The last time the Terry Fox Ravens played football against Notre Dame at BC Place, in 2016, they won the Subway Bowl provincial AAA championship.
Ravens coach Martin McDonnell hopes Saturday’s quarter final date with the Jugglers will destine his charges to similar success.
McDonnell said the Ravens’ 49-6 victory over the Carson Graham Eagles in the opening round of the playoffs was tougher than the score indicated, which bodes well for his team being able to build some momentum.
“That score sent a few messages,” McDonnell said.
Coming off last season’s heartbreaking last-second loss to the New Westminster Hyacks in their second consecutive Subway Bowl appearance, the Ravens have had to overcome the loss of some key veteran players, injuries as well as the perennial challenge of attracting new players. That’s meant putting together an offence by committee and introducing some stalwarts from that side of the ball to the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.
And, for the most part, the team has responded, McDonnell said.
Never more so than last Saturday’s win over Carson Graham, played in the unfamiliar environs of Terry Fox Field up on Burnaby Mountain because the Ravens’ usual home field was occupied by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s women’s soccer national championship. The Ravens got touchdowns from all four players platooned into the backfield, Liam Cumarasamy, Jaden Severy, Cade Cote and Ethan Shuen. And quarterback Matt Lew-Hendrickson is finding new confidence in his additional role on defence, as a cornerback.
And while the deployments may be borne of necessity, they’re also helping make the Ravens a difficult team to coach against, McDonnell said.
“Everybody contributes,” he said. “It keeps opposing defences on their toes.”
To have success against the Jugglers, who finished the regular season with five wins and a pair of losses, McDonnell said the Ravens’ defence will have to contain Notre Dame quarterback Will Clarke.
“He can take off and run all over the place,” he said, adding Teon Alexander-Amour is also a threat from the running back position.
In fact, McDonnell said he sees a lot of parallels in the Jugglers’ formula for success with his own team.
“We know we can play with them,” he said. “We’re excited about the challenge.”
• Saturday’s game against Notre Dame will be played at 7:30 p.m. at BC Place.
Severy gets national honour
If the Ravens prevail Saturday and advance to the next round of playoffs, running back Jaden Severy may face a tough decision. He's one of 70 players from across Canada named to the Nissan All-Canadian TITAN team.
The players, chosen by a celebrity panel that included the commissioner of the Canadian Football League, Randy Ambrose, and CFL hall of famer Genroy Simon, were noted for their impact on the field as well as "their presence in their classrooms and communities," said a press release. They'll all play in a special exhibition game in Edmonton next Saturday, then attend the 106th Grey Cup on Sunday.