The defense of the Mt. Douglas Rams took over on Friday night as the varsity football team began its playoff run with a 42-13 win over the W.J. Mouat Hawks in Langford.
Hawks quarterback Caden Martens opened the game with a dominant drive through the Rams defense. The senior looked confident as he used his legs and arm to move the chains play after play before he’d take it into the end zone himself for the first score.
The Hawks blocked the field goal attempt, but wouldn’t get a chance to respond as W.J. Mouat recovered an onside kick right after. After what would’ve been a 25-yard touchdown run from Martens was called back, the Rams defense kicked in as they intercepted the ball just outside their own end zone on a deep pass.
On their first play from scrimmage, Miltiadis Koulelis would get blockers at mid-field, allowing the Grade 12 to break away from the pack and run for a 60-yard touchdown.
Seconds into the second quarter, the Rams got another interception and put the ball right back in the hands of Koulelis, who barrelled through the Hawks for 40-yards before scoring his second of four touchdowns.
The Rams defense had found an answer to the swift and elusive Martens mid-way through the second – shutting down many of the holes he tried to slip through. After forcing a turnover on downs well into Hawks territory, Koulelis would strike for his third score. A converted extra point gave the Rams a 21-6 lead.
Mt. Douglas then forced two more turnovers deep in W.J. Mouat’s end, leading to two more touchdowns for the home team. But the Rams defense still wasn’t done. Late in the first half, a pressured Martens toed his own goal line and tried to arch a pass to his receiver on his left. But Bryce Reuther read the pass and charged in to grab it and complete the pick-six.
In the third, Martens would add another running touchdown to make it 42-13, but it would be all the offense the Abbotsford visitors could add in the second half.
With the win, Mt. Douglas moves on to next week’s provincial AAA quarterfinals.
“It wasn’t quite the start we were looking for. However, (I’m) really impressed with the guys’ toughness and tenacity,” Rams head coach Mark Townsend, noting that they have some things to work on with only better teams to come.
“We’re just going to keep grinding away and work to improve with every opportunity.”
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