The Huronia Stallions Varsity Football team lost a sloppy OFC Quarterfinal playoff game at home to the Sault St. Marie Sabrecats 14-10. The Sabrecats got on the board in the first half on a 30-yard interception for a touchdown by Nick Fowler. The Stallions were then able to score after a spectacular 90-yard punt return by Jack Malo that led to a Justin Winn to Jaylen Cooper touchdown reception. Malo also had an outstanding game on defence. The Stallions then conceded a safety which gave the Sabrecats an 8-7 advantage. In the second half, the teams continued to struggle to move the ball offensively based on the strong defensive play of both teams. The Sabrecats defensive line dominated the line scrimmage and Stallions defensive linemen Zach Willems had a monster game with seven tackles and four quarterback sacks. The Stallions took the lead in the fourth quarter after a Michael Tomcyzk field goal. The Sabrecats then capitalized with an interception that was returned deep into Stallions territory that resulted in Greg Caruso’s 12-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining which proved to be the decisive score. The Stallions did get multiple possessions in the final minutes with the game ending on an incomplete pass at midfield as time expired. The Stallions struggled to move the ball offensively rushing for just 18 total yards and completing only 12 of 31 pass attempts for 179 yards and those two critical interceptions. The Stallions would like to thank the following graduating players for their commitment and dedication to the program: Christian Hutter-Coppin, Jack Malo, Spencer Macnamara, Cameron Hoekstra, Brandon Longstreet, Dylan Hart, and Derrick Addy.
The Huronia Stallions Junior Varsity team staged a monumental come from behind victory to defeat the Sault St. Marie Sabrecats 41-34 to advance to the OFC Northern Conference Title game. The 2017 JV Stallions have entered Stallions lore, joining the 2004 Varsity, and 2010 JV teams in staging massive comebacks after trailing 28-7 at halftime and 34-14 going into the fourth quarter.
The Stallions started off strongly taking a 7-6 lead in the first quarter on a Daniel Hawthorne to Mark Arizza touchdown pass and catch. However, the wheels fell off in the second quarter when the The Sabrecats already up 14-7 blocked a punt and had an interception on back to back series with both big plays leading to touchdowns and the aforementioned 28-7 advantage. At halftime, the Stallions made several key adjustments in an effort to fight back and not let the game slip out of reach. These were a new punt scheme to provide more protection, involving Liam Harrison more on offence, and the defence was tasked with preventing broken containment by the mobile Sabrecat quarterback. The message to the players at halftime sent by Coach Martino DiSabatino was to “keep chipping away and see where it takes us.” These adjustments worked to the Stallions advantage as the momentum turned in the second half to their advantage. The Stallions ended the game by scoring 27 unanswered points including the last 20 in the final 9:48. Trailing 34-33 with 59 seconds remaining, Stallions quarterback Daniel Hawthorne hit the aforementioned Liam Harrison on a 26-yard touchdown pass which was followed by a Hawthorne to Will McCulloch pass and catch for the two-point conversion. Fullback Michael Cassano continued his strong play with two touchdowns and a crucial third quarter run which started the comeback. The top defensive player was Gavin Wallin who had another strong game.
The Stallions have sent at least one team to the OFC Finals Since joining the OFC in 2011. The Junior Varsity squad will try and make it eight appearances this Saturday at 2 Pm in Peterborough. The Stallions are riding a five-game winning streak but will be taking on a Peterborough team that is a perfect 7-0 on the season and defeated the Stallions 44-17 earlier in the season.
The Huronia Stallions Bantam team lost their Conference Semi-Final matchup 50-11 to the Vaughn Rebels. The Stallions finished the season with an overall record including playoffs of 3-5. Will Howard, Scott Laybolt, Keiran Harrison, Hunter Graham, and Jayden Mutry all had strong playoff performances with the Stallions and showed promising development throughout the season.