Under-16 Eastern Challenge RECAP: Defending champions Quebec dominate, earning shutout victory over Nova Scotia
By Ameeta Vohra
Kingston, ON (July 9, 2019) – In a battle of two previous provincial champions, Quebec proved to be too much for Nova Scotia to handle at the Under-16 Eastern Challenge.
On Wednesday at Queen’s University’s Richardson Stadium, the defending champions showed they will be tough to beat. Fueled by a three touchdown performance by running back Zachary Bouchard, Quebec downed Nova Scotia 41-0.
Quebec won the 2018 championship, their first time at the tournament in Guelph, Ontario. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia won the championship in its inaugural year – 2017 at home in Wolfville.
The victory helped Quebec punch their ticket to the gold medal game on Friday July 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. EST, where they will face the winner of the Ontario/New Brunswick game slated to go later Tuesday. Nova Scotia will square off against the loser of the Ontario/New Brunswick game on Friday July 12, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Despite the first quarter being plagued full of penalties from both teams, there were flashes of brilliance on the field. Early in the first quarter, Nova Scotia quarterback Troy Hawkins threw an interception into the hands of Quebec’s Paul Alfred Kamden. However, it was called back as Quebec drew a penalty.
With 5:03 remaining in the quarter, Quebec strikes first on 2nd and 5, as quarterback Dionnyssios Stamiris connected Remi Nadeau for a 12 yard touchdown. Samuel Tremblay added a PAT to give Quebec an early 7-0 lead over Nova Scotia.
On the punt return deep in Nova Scotia territory, Matthew Shannon misses the snap and it hits the crossbar. After much discussion between the officials, the play was redone. Not wanting to risk giving Quebec the chance to score points, Shannon conceded a safety with 3:57 left in the first quarter.
In the dying minutes of the quarter Quebec’s Charles Bourgault had a great sprint down to the eight yard line. Then, Nova Scotia’s defensive back Alexander MacDonald came up with two huge hits to stop Quebec from going further. On a 17 yard field goal attempt by Tremblay, the ball goes wide right but sails into the back of the end zone. That earned a rouge for Quebec.
In the second quarter, Quebec started to pull away with the lead from Nova Scotia. Satmiris passed off the ball to Zachary Bouchard, who ran down the field into the end zone to tally a major with 4:39 left before halftime.
With under three minutes left, Shannon’s punt was blocked by Quebec and it resulted in excellent field position deep in Nova Scotia territory at the 5 yard line. Quebec capitalized as pivot Stamiris connected with Bourgault for the second rushing touchdown of the game.
Mathys Leboeuf stopped Nova Scotia’s tempo with 32,1 seconds before the half as he caught an interception.
At halftime, Quebec enjoyed a 24-0 lead over Nova Scotia.
Bouchard would sprint into the end zone once again with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter for his second rushing major of the game. Quebec added to the scoreboard when Nova Scotia conceded a safety on the last play of the game.
With 4:32 left in the game, Nova Scotia concedes another safety to Quebec. Rounding out the scoring was Bouchard, who dashed down the field for a 63 yard touchdown, his third major of the game.
Offensive Players of the Game were running back Zachary Bouchard (Quebec) and quarterback Troy Hawkins (Nova Scotia). Defensive Players of the Game were lineman Steve Bolo Mboumoua (Quebec) and defensive back Alexander MacDonald (Nova Scotia).
The defending champions were pleased with the effort put forth in Tuesday’s victory.
“It was a really good game for us,” commented Quebec head coach Kevin Regimbald Gagne. “We had some penalties and sometimes we were 11 or 13 on the field, but overall it was a pretty good game.”
As for Nova Scotia, the score was not in an indication of how they felt their performance was on the field against Quebec.
“The score wouldn’t really reflect how we feel about the game,” said Nova Scotia co-head coach Dion Thomas-Hodges. “I actually thought we came out and battled today.”
The kids played tough and hard-nosed football. We had a lot of mistakes that really hurt our production that stopped us from getting in the end zone. Overall, I thought we played tough and hung in there. We’ll be back on Friday ready to go.”