FCC2017: Last minute touchdown gives Quebec third consecutive gold medal
Under Friday Night Lights, Saskatchewan was only less than minute away from pulling off a major upset at the 2017 Football Canada Cup in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
With 19.2 seconds, their fate changed as Quebec’s Jashia Lewis-Pennicooke scored a touchdown to dash their hopes of winning the gold medal.
Quebec defeated Saskatchewan 10-7 in a very low scoring offensive game. Saskatchewan’s consolation was the silver medal.
The scoring began in the first half as quarterback Josh Donnelly connected with Adam Labrash for a four yard touchdown to give Saskatchewan the lead.
With less than a minute before the half, Antoine Couture, who was the hero from Quebec’s semi-final game against Alberta, added a field goal.
At halftime, Saskatchewan held a 7-3 lead over Quebec.
In the second half, great defensive stands kept both teams scoreless right up until those last 19.2 seconds of the game.
For Quebec, it was the third consecutive gold medal at this tournament.
“It’s unreal the way we won the semi-final game and to do it again in the final was unbelievable,” reflected Quebec Head Coach Marco Iadeluca. “My hat goes off to Team Saskatchewan; they played a hell of a game.”
“It’s a bad loss for them and I feel for them. They’re a great football team.”
Iadeluca talked about Pennicooke’s timely performance in the game.
“It was the same player that came clutch for us at the end,” he said. “He’s just a great fighter, and competitor.”
“He always wants the ball, comes back to the sideline all the time and says “give me the ball”. When the ball comes to him, he plays and that’s what you want to see.”
Other than the last play of the game, Saskatchewan’s defence made things extremely difficult for Quebec to repeat as champions.
“Defence was lights out tonight,” commented Saskatchewan Head Coach Sheldon Gray. “Obviously at the end, one big play and that’s really all we gave up which is tough when its at the end of the game.”
“But that’s football and that’s the way the chips fall.”
Aside from those unfortunate remaining seconds of the game, Saskatchewan overcame many odds during the Football Canada Cup and leave for home with their heads held high.
“It’s heartbreaking how it ended,” Gray expressed. “I’m proud of my guys; they battled the whole way throughout the whole thing and throughout the whole tournament with a lot of adversity.”
“It came our way, we fought through and the end didn’t follow the way we wanted it to. I am super proud of my guys and coaches.”
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