(Note to readers, a report from Saturday’s late game between St. Thomas More and Notre Dane will appear Sunday at VarsityLetters.ca)
VANCOUVER — Sometimes, moments in this game can be so big, their authors are left speechless.
Introducing Oscar Nunez, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior receiver/defensive end/special teams player with Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Ravens.
If asked the recite the names of the most influential Ravens heading into Saturday’s Subway Bowl quarterfinal clash at B.C. Place Stadium against North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks, Nunez’s name would likely not have been mentioned.
Yet the mere act of pulling on a sweater and taking to the field make you just as eligible as anyone else to have your number called.
On Saturday, Nunez did, and boy, did he answer.
Trailing 21-20 to the Seahawks with under two minutes remaining, Seaquam lined up to punt the ball from near midfield, a calculated move which, in most instances, would allow its athletic defence to take to the field and do it’s job in helping to insure a berth in next weekend’s B.C. Final Four.
However a high snap sailed past the punter, and from that point, it was like an open audition was being held for a hero.
“I just…I don’t even know. I can’t even speak about it,” said Nunez, who as the proverbial Johnny on the Spot, somehow had the presence to scoop up the ball about 10 yards from the end zone.
“I just saw the high snap and their kicker turn around and I yelled ‘Cade, hit the kicker,’” said Nunez of teammate Cade Cote, whom he asked to make a block. “I saw the ball right there and I picked it up and I am like ‘I am running to the end zone.’ It was a miracle. And I am so glad we could win this game.”
Liam Cumarasamy came in and dove across the goal line for a two-point convert, and the Ravens hung on for the final 1:41 to seal the win.
“I am proud of the guys for hanging in there,” said Ravens head coach Martin McDonnell. “That was a very good team we just beat, and at the end, we were just drawing stuff up on paper because we had so many young guys, so many injuries and we’re just sliding people in and out.”
It almost looked like a game no one wanted to win in the early in the fourth quarter.
Seaquam’s Jalen Philpot, who was the game’s best player on both sides of the ball, picked off the Ravens twice in the quarter, book-ending an interception made by Terry Fox’s Mitch Bye.
And Ravens’ defensive lineman Adam Tennent, injured for most of the season, made two huge plays, catching a partially-blocked Seaquam punt to give his team the ball at the opposition 12-yard line to begin the fourth, then sacked Seaquam quarterback Josh Haydu on a key third-and-10 play with 35 seconds left in the game.
Jalen Philpot rushed for scores of 28 and 15 yards for Seaquam while Haydu scored on a short keeper.
Jaden Severy and Cote on a 10-yard runs, and quarterback Jevaun Jacobson on a three-yard keeper scored the first three Terry Fox touchdowns.
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