FCC 2019: House scores in final minute to propel New Brunswick to victory over Nova Scotia
New Brunswick finishes seventh, Nova Scotia winds up eighth in tournament
By Ameeta Vohra
Kingston, ON (July 13, 2019) – In a rematch of the 2018 seventh place game of the Football Canada Cup, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick picked up their rivalry from where they left off on Saturday morning.
The game was decided within the last minute of the game as New Brunswick’s back-up quarterback Dylan House played hero and led his team to a victory over Nova Scotia 14-9 on Saturday morning at Queen’s University’s Richardson Stadium in Kingston, Ontario.
For the second consecutive year, New Brunswick finished the tournament in eighth while Nova Scotia would up eighth. Of note, last year’s game ended up with the identical score.
Both teams set the tone early defensively. Within the first three minutes of the both teams displayed phenomenal stops on opposing offences which resulted in a turnover on downs.
With 7:36 left in the first quarter, New Brunswick pivot Samuel Tremblay threw an interception into the hands of Nova Scotia defensive back Naijuan David at the 50 yard line. However, Nova Scotia were not able were not able to capitalize on it offensively so Owen MacRae had to punt the ball back to New Brunswick.
The first points of the game came with 6:07 left in the quarter when Matthew Morton kneeled in the end zone and conceded a safety to Nova Scotia to give them an early 2-0 lead.
On another punt return, Nova Scotia drew a 15 yard penalty that essentially gave New Brunswick great field positioning. Like Nova Scotia, the team could not find a rhythm or tempo to get anything going on offence.
Just over four minutes left in the first quarter, Tremblay throws his second interception of the game into the hands of Nova Scotia linebacker John Scholes.
The first touchdown of the game came with 1:09 left in the quarter when Riley Estabrooks had a pick six and converted it into a 24 yard touchdown score for New Brunswick.
In the second quarter, defences stole the show. With 8:49 left in the half, Nova Scotia quarterback Allan Young was sacked by New Brunswick’s Nathan Clark.
Nova Scotia would score the only points of the quarter when Owen MacRae added a 36 yard field goal to pull the team within two points of New Brunswick.
With 1:18 remaining before the half, Tremblay threw his third interception of the game right in the end zone. Catching the ball was David, who earned his second Interception of the game.
At halftime, New Brunswick only held a slim 7-5 lead over Nova Scotia.
Into the third quarter, both defences continued to make huge plays while offences were having trouble finding their rhythm. With 6:19 left in the quarter, Young tried a push through for a first down deep in New Brunswick territory but New Brunswick stopped him in his tracks resulting in a turnover on downs.
Nova Scotia would tie the game up when Morton concedes another safety to the team.
On the last play of the quarter, Owen MacRae punt a return that sailed right and he ended up recovering the return to gain 35 yards and put Nova Scotia deep in New Brunswick’s territory.
With Nova Scotia continuing to press for the lead started to get some rhythm going on offence. Young connected with Cherokee Robinson to get the ball down to the two yard line 32 seconds into the fourth quarter.
On the next play, Young found Andrew Floyd who scampered into the end zone for a touchdown.
New Brunswick would pull close to Nova Scotia when MacRae was forced out of the end zone by Morton on the punt return to concede a safety.
In a final push, New Brunswick opted to bring in House instead of Tremblay as quarterback and he went to work immediately.
House connected with Ryan Leblanc to get the ball deep in Nova Scotia territory at the 13 yard line with 58.9 seconds.
While House’s next pass, intended for Leblanc was incomplete, Nova Scotia took a costly penalty which moved New Brunswick to 1st and goal.
Then, House found Aidan Keefe, who was stopped at the seven yard line. With 38 seconds left in the game, House delivered as he sprinted into the end zone to give New Brunswick their first offensive touchdown of the game and the victory to New Brunswick.
Nova Scotia had one more chance to win the game; however, New Brunswick’s defence overpowered them and forced a 3 and out situation – a turnover on downs.
Offensive Players of the Game were running back Andrew Floyd (Nova Scotia) and receiver Logan McNamee (New Brunswick). Defensive Players of the Game were defensive back Naijuan David (Nova Scotia) and defensive lineman Nathan Clark (New Brunswick).
For New Brunswick, they felt fortunate to come out of the Maritime battle with the victory.
“It’s always a battle with Nova Scotia,” commented New Brunswick head coach Jamie Price. “We’ve had a lot of tough competition anytime we face them; hats go off to them and everything that they did.”
Head coach Dave Van den Heuvel and I are close friends so we have that mutual respect. At the same time, we’re really proud of our guys. We always say ‘through fire, united we stand’ and I think that was a for sure demonstration of that today. Things weren’t going well; in the end, we got the win.”
Disappointed at the outcome of Saturday’s game, Nova Scotia lost the game on some key errors. Overall, the team was competitive throughout the 2019 Football Canada Cup.
“Our kids competed pretty hard and competed for four quarters,” said Nova Scotia head coach Dave Van den Heuvel after the game. “Unfortunately, we made a couple of timely mistakes and that hurt us but I am very proud of the kids and how they performed all week.”
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