Under-16 Eastern Challenge: RECAP: Host Ontario fends off late surge from New Brunswick to advance to gold medal game
By Ameeta Vohra
Kingston, ON (July 9, 2019) – In a rematch of the 2018 bronze medal game, New Brunswick mounted a late comeback attempt but fell just short to Ontario at the Under-16 Eastern Challenge in Kingston.
Host Ontario pulled out a 33-31 win over New Brunswick on Tuesday evening.
Ontario moves on to the gold medal game, where they will host defending champion Quebec on home turf at Queen’s University’s Richardson Stadium on Friday July 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m EST. New Brunswick will square off against rival Maritime province Nova Scotia in the bronze medal game on July 12, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
It was the Ethan Dolby show in the first half. Ontario got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Mason Lajoie passed off the ball to Dolby who sprinted into the end zone for a 37 yard rushing touchdown.
New Brunswick responded back as pivot Spencer Joudrey handed off the ball to Henry Mason for a 49 yard sprint into the end zone; however, the play was called back due to an interference penalty.
Less than two minutes later, Mason made good on his second attempt to get New Brunswick on the scoreboard when he pushed into the end zone for a three yard touchdown.
With 25 seconds left in the first quarter, Javier Reyes Landry added a 16 yard field goal to give New Brunswick a slim 10-7 lead. On the last play of the quarter, Lavoie gets sacked by New Brunswick defensive lineman Jacob Jackson.
The second quarter was all Ontario, more specifically Dolby. With 6:02 remaining before the half, Dolby muscled his way into the end zone to tally a six yard major. Then, Dolby would strike again with his third touchdown of the game within the last minute before halftime.
On the last play of the first half, Ontario’s secondary got in the action as Ryan Karpik came up with a pick six.
At halftime, Ontario enjoyed a 21-10 lead over New Brunswick.
Ontario continued to pour it on in the second half. Jourdrey airs out the ball to an open Roy Van der Veen who recovers it for Ontario. On 3rd and 3 with 10:08 left in the third quarter, Dolby knocks on the door in the end zone for his fourth major of the game.
New Brunswick gives Ontario more points as they concede a safety with 14.5 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Heading into the last frame of the game, Michael Horvat was successful on a 27 yard field goal attempt.
After the two teams exchanged interceptions, New Brunswick was getting close to scoring when Ontario made three huge stops to stop them from getting further with 3:56 remaining in the game.
With 1:37 left, Mason tallied his second major of the game as he grabbed the ball from directly under the snap to push into the end zone. Then, New Brunswick opted for the two point conversion and Jonah Lockhart made good on the attempt to pull New Brunswick within 15 points of Ontario.
Sensing a momentum shift, Joudrey connected with wide receiver Alex Blizzard for a 54 yard touchdown score for New Brunswick.
Within the last minute of play, Joudrey found Jack Duplessis who sandwiched himself between three Ontario defenders as he came down into the end zone.
Having a chance to tie up the game, New Brunswick attempted a two-point conversion but Joudrey threw the ball but Karpik got his third interception of the game to seal the victory for Ontario.
Offensive Players of the Game were running backs Ethan Dolby (Ontario) and Henry Mason (New Brunswick). Defensive Players of the Game were defensive back Ryan Karpik (Ontario) and linebacker Hayden Rowe (New Brunswick).
For the host team, they feel fortunate that they ended up with the win.
“It was a hard fought game from both teams,” commented Ontario head coach Joe Cappiello. “Our guys really competed hard and fought some momentum ups and downs and we got to play a full sixty minutes.”
Despite the disappointment of coming up short, New Brunswick fought hard and battled until the final whistle was blown. However, the team couldn’t overcome their mistakes.
“We came out the way we wanted to,” said New Brunswick head coach Vince Sturgeon. “I think we played very well in the first quarter.”
The second and third quarters, we were inconsistent on offence and left our defence on the field a little too long; they were able to exploit that. Obviously, we came back at the end of the game and showed a lot of fight and resilience. We’ll try to build on that as we go forward.”