The Mount Douglas Rams are headed for their sixth AAA Subway Bowl provincial football final in eight years.
A game-winning 27-yard field goal by kicker Jackson Reid pushed the Rams past the Vancouver College Fighting Irish 31-28 in a thriller to win the Subway Bowl semifinal at B.C. Place on Saturday. The Rams face the defending B.C. champion New Westminster Hyacks in the final on Saturday, Dec. 1 at B.C. Place.
Mount Doug seek their fifth title since first winning one in 2011. The Hyacks won their first title last year and seek to defend it against the Rams after dismantling the Terry Fox Ravens in the other semifinal, 33-0.
It was an “epic battle” in a game that the Rams almost let slip away. Instead, it came down to the poise and performance of kicker Jackson Reid, said Mount Doug coach Mark Townsend. Reid converted all four touchdowns before hitting the field goal to finish perfect on the day.
“I cannot say enough of the mental and physical toughness of Jackson,” Townsend said. “Facing adversity and kicking the game-winning field goal on the big stage was absolutely tremendous for this young man.”
Van College opened the scoring in the second quarter but the Rams retaliated with a 17-yard touchdown run by Sebastian Hansen, who finished with 104 yards rushing on the day.
Still in the second frame, quarterback Gideone Kremler ran in a 19-yard-touchdown to make it 14-6 for the Rams.
Kremler was outstanding on the day for the Rams, throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Hansen in the third quarter to take a 21-6 lead. The Fighting Irish fought back to 21-13 deficit when Sebastian Reid scored a third-quarter touchdown on a 74 yard run. Again, Van College refused to quit and, down 28-20, managed a late touchdown with a two-point conversion to tie it. Van College almost stole the ball in the dying minutes with an interception. Avoiding that danger, Kremler immediately connected with a big pass to Hansen to set up Jackson Reid for the final play.
“Our players showed tremendous effort and composure with the game on the line,” Townsend said. “This was an epic battle, with all players from both teams leaving everything they had on the field.”
In total Kremler ended with 146 yards rushing and 138 yards passing. Kremler will compete in his first AAA varsity Subway Bowl since he was a Grade 9 junior spurring the Rams to their 2015 championship.
In their last meeting Mount Doug edged New West 34-28, a regular season game, on Nov. 2 in New West.
Both teams are now undefedated (2-0) in the playoffs despite neither team finishing atop their division, with Mount Doug (5-2) second in the Western conference and New West fourth (4-3).
The Rams won all four of their AAA provincial Subway Bowl titles between 2011 and 2015, including three straight from 2011 to 2013. It was an unprecedented run and after two years out of the Subway Bowl final, the Rams are looking to add to add to their rich legacy.