Gideone Kremler knows the well-being of his knee is getting attention.
"There is some talk about it," said Mount Douglas Rams' quarterback, who has been injured in the past couple of years but ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-21 win over St. Louis. Thomas More Knights in the last week's Subway Bowl Triple-A quarter-finals.
"There should be more talk about a football team that seems to be coming together than a single body part doing well, though."
The Rams, the Victoria squad that was a honored mention in the final Triple-A provincial rankings, have come together well enough that they will take on the No. 2 Vancouver College Fighting Irish in the provincial semifinals on Saturday (4 PM) at B.C. Place Stadium.
It is arguably the biggest meeting between the teams since Mount Douglas beat Vancouver College 34-17 in the 2015 provincial final, when Kremler made the improbable and led the Rams to the crown as a Grade 9 under center.
He suffered a knee injury the following year. It was diagnosed initially as a strain but ended up being a torn anterior cruciate ligament and had an off-season surgery. He returned to action midway through the last season, but his mobility – as you would expect – had taken a step back and forced him to be more of a pocket passer.
Now in Grade 12, Kremler's performance against the No. 3 Knights is proof that the knee is continuing to come around. There is also the fact that he has returned to playing full time, something he has not done since his Grade 10 season.
"You're never going to feel the same after something like that," the 6-1, 185-pound Kremler said of the surgery. "I feel different and I feel better in different ways. I've definitely matured through the whole process and I think I play smarter football than I did before. "
The Fighting Irish blasted the Rams 55-26 at Mount Douglas on Sept. 28, but Kremler is quick to point out the 2015 Rams lost 20-0 at Vancouver College in that regular-season contest and it was part of the inspiration going into the final for that group, which featured his older brother Justice.
It's no surprise that Gideone could spin it so adeptly. He's been wise beyond his years for years.
"Beating a very good STM team is reassurance that we are the team we thought we were," said the pivot, whose twin brother Zairech is one of the Rams' running backs.
"Early in the season, we took a tough loss against Notre Dame (by 15-12 count on Sept. 21). We did not play very well but still held them to 15 points. Then we go into the next week and get rolled by VC and everyone in the province thinks we're probably a joke and the coaches get fired up and you start to get a little unsure of how good the team is.
"We kept working and we had a good win over New Westminster (34-28 on Nov. 2) and the win over STM. It shows us that we have the talent to be the best team in the province. Now, we have to get out and prove it again Saturday. "
The other semifinal (7 PM) sees the honored mention of New Westminster Hyacks facing the No. 4 Terry Fox Ravens in a rematch of last year's final. New Westminster won 15-14, thanks to last-second touchdown and two-point convert.
New Westminster beat the top-seeded Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers 34-16 last week. Terry Fox downed the honored mention of Notre Dame Jugglers 35-21, while Vancouver College beat the No. 5 South Delta Devils 48-12.
Saturday | B.C. Place Stadium
4 pm: Mount Douglas vs. Vancouver College
7 PM: New Westminster vs. Terry Fox
11 a.m .: Robert Bateman vs. Holy Cross
1:30 pm: John Barsby vs. Vernon
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