FCC2017: Running game powers Ontario to bronze medal
Ontario’s explosive run game came to life when they needed it the most at the 2017 Football Canada Cup in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
On Friday, the team defeated Alberta 34-29 to win the bronze medal.
In the first half, both squads added a pair of field goals to their points total on the scoreboard.
Justin Pope tallied a 75 yard major to give Ontario the lead.
However, Alberta kept pace with Ontario when Segun Adeseye sprinted into the end zone for a touchdown.
At halftime, Ontario held a slim 13-12 lead over Alberta.
Halfway through the third quarter, pivot Ethan Martin added a major to extend Ontario’s lead. The team put some distance between them and Alberta when Keon Edwards plunges into the end zone for a touchdown.
The defence got on the board when Max Nixon caught an interception and ran down the field for a score.
Alberta tried to rally late in the game when Dakota McKay tallied a major with over three minutes left in the game. However, the comeback fell just short.
Ontario Players of the Game were REC Pope (offence) and DB Devonte Ballantyne (defence). Players of the Game for Alberta were REC Jake Withrow (offence) and DL Lamar Goods (defence).
The key to Ontario’s victory was successful execution of their offensive game plan, which was an improvement from their previous game.
“I think we were able to move the ball offensively,” commented Head Coach Glen Mills. “I think our offensive line played very very well.”
“We dominated the running game and we made the plays we had to make throwing the football. If we had made those plays against Saskatchewan, we’d probably be in the gold medal game.”
It took the entire team to regroup from their semi-final loss and come away with the bronze medal.
“It was a group effort all around,” added Mills. “We were able to rebound and recover after a really tough loss against Saskatchewan.”
“We’re happy to get bronze.”
While Alberta battled in this game, they were disappointed with their performance.
“The kids fought through; I don’t know if we were as sharp as we needed to be in that game to beat them,” said Alberta Head Coach Chris Morris. “That’s a good team like everybody else here.”
“We weren’t ready to start the game, They got a little bit of momentum on us. We kept fighting – this group of kids especially will just fight and fight and fight. They fought all the way to the end and just kept competing and that’s all you can be really proud of.”
While the team had struggles which different aspects of their game, they were relentless until the final whistle was blown at Raymond Field.
“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the run going,” assessed Morris. “Sporadically, we were throwing the ball really well but we couldn’t sustain any drives until the end of the game when we had to but it was just a little bit too late at that point.”
“If we hadn’t given up that pick six, we would have been okay and we would have had a chance to win the game but our defence played extremely well. I am proud of those kids and at no point did they start shutting it down or thinking about whose fault it is. It’s a testament to their character.”
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