GOTW West: CFC50 No. 2 St. Francis take on CFC50 No. 5 Mt. Doug in battle of provincial champs

With the high school season upon us, we start our ‘Game of the Week’ series across the country. There’s quite a battle that will be taking place in Victoria, British Columbia, against two 2018 provincial champions and CFC50 top 10s. The No. 2 St. Francis Browns from Calgary, Alberta, will be travelling to the island to take on No. 5 Mt. Douglas Rams on Saturday, Sept. 6th at 2:00pm PST.

Head Coach Mark Townsend for the Rams recognizes this as a “huge challenge”, but one that will be a great gage as to how they measure up against another elite team.

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“St. Francis has a tremendous football program, will present a huge challenge for our team and we need to be ready to play a great team,” said Coach Townsend.

The Rams return 17 players to the squad this year, however, they had to replace the majority of their starters from last year, including all skilled position players on offense. As the defending AAA B.C. Provincial Champions, there is quite a bit of expectation to perform well with many new faces to the team.

“We are just hoping to be competitive versus St. Francis, and see how we measure up against an elite team,” added Coach Townsend.

CFC100 offensive lineman Matthew Ounsted, also recognizes this as a challenge, but is looking forward to playing the 2nd ranked team in Canada and their defensive line. “I have watched them on film and they are very good,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting game because both teams play at a high level. Even though it’s an exhibition game, both teams are going to want to show how dominant they are,” said Ounsted. “We will need to play at our best and be mistake free.”

Matthew was part of the 2019 CFC Prospect Game that happened in June and was broadcast on TSN. He mentioned that there is one defensive back on the St. Francis team that he played with during that game, CFC100 Charlie Deland.

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We spoke with Deland and he said he is also looking forward to the trip as he has never been to Victoria. He also is excited to play 4-down football with American rules as they do in B.C. high school football.

“This trip is going to be pretty cool playing American Rules in Canada so I’m pumped up for it,” he said. “Our team definitely has to adapt to the American but I think as long as we stay physical we have a chance!”

For the St. Francis Browns, they are entering this year with “consistency” being what head coach Tyler Park is looking for. With the season goal of winning division 1 in Calgary and then play late into November, this pre-season non-conference matchup will also allow the Browns to see where they need to make adjustments to accomplish this goal.

The Browns return 14 players, but will be playing without CFC100 Daniel Flanagan and Nic Schmeiler who have since graduated.

Quarterback/kicker Luc Nolin also commented on the upcoming game.

“What I am most looking forward to about this game is to the experience of playing a high school from a different province, as it seems like in high school you don’t really play out of province teams that much,” he said. “It’s also exciting how both of the provincial champions from each province will be playing against each other, so I think we’re really lucky of having the experience to play such a big game for an exhibition.”

The Rams will have to take into account Deland in the backfield, but also CFC100 linebacker Simon King and CFC150 defensive end Adrian Minakata.

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With multiple U Sports offers under Simon’s belt, the 6’4″ 205 backer is set to have tremendous senior year. But he’s just really excited to get playing as he stated when we reached out to him to get his thoughts on this upcoming game.

“I’m really excited to finally get out there and play some football, I know my teammates and myself have been doing everything we can to prepare for this season,” he said. “Coming out to BC and playing a high caliber team will be a test for us, but of course our guys are fired up to get out there and play a very competitive game. Practice has been very high energy and high tempo coming into this game.”

King goes on to say that this is a great opportunity for the Browns and would encourage every team to go and play outside of their division and/or province “in order to see what competition is out there and also be able to raise their own skills and game play by doing so”. 

This will be quite the start of the season for both teams and one that could set the CFC50 National high school rankings on their side depending on who wins. Both teams are highly talented, well coached, and have championship pedigree that goes back many years. The combination of these factors should no doubt produce one heck of a game – one that we are excited to be on the sideline watching.

Kickoff is at 2:00pm PST at Mount Douglas Secondary School.

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