High School Football: Fighting Irish eke out buzzer win over Bulldogs, Mt. Doug Rams quiet Handsworth Royals

In High School Football the Belmont Bulldogs lost a close one, the Mount Douglas Rams won handily

Vancouver College eke out buzzer win over Belmont

Despite the pain of a last-second loss, there’s no time to dwell on it for the Belmont Bulldogs.

The AAA Bulldogs (2-2) continues its B.C. High School Football campaign on the road against the Handsworth Royals (2-1) on Friday (Oct. 25) afternoon.

The Vancouver College Fighting Irish (3-2) burned the Bulldogs 27-20 last Friday at Goudy Turf, scoring the winning touchdown at game’s end, and with no time on the clock.

“If you were on the field, it was devastating. A great game to watch, but a really tough one to lose,” said Bulldogs coach Kevin Harrington.

Both teams executed well, a treat for the spectators, which included the players from Handsworth and the Mount Douglas Rams, who played in the earlier game of the double-header.

Running back Sam Varao was a “beast” for the Bulldogs, Harrington said. Though Varao  didn’t score any touchdowns, he was instrumental in sparking the offence, especially on a late drive. Varao plowed through the Fighting Irish defence to set up a Josh Tipton touchdown to tie the game at 20-20 with 90 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs couldn’t catch a break as the Irish marched downfield on a game winning drive in the last minute.

“I’m proud of our guys. We have a core of Grade 12 players who lost this same (Fighting Irish) team 45-0 three years ago when they were juniors,” Harrington said. “We went in knowing we’ve improved a tonne and that we can hang with the better teams in the province.”

Running back Jordan Worth recorded the Bulldogs’ other two touchdowns, a reception in the first half to make it 7-7 and another reception in the second half. Hugo Louis kicked two of the three converts, as both team’s kickers missed a convert on three touchdowns, which led to the 20-20 draw.

Junior dogs in the house

Belmont showed up on Saturday with its full complement of 23 players, missing a couple due to injury. Van College brought upwards of 60.

Even the Mount Douglas Rams, with three provincial senior championships in the past four years, carry similar numbers with about 25 seniors.

“It’s pretty cool to see us battle as most players are on the field all game playing offence and defence. We can’t be as specialized as the big programs (such as the Fighting Irish),” Harrington said.

The junior varsity Bulldogs are in Nanaimo today against John Barsby. Last year the two junior teams played to a nil-nil draw.

Mt. Doug Rams quiet Handsworth Royals

It was a battle of first versus second on paper, but AAA powerhouse Mount Douglas Rams proved far stronger as the

No. 1-ranked high school football team in Canada (per Canadafootballchat.com) silenced the Royals 52-0 at Goudy Turf on Friday (Oct. 18).

The Rams are on the road this week against West Vancouver Highlanders (0-5) on Friday.

Last week’s win at Goudy started with a fast attack for the Rams, as the defence intercepted Royals’ passes three times in the first quarter. Defensive end Zach Wilkinson scored a rare touchdown to get the Rams on the scoreboard when he returned his interception 20 yards for the major. Alec Wong and Sean Waugh made the other interceptions.

“We challenged our defensive backfield to improve over the previous week,” said coach Mark Townsend in his team report.  “We had a great week of practice in preparing against a well-coached and potent Handsworth air attack and responded extremely well.”

Running back Julian Luis led the Rams defence with six tackles while the Rams sacked Handsworth’s quarterback four times. Offensively, Luis and Pato Vega each rushed for a touchdown and Luis also caught one of Ashton MacKinnon’s two TD passes. Ever-dangerous Marcus Davis was limited in his deployment. On just five touches he continued his outstanding campaign with three touchdowns, one on the rush, one a pass reception and one on the punt return, totaling 167 all-purpose yards gained.

Kicker Callum Duke converted all seven touchdowns and nailed a 48-yard field goal to end the first half.

Thunder roll on

The Spectrum Thunder (0-2) continued its trial-by-fire inaugural season with a lopsided exhibition loss to the John Barsby Bulldogs 68-0 on Oct. 11.

The AA Thunder are home to the Holy Cross Crusaders (1-1) at 3 p.m. on Friday at Spectrum Community school.

sports@vicnews.com

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