The St. Thomas More Knights found how far four is from one on Friday night.
The fourth-ranked Knights visited Victoria to play the number-one-ranked Mt. Douglas Rams and were soundly beaten 41-26.
The Knights fell behind 14-0 early and fought back to a 31-14 halftime deficit, but the Knights were undone by seven turnovers, including five interceptions, and saw their season record fall to 2-2.
The Rams, defending provincial champions, got their early touchdowns from Mason Swift, on a 47-yard throw from Ashton MacKinnon and Julian Luis, on a 15-yard run. After Brian Dowds caught a 49-yard TD from MacKinnon, both Luis and Swift picked off STM's Chase Malcolm for touchdowns.
The Rams got the rest of their scoring from the foot of Callum Duke, who added two field goals.
Malcolm had a tough night, as his 234 yards passing and three touchdowns - two to lanky wideout Gio Trasolini and the third to shifty running back Jalen Jana - could not mask the five throws that Mt. Douglas caught and ran back the other way. Jana completed the STM scoring by running for another score on the ground, all part of his 105-yard rushing effort. Dante Vigini was once again the Knights defensive leader, leading the team in tackles and giving MacKinnon fits with his pass rush.
"We've been hurt by injuries," said Knights head coach Bernie Kully. "That's given some of our younger guys the opportunity to play."
Kully said he was missing his top two running backs, Elliot Nelson and Sebastian Adugalski, both with lower-body injuries, while two-way starter Kevin Marshall was at a leadership conference and linebacker Anthony Dale was also out.
The Knights opened up the offence, with Malcolm attempting 40 passes, a rarely seen occurrence in high school football.
"I couldn't believe it," Kully said of the moment when his statistician told him about Malcolm's numbers. "I was quite surprised. I guess that puts the five interceptions in some perspective. When you have that many, some of it is on the quarterback, but it's also on receivers running the proper routes and our line giving Chase the time to throw the ball."
Kully said playing in unfamiliar territory at an unfamiliar time also hurt his team.
"We were 14-0 down before we got off the bus," said Kully of the 5 p.m. Friday start. "You can't make any mistakes against a team like Mt. Doug and we paid the price. . It's frustrating to lose, but I firmly believe we're very close to being a very good football team."
It doesn't get any easier for the Knights, who face number-two-ranked W.J. Mouat of Abbotsford on the road this Friday. The Hawks held off West Vancouver 47-33 and will be looking to narrow the gap between themselves and Mt. Doug.
"They're a really complete team," said Kully of Mouat. "Maleek Irons is a pretty special (running) back and when we scrimmaged against them in the spring, we learned that we have to get him behind the line of scrimmage or we'll be in a lot of trouble."