FCC2019: Defending champion Saskatchewan clicking on all cylinders, earning shutout victory over Nova Scotia
By Ameeta Vohra
Saskatchewan made a statement on Day 1 of the 2019 Football Canada Cup.
If opposing teams are hoping to dethrone them and claim gold, they are going to have to find a way to shut down all three facets of their game – offence, defence and special teams.
Unfortunately for Nova Scotia, they fell victim to Saskatchewan’s on-field attack, not being able to shut down the defending champion’s pass game. Consequently, Saskatchewan were able to score 32 unanswered points on route to a 37-0 shutout victory over Nova Scotia.
The 2018 Football Canada Cup champions move on to the semi-final where the team will face off against the winner of the Ontario/British Columbia which was slated to happen later Sunday. That game will be played on Wednesday July 10, 2019. Nova Scotia will play the loser of the Ontario/British Columbia in a consolation game on Wednesday July 10, 2019.
Daniel Wiebe put Saskatchewan deep into Nova Scotia’s territory with a 5 yard run within the first minute of the game. Less than a minute later, quarterback Noah Pelletier passed the ball to Ryker Frank, who pushes his way into the end zone for a 2 yard major.
With 6:07 remaining in the quarter, Pelletier connected with Daniel Wiebe who scored an unbelievable TD catch where he bobbled then hauled in the ball as he fell into the end zone. Saskatchewan opted for a two point conversion where Pelletier fired the ball to Frank and were successful on the attempt.
Nova Scotia pivot Allan Young tried to rally the troops with 2:26 left in the first quarter, only to get picked off by Saskatchewan defensive back Dennis Berhane at the 50 yard line.
Wiebe would get his second touchdown of the quarter when he connected with Pelletier for a 35 yard touchdown reception.
Saskatchewan wasn’t finished business in the first quarter as Pelletier found Carson Derksen for a major.
The only scoring in the second quarter was from Saskatchewan when Colin Tetreault was successful on a 15 yard field goal attempt with 4:46 remaining before the half.
At halftime, Saskatchewan enjoyed a 25-0 lead over Nova Scotia.
In the third quarter, Nova Scotia kicker Owen MacRae opted to concede a safety to extend Saskatchewan’s lead 34-0.
Nova Scotia had a great opportunity in the fourth quarter to score as the team was in the best field positioning with 10 minutes left in the game. Going ahead on third down, Young’s pass intended for receiver Juwann Steele was incomplete. It resulted in a turnover on downs. With less than eight minutes left in the game, Young threw an interception into the hands of Saskatchewan’s defensive back Tanner Reiber.
With 44 seconds remaining in the game, Tetreault added a 31 yard field goal to round out the scoring for Saskatchewan.
Offensive Players of the Game were receiver Daniel Wiebe (Saskatchewan) and running back Dequon Downey (Nova Scotia). Defensive Players of the Game were linebackers Seth Hundeby (Saskatchewan) and Isaiah Ward (Nova Scotia).
For Saskatchewan, the team was pleased with their performance while giving props to Nova Scotia on making this game a hard fought competitive battle on the field.
“We played a tough team today but we were ready to play so I was happy with the performance,” commented Saskatchewan head coach Jeff Stusek. “We showed our Saskatchewan heart and we’re ready for the next game.”
Knowing they faced a major challenge heading into this game by virtue of drawing the defending champions, Nova Scotia is focused on improving and preparing for their next game with the goal of pulling out a win in their next game.
“Obviously, we were playing a very talented team; they played well and executed at a high level,” said Nova Scotia head coach Dave Van den Heuvel after the game. “Our guys played hard.”
Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way and they made some plays. That’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ve just got to regroup and move forward because it’s a short week.”