-10, and they crept even closer when they recovered a Hawks’ fumble and turned it into a 15-yard scoring run to make it 26-17 just under three minute before halftime.
But the Irish momentum took a hit just before the half when Irons scored back-to-back touchdowns, his fourth and fifth of the game, and they never recovered.
With 54 seconds left in the half, Irons scored on a six-yard run, then the fleet-footed tailback caught a 30-yard TD pass from Mario Narte to make it 39-17 with 17 seconds left.
The Hawks took the second-half kickoff 55 yards for a score, a drive culminated by a 15-yard Narte keeper and with 10: 23 left, Mouat’s Crysthian Rivas peeled off a 55-yard scoring run to widen the gap to 53-24.
Sheriden Lawley, Stephen Munga and Nick Westad all recorded QB sacks with linebacker Taylor Hinton also turning in a strong outing.
No matter how you slice it, Maleek Irons has started the 2012 B.C. high school football season on a pace that has him chugging alongside the greatest rushers in provincial history.
Before Friday night’s contest the Grade 11, 5-foot-11, 205-pound tailback had notched 14 majors in just three pre-season games.
“I’m ecstatic right now, because my goal is to be the leading rusher in the league,” he said.
When asked if Irons will continue to get an average of 17 carries per game behind a veteran offensive line, which is the strength of the team, Kelly said, “It’s been a bunch of things, one of which has been that our passing game is just starting to come around and we have been without our best wide receiver [Brandon “If [Irons] keeps doing what he’s been doing, we’d be remiss to not keep giving him the ball.”
Including Friday’s game, Irons has scored 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1046 yards in four pre-season games.
“Maleek has good feet and speed, but he’s also a power runner,” added Kelly.
“When he gets a head of steam up, people just bounce off him.”