New Brunswick captures 7th place, posting first win since rejoining tournament
Photo credit: Mike Lukyn
By Kevin Hirschfield, Special to Football Canada
New Brunswick is leaving Winnipeg with their first Football Canada Cup win in more than a decade.
Dylan Waugh rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns as New Brunswick took down Manitoba-Silver 25-12 in the seventh-place game at the 2016 Football Canada Cup. Manitoba’s silver squad is composed primarily of participants from northwestern Ontario who fall within Manitoba’s jurisdiction.
The Maritimers returned to the tournament in 2012 after a 10-year hiatus and had yet to pick up a victory, until Friday.
“It shows everybody back in the 506 that we can compete on a national stage,” said New Brunswick coach Chris Hopkins. “What we’re trying to tell kids back in New Brunswick is that football is the best sport to play in terms of teaching life skills and providing an opportunity at the next level.”
The first-half was a penalty-filled affair for New Brunswick as they took a whopping 13 infractions for 181 yards, including one that wiped out an Aidan O’Neal punt return touchdown. As a result, they found themselves trailing 6-3 at the half.
But they would take just four in the second half and their re-born discipline allowed them to take over the game.
“We just went back in the locker room, reset, and said we’re going to play the same type of football and we’ll get our chances,” said Hopkins.
It would lead to 19 second-half points including Waugh’s 2 touchdown runs (from 2 and 31 yards) and a 21-yard touchdown catch from quarterback David Patry to receiver Dylan Tabone.
Nicholas Cull would add a late touchdown for Manitoba to round out the scoring.
Despite going winless at the tournament, Manitoba Silver coach Rolf Waffler is confident his group will look at it as a positive.
“They totally can compete on the big stage,” said Waffler. “I think the players realize what they have to do to step up their game to the next level. Part of why we came is to expose kids to what the CIS and college football is. I think they all learned this week.”
For New Brunswick, it’s a win they’ll look back on with pride, but one they hope is a springboard for the future.
“We brought 15 kids back from last year and I know how hard they worked and to see this big win at the end of it is a nice way to cap it off,” Hopkins said.
“Once we get home, we’re going to celebrate it, but then we’re going to get right back to work for next year.”
This post is also available in: French