Hawks aim to slow Rams’ runners in B.C. title game

The W.J. Mouat Hawks meet the Mount Douglas Rams at B.C. Place Stadium on Saturday for the provincial AAA football title.

Mouat running back Devin Logan leads his team into the B.C. title game against Mount Douglas on Saturday.

Conventional football wisdom holds that teams must be able to run the ball on offence and stop the run on defence in order to succeed in the playoffs.

That’s rarely rung more true than in the lead-up to Saturday’s B.C. AAA high school championship game, when the No. 2-ranked W.J. Mouat Hawks meet the No. 3 Mount Douglas Rams at B.C. Place Stadium (7 p.m. kickoff).

Last weekend, the Victoria-based Rams flexed their muscles in an eyebrow-raising 54-7 semifinal win over top-ranked St. Thomas More of Burnaby, as star running backs Terrell Davis and Mason Swift spearheaded an impressive ground-and-pound attack behind a well-drilled offensive line.

For the Hawks to bring home their fourth B.C. title – they also won it all in 1992, 2002 and 2005 – they have to figure out a way to slow the Rams’ relentless run game. Of particular concern is Davis, the Washington State University-bound senior who was named provincial AAA player of the year after leading the league with 1,355 rush yards and 23 total TDs.

“We know that St. Thomas More is a pretty good football team, and to see that kind of performance from Mount Doug (last week), it was kind of a shock,” Hawks head coach Denis Kelly acknowledged Wednesday. “You’ve got to be very impressed with their blocking and their running. Those running backs are going to be tough to contain.”

Kelly said that it will come down to “basic fundamental football,” though defensive co-ordinator Gary Naylor is surely planning some schematic curveballs to throw at the Rams.

The Hawks can take heart in the fact their defence has emerged as perhaps the best in the province, having allowed just 13 points over the course of three playoff wins.

The unit has come a long way since being lit up by the Rams in the season opener back on Sept. 9 – a 53-47 Mouat win in Victoria.

“Having 47 points scored on you was a little bit deflating,” noted Mouat middle linebacker Jake Heathcote, who ranks second in the province with 92 tackles. “But we knew the next time we played them, we’d be a lot stronger and we’d be ready to give them a better shot.

“They (Davis and Swift) are really good, but I think you’ve just got to stay confident. They’re the same age as me – they’re just kids. They’re not superhuman or anything. We’ve just got to be confident and make the tackles.”

The Hawks have a marquee running back of their own in Devin Logan, who was named to the all-province team after rushing for 1,129 yards and 16 TDs. With all the hype surrounding Davis heading into the B.C. final, he’s going in with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

“They say he’s the best, but when it comes down to it, we’ll see who’s the best at the end of the game,” Logan said. “That’s what I’m thinking in my head. Ever since last year, it’s been like that – it’s been ‘Terrell Davis, Terrell Davis.’

“That gets my edge going a little bit.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read