When Allan Dicks found out in the preseason that the Vanier Cup was going to be held at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, it gave him an extra dose of motivation to help his McMaster Marauders get there.
On Friday evening, that dream came to fruition, as Dicks – a W.J. Mouat Secondary grad – helped the Marauders to a thrilling 41-38 double-overtime win over the Laval Rouge et Or to clinch the CIS national football championship.
“It’s nice to do it in front of friends and family,” Dicks, a 19-year-old sophomore defensive back, told The News. “It almost hasn’t even sunk in yet. You catch yourself thinking about it, and you almost can’t believe you’ve won. It’s unreal.”
Local football fans remember Dicks best as a running back – he racked up 1,324 yards and 18 touchdowns as a Mouat senior in 2009.
Since heading out to Hamilton, Ont. to join the Marauders, Dicks has been used exclusively as a defensive back. He’s made a seamless transition, and notched two interceptions this season.
On Friday, the Marauders raced out to a 23-0 lead at halftime, only to watch Laval rally to take a 24-23 lead in the fourth quarter. But McMaster hung in there, and ultimately prevailed on Tyler Crapigna’s 20-yard field goal in double-OT.
“It was stressful, very stressful,” Dicks said with a chuckle, reflecting on the pulse-pounding win. “A blowout would have been nice, but we can say we were part of one of the most exciting Vanier Cups in history. It makes it that much better.”