Ontario and host Nova Scotia to play for gold at U16 Eastern Challenge
New Brunswick and Saskatchewan will battle for bronze
Ontario and host Nova Scotia opened the Football Canada under-16 Eastern Challenge with victories on Tuesday.
With their wins, that sets up a contest on Friday July 21st for the gold medal between the two squads. Kickoff is 7:00pm AT.
Ontario escaped with a 7-4 victory over Saskatchewan. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia defeated New Brunswick 32-13.
Saskatchewan and New Brunswick will battle for the bronze on Friday July 21st. Game start is 4:00pm AT.
ONTARIO 7, SASKATCHEWAN 4:
This entire game showcased a tight defensive battle between the two teams which resulted in a low scoring affair.
In the first quarter, Ontario conceded a safety to give Saskatchewan the early lead.
The first and only touchdown of the game was scored 1:02 into the fourth quarter by Ontario as quarterback Ethan Chambers connected with Drake Davis for a 23 yard touchdown reception.
With less than a minute left in the game, Ontario conceded the second safety of the game to Saskatchewan.
Offensive Players of the Game were RB Brendan Barrow (Ontario) and REC Dylan Hofer (Saskatchewan). Defensive Players of the Game were DB Dylan Lovegrove (Ontario) and LB Noah Gedir (Saskatchewan).
“Overall, we had no idea what to expect going in, so we try to game plan for everything,” commented Ontario Head Coach Jon Binns after the game. “Even then, going up against that team, they were physical, really well coached, our kids fought hard and our coaches did a very good job.”
“Just to go up against those guys, they were physical and we were not prepared as we thought we would be and it was a great defensive struggle.”
As for Saskatchewan, the team was disappointed by the final outcome of the game.
“It was heartbreaking,” expressed Saskatchewan Head Coach Brian Guebert. “It was a great defensive battle by both teams.”
“We got what we wanted which was an opportunity to at least stay in the game with a play left and it was a big field goal and all the credit to Ontario. They came out and brought it. They played ferocious defence and it was a great battle.”
NOVA SCOTIA 32, NEW BRUNSWICK 13:
Tuesday’s night’s contest marked the third time both teams have played each other since June. Heading into this game, Nova Scotia previously defeated New Brunswick twice during the Maritime Challenge, which is a home and home exhibition series held annually.
New Brunswick opened up the scoring on their first play as Oliver Longpre sprinted into the end zone for a 72 yard touchdown to give the team the early lead.
However, Nova Scotia woke up and responded with four consecutive scoring plays in the second quarter. Quarterback Connor Oake found Owen MacRae for a 13 yard touchdown pass.
Just over a minute and a half later, Oake connected with Matteo Di Quinzio for a 34 yard major. Less than a minute after that score, John Lilley scored a 54 yard touchdown.
With nine seconds left to the half, MacRae added a 32 yard field goal.
At halftime, Nova Scotia led New Brunswick 24-6.
In the fourth quarter, Allen Young continued what Oake started. The pivot threw a seven yard touchdown pass to Jack Ellwood to extend Nova Scotia’s lead.
With 36 seconds remaining in the game, Longpre would tally his second major of the game – a 23 yard run.
Offensive Players of the Game were QB Oake (Nova Scotia) and RB Longpre (New Brunswick). Defensive Players of the Game were LB Riley Comeau (Nova Scotia) and DB Dominic LeBlanc (New Brunswick).
“I think it was a great game, a very entertaining game and they really came out to play,” commented Nova Scotia Head Coach Jay Warren after the game. “We got a little stunned in the beginning but I think we needed that to wake us up.”
“It’s tough when you play a team three times. I give it to New Brunswick, they came and they gave us a great game and and we learned a lot about ourselves. We needed that and we are looking forward to Friday.”
Despite the loss, New Brunswick drew from the positives of the game.
“I was very impressed with the effort our guys played and competed really hard,” said New Brunswick Head Coach Vince Sturgeon. “Critical mistakes cost us and threw the tide a little bit but overall we are pleased with the way our guys fought it out until the very end and it’s important that we get another crack against Saskatchewan.”
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