With Saturday’s 28-12 semi-final win over the New West Hyacks, the Fighting Irish continue one of the most enduring streaks in high school football.
Vancouver College is the only high school to reach the B.C. Championship at least once every decade since the provincial crown was first contested in 1966.
They were there twice in the ’70s but didn’t win. (Astoundingly, from 1970 to 1980, Notre Dame competed in 11 championship — appearing in all but one over those 12 years — and claimed eight of them.) The AAA level was introduced in 1976.
In the 1980s Vancouver College made three title appearances but again did not win. (Notre Dame picked up five wins — two at the expense of the Irish — that decade.)
In the years from 1990 through to 2009, Vancouver College made 10 appearances, nicely divided at five appearances per decade. They won twice. Halfway through this current decade, Vancouver College has played for two championships (with a 1-1 record) and on Saturday will push that number to three appearances.
Since their first appearance in 1967, Vancouver College has won three titles and lost 13 times.
For 2015 bragging rights, they play Victoria’s Mt. Douglas Rams who are on a streak of their own: they will have played in all five of the five most recent championships. Before 2011, they had never reached the final, but won it all that year and in 2012 (against VC) and again in 2013. They lost in 2014 to South Delta.
Kickoff for the 2015 championship is 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at B.C. Place Stadium.
In the win over New West, the Fighting Irish scored once in all four quarters.Adding to his team-high 106 rushing yards, Jasper Schiedel ran one in from 18 yards, and Chris Ellis scored twice on one-yard runs. Alfred Dela Cruz followed with an eight-yard rushing major.
Ellis had 26 yards on the ground also led the team with 14 tackles, adding to his season total 119 takedowns.
“He flies to the ball and plays with tremendous energy every down,” said Vancouver College coach Todd Bernett. “He’s helped by the coachability of the kids who do their job that then allow him to be free to run sideline to sideline to make tackles.”
The coach said Ellis, typically a linebacker, played occasionally on offence during the regular season but stepped into an expanded roll in the playoffs as an occasional running back or fullback.
Vancouver College and Mt. Douglas clash in the AAA B.C. Championship 7 p.m., Saturday Dec. 5 at BC Place Stadium.
Twitter and Instagram: @MHStewart