July 9, Edmonton, AB – The 2023 edition of the Football Canada Cup, the national tackle football championship that brings together U-18 provincial teams from across the country, got underway on Sunday with quarterfinal action. In each of the four matchups, higher seeds prevailed to make it to the next round.
The first game of the day saw a clash between Ontario (4) and British Columbia (5). Ontario consistently outplayed their opponent, scoring 17 of their 22 points in the first half, on their way to a 22-0 victory. Ben Casselman rushed for one touchdown, while William Russell connected with Trey Montour to complete the other touchdown. Kicker Oscar Chmielinski rounded up the count with two successful field goals and two converts.
BC’s Malekey Colgiu (offensive) and Owen Lal (defensive), and Ontario’s Trey Montour (offensive) and Carter Gooden (defensive) were selected as top performers in the quarterfinal match.
The second matchup of the day had Québec (3) facing Manitoba (6). Québec opened the score in the first quarter, taking their early lead all the way to the fourth quarter when Manitoba managed to get on the board. In the end, Québec’s scoring power was too much for the prairie team, and they ran away with a 32-12 win. QB Thomas Leroux connected twice with Antoine Goupil for two touchdowns, while Yan Tremblay rushed for one. Kicker Hayden Craig added two field goals, three singles and three converts to complete the scoreline for the winners.
Jack Babych (offensive) and Matthew Gillespie (defensive) were selected as Manitoba’s MVPs for the game, while Antoine Goupil (offensive) and Tassiké Gaston (defensive) got the nod for the Québec team.
Top seed Saskatchewan (1) got into play in the third game of the day when they faced New Brunswick (8). It was in part thanks to a monster second quarter that Saskatchewan orchestrated the 39-0 win over New Brunswick, racking up 23 of those in that second frame. QB Carter Casey and receiver Owen Mazur combined for two passing touchdowns, while Javin Boynton and Tyrell Mohr also added to the count. Casey completed five converts to get his team to the semi-finals.
The top performers in this quarterfinal game were Samson Green (offensive) and Owen Weir (defensive) for New Brunswick, and Carter Casey (offensive) and Jacob Goldstone (defensive) for the winning Sask team.
The final game of the day featured home side Alberta (2) and Nova Scotia (7). The first quarter was closely contested, but the rest of the game was mostly under Alberta’s control, the home team edging out their opponent with a final score of 35-10. Alberta had four different players get on the score sheet with a touchdown of their own, QB Cohen Wright completing an almost perfect game with 21 completions in 25 pass attempts for a total of 284 yards.
Nova Scotia’s Rowyn Sanford (defensive) and Logan Walton (offensive) were selected as their side’s MVPs, and Cyril Atemnkeng (defensive) and Cohen Wright (offensive) earned the honours for their Alberta team.
Football Canada Cup action continues Wednesday, July 12. First on the docket will be consolation finals where New Brunswick will face British Columbia (10 am MT) and Nova Scotia will play Manitoba (1 pm
MT). The semi-finals will get going at 4 pm MT when Saskatchewan will battle Ontario, followed by an Alberta vs Québec clash at 7 pm MT.
Fans can follow all the action on Football Canada TV and get complete schedules and results at https://footballcanada.com/event/2023-football-canada-cup/.