July 13, Edmonton, AB – The Football Canada Cup, Canada’s national tackle football championship brining together U-18 provincial teams from across the country, continued with game day 2 on Wednesday, with teams from Saskatchewan and Québec earning their spot in the gold medal final.
After dropping their first tournament games on Sunday, New Brunswick and British Columbia were facing off in the first of two consolation games. The game turned out to be a defensive showcase, neither team managing to break down the opponent long enough to get to the end zone, which would see New Brunswick narrowly edge out BC by a final score of 9-8.
Morgan Maccubbin (offensive) and Parker Scott (defensive) were selected as British Columbia’s MVPs in this game, and Samson Green (offensive) and Landon Dingee (defensive), who completed three tackles, one sack and claimed one fumble return, earned the honours for the winning New Brunswick side.
In the second consolation game, Nova Scotia faced off against Manitoba, with Nova Scotia staging the win 25-2 to setup a notable clash against their maritime neighbour New Brunswick in the battle for fifth place. Nova Scotia took the lead early in the game, defensive back Isaiah Boutin collecting a fumbled punt return and running it back 21 yards for the touchdown, and never let go, consistently adding to their advantage in each quarter. Liam Legge and Logan Walton each added a touchdown as well.
Manitoba’s MVPs on the day were Brady Fay (offensive) and Jesse Deneka (defensive), while the top performers for Nova Scotia were QB Cohen Carter (offensive) who completed 16 of his 23 attempted passes for a total 189 yards and a touchdown on the day, and teammate Sam Lecker-Evans (defensive).
It was then time for exciting semi-final games on game day 2 of the Football Canada Cup in Edmonton.
The first semi pitted Saskatchewan against Ontario in what turned out to be a nailbiter of a game. Saskatchewan took a slight lead into halftime, but Ontario would not let them run away with it, coming back in the second frame, forcing a last-ditch effort of a 36-yard field goal by Saskatchewan in the fourth quarter. The 36-yarder was Carter Casey’s longest of the day, he who had also converted the one touchdown pass for his team that afternoon, and secured the 15-12 win for Sask.
Matthew Stam (offensive) and Marco Piccioni (defensive) were the standout performers of the day for Ontario, while Tyrell Mohr (offensive, 6 rec, 1 TD) and Liam Platt (defensive) were selected MVPs for the winners.
Host team Alberta played in the second semi-final Wednesday, facing a strong Québec team for a chance at a championship game appearance. Things started slow for both sides, before Québec caught fire, scoring two of their five touchdowns in the second quarter to grab a healthy lead going into the break. It seemed it was enough to knock the wind out of the Alberta team who could not recover. Québec went on to score 24 more points in the second half on their way to a 42-10 win, granting them a spot in the gold medal game. QB Thomas Leroux completed two touchdown passes and 7 of his 13 passes.
With strong performances all around, Seth Peolzer (offensive) and Jaeden Gayle-Edwards (defensive) were honoured with the MVP award for Alberta, with Léonard Lemay (offensive, 1 TD, 151 yards rushing on 20 runs) and Rayann Payep Temamen (defensive, 2 tackles) awarded the honours for Québec.
The stage is set for a final day of thrilling action at the 2023 Football Canada Cup on Saturday, July 15, where Saskatchewan will play in a fourth consecutive championship game, facing returning challenger Québec who had finished third last year. The gold medal final will start at 7pm local time.
The bronze medal game will feature last year’s runner up and host Alberta against an Ontario team hungry for success, having narrowly missed the podium in 2022. The bronze medal game will be played at 4pm local time.
As a result of the consolation games, British Columbia and Manitoba will play for 7th place on Saturday, July 15 at 10am local time, while New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will face off for 5th place at 1pm local time.
All games are available live on Football Canada TV. Complete results, schedule and highlights can also be found at https://footballcanada.com/event/2023-football-canada-cup/