No. 2 MT. DOUGLAS 7 at No. 3 NOTRE DAME 26
BURNABY — B.C.’s most decorated high school football program has only been waiting for what seems like forever to play a game on it own school grounds.
Next week, the Notre Dame Jugglers are finally going to be able to do just that with the opening of their own turf field complex.
And the best part of all?
They’ll be doing it with as much momentum as they’ve had in recent memory.
No. 3 Notre Dame conceded its first points of the season but answered by scoring all its points in unanswered fashion as the Jugglers (6-0, 4-0 Western Conference) beat Victoria’s visiting Mt. Douglas Rams (5-1, 3-1) at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex.
“Notre Dame played a brilliant game,” said Rams’ head coach Mark Townsend. “They out-played and out-coached us in every aspect of the game. And their defense was well prepared. Fast and tenacious.”
On Friday, highlighted performances from what was a genuine team victory were turned in by two seniors: Quarterback/rush end Aiden Domino and wide receiver/cornerback Antonio Conte.
After Mt. Douglas’ running back Miltiadis Koulelis opened the scoring on a six-yard carry, the Jugglers responded quickly with a game-tying touchdown drive of their own, capped by Domino’s five-yard run and kicker Noah Banco’s conversion.
Throughout the second quarter, Notre Dame’s defense started to control the game, constantly making big tackles for little gain and pressuring Mt. Douglas’ senior quarterback Hunter Swift on many occasions.
The end result?
Notre Dame was able to start drives with very favourable field position, and they would cash in with a 15-yard scoring strike from Domino to Conte who made a brilliant catch en route to a 14-7 lead.
On the next Mt. Doug possession, Conte, from his right corner position, intercepted a Swift pass and just before the half, returned it to the Rams 10-yard line. From there, Domino bulled his way home from a yard out for a 20-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw both teams struggle moving the ball. The Jugglers finally mounted a drive highlighted by first, Domino’s 20-yard run, and then his 24-yard scoring pass, again to Conte. A failed two-point conversion left the score 26-7.
In addition to Conte’s pick, defensive lineman Phillip Marin had a fumble recovery and corner Anthony Amenta had an interception of his own.
“We are really happy with the performance of our team this afternoon,” stated Kelly. “This is a big shot in the arm for our program and sets us up for a big second half of the schedule.”
Precisely, it means the Jugglers will open their new field at 3 p.m. this coming Friday when the New Westminster Hyacks come calling.
New Westminster improved to 3-1 in the West after it gained a forfeiture win from the Seaquam Seahawks.
Things don’t get any easier for the Rams, who play host to the No. 1-ranked and undefeated Vancouver College Fighting Irish in a 1 p.m. kick-off this coming Friday at Royal Athletic Park. The Irish first play at home Saturday (1:30 p.m.) against Belmont.
The Mt. Douglas offense was led by the bruising Koulelis who in addition to scoring his team’s only touchdown, carried for 71 yards.
On defense for the Rams, Morgan Steves had seven tackles followed by Sebastian Sibbald with six tackles and Gjin Gashi with five. Bronson Pheiffer was solid in the Rams secondary and had an interception.
“Losing is part of the process for improving, and we are going to roll up our sleeves and prepare for another extremely challenging game,” said Townsend of the Irish.
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