The W.J. Mouat Hawks and Mt. Douglas Rams, two of B.C.’s elite AAA high school football teams, opened the 2011 season by putting up basketball-type numbers on the scoreboard.
With Devin Logan and Deion Bain leading a fast-break offence, No. 3-ranked Mouat pulled off a wild 53-47 road victory over No. 2-ranked Mt. Douglas in Victoria on Friday evening.
Logan was the Hawks’ workhorse, powering a productive running game with 142 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. He also came through with an 85-yard kickoff return for a TD.
Bain’s contributions were more diverse, as he made big plays on offence, defence and special teams. The senior was on the receiving end of a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Daniel Markin, and also had a long interception return (60 yards) and a long kickoff return (50 yards) that led directly to Mouat majors.
“Those two guys were very good for us,” Hawks head coach Denis Kelly said. “They’re explosive guys, very athletic, and they’re able to compete at a high level because they’re in very good shape. Being that they’re seniors now, they can take advantage of all the experience they’ve had along the way.
“They’re expected to be team leaders, in terms of on-field performance, and they certainly got a good start to the season.”
Markin also connected with Logan Cote for TD passes of 35 and seven yards, and Tanner Strauss rushed for a major to round out the Mouat scoring.
The Hawks had trailed 23-20 at halftime, but rallied to take a 53-39 lead in the fourth quarter. Mt. Douglas got a touchdown in the final minute to make things interesting, but were unable to recover the ensuing onside kick.
“We started to physically wear them down,” Kelly analyzed. “I think we were the better-conditioned team.”
The mild upset victory will see Mouat leapfrog Mt. Douglas for the No. 2 spot in the AAA rankings. It also sets up a fascinating exhibition match-up this coming Friday between Mouat and the Mission Secondary Roadrunners (7:30 p.m., Mouat Field). Mission is ranked No. 2 in AA.
“They’ve really improved their program, and they’re big and physical this year,” Kelly said of the Roadrunners. “It’s going to be a real test, and it’s good for us to get a real rivalry game for this area.”
MARINERS SURVIVE HURRICANES
Little details were the difference between victory and defeat for the Rick Hansen Hurricanes on Friday.
Tied 7-7 in the second half on the road against the Earl Marriott Mariners, the Hurricanes got the go-ahead points on a one-yard TD plunge by Brandon Ho. But the Mariners blocked the convert, limiting Hansen’s lead to 13-7.
Marriott scored a TD late in the fourth quarter, and made the convert count to take a 14-13 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, the Mariners caught the Hurricanes flat-footed with an onside kick, which they recovered to put the finishing touches on the victory.
“Our kids were basically sleeping, not expecting it,” Hansen head coach Paul Gill noted. “I was talking to their coach after, and their kicker basically decided to do it on his own. It was a good call.”
While it was a game Gill felt his team should have won, he found plenty of reason for optimism going forward. Grade 10 quarterback Alex Ho, making his first varsity start, turned in a solid performance, including a TD pass to Harpreet Dhaliwal.
“The loss is obviously disappointing, but at the end of the day, we came away with a lot of positives,” Gill said. “We saw a lot things we can work on and fix.”
The Hurricanes host their home opener this Friday, as they take on Mt. Boucherie (1 p.m., Hansen Secondary).
T-WOLVES TOO MUCH
The Bateman Timberwolves saw their exhibition opener cut short, as visiting Moscrop Secondary of Burnaby exited in the third quarter.
“They were playing with kind of a skinny roster (numbers-wise), and a couple of their guys got hurt,” Bateman head coach Rick MacDonald explained. “So they decided it was time to end it.
“It was somewhere around 60-0 at that point.”
John Beckerleg and Ryan Kaethler had interceptions for the T-Wolves’ defence, while Freddy Lyhne accounted for the bulk of the Bateman touchdowns.
Bateman hosts Nanaimo District this Friday (1:30 p.m., Bateman Secondary). The game marks the return of senior standouts Justin Douglas and Jorden Best – they missed the football opener because they’re attending the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Man with Canada’s U18 rugby sevens team.
BIG GAME FOR PANTHERS
The Abbotsford Collegiate Panthers open their season with a stiff test at Rotary Stadium on Friday morning. They host the John Barsby Bulldogs, the province’s top-ranked AA squad. Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m.