Sports

UPDATED: Terry Fox Ravens lose to Mt. Douglas in AAA football finals

The Ravens Mike West fights off the tackle of Julian Luis of the Mt. Douglas Rams in Saturday
The Ravens Mike West fights off the tackle of Julian Luis of the Mt. Douglas Rams in Saturday's B.C. AAA high school championship.
— image credit: Robert McDonald photo

Terry Fox Ravens quarterback Conner McKee said getting the opportunity to play in the high school football provincial championship on Saturday night was “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

His coaches hope he is wrong about that.

As a Grade 11 student, McKee is one of several players on the team that will be returning next year. And with the experience garnered on their way to the AAA football finals, co-coach Tom Kudaba expects good things from his squad in the 2014 season.

“We have a good group here,” he said after his club fell 32-27 to the Mount Douglas Rams under the dome at B.C. Place Stadium. “We have a lot of good players coming up, too.”

Saturday night was a disappointing loss for the Ravens, who despite a sluggish start were able to make the towering Rams earn every point they scored.

Terry Fox’s offence sputtered out of the gates, with McKee getting sacked hard on the first two plays of the game.

The Rams were able to put up points as soon as they got the ball back, with running back Marcus Davis capping the first drive with a 23-yard touchdown to make it 6-0.

Davis was unstoppable on Saturday, scoring three touchdowns in the game and making a crucial interception in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter to end the Ravens’ chances of a comeback. He was named game MVP for his efforts.

After the Rams drew first blood, the Ravens regained their composure, but still struggled to find the end zone.

A second touchdown from Mount Douglas quarterback Ashton MacKinnon, who at 6’7” only needed to fall forward to gain yards, made it 12-0 for the Rams.

But the Ravens were undeterred.

After receiver Keishon Ross managed to get the ball to the Rams’ 29 yard line, McKee handed it off to running back Mike West, who got his team on the board with a touchdown with two minutes left in the first half. A successful convert closed the score to 12-7 in favour of Mount Douglas.

“It was a battle out there,” said West, who is also expected to return next season. “We had to fight for every inch.”

The Ravens touchdown seemed to bolster the team’s confidence, despite the fact Mount Douglas scored on the next drive. Terry Fox managed to close the gap further when running back Jericho Mendez punched in a touchdown to make it 19-14.

Both teams exchanged scores in the second half, but late in the fourth quarter the Ravens appeared poised to take the lead.

At 32-27, McKee orchestrated a drive that got his team within striking distance of the end zone, however, all hopes for a comeback were dashed with Davis’ interception.

“I’m glad we hung in there,” coach Kudaba said. “They wanted to win real bad. This stuff happens.”

Terry Fox’s hopes of repeating as provincial junior champs were dashed Saturday as the Junior Ravens were upset 28-0 by the St. Thomas More Junior Knights.

The Junior Ravens upended the Knights 14-6 in the final week of the regular season and stopped them 14-7 in last year’s title game.

 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

 

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