The Huronia Stallions Varsity Team overcame a 10-0 fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Etobicoke Eagles 11-10 in their OFC Quarterfinal Playoff Matchup.
Etobicoke took an early 8-0 lead on a long first quarter touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion. The Stallions then conceded a safety to overcome poor field possession which increased the deficit to 10 points. Huronia’s defence kept them in the game with some huge plays in the first half. Boundary cornerback Jordan Travis had an interception and then made a spectacular play by forcing a fumble that he also recovered. Etobicoke had a golden opportunity to extend their lead to as much as 18-0 on a third down attempt at the Huronia three-yard line but were turned back when linebacker Owen Macleod forced a fumble.
In the third quarter, the Stallions finally came to life on offence when Justin Winn completed a deep pass to Thomas Perri. They were then stopped at the one-yard line after Winn fumbled the snap on a critical third-down play. The Huronia defence continued to hold and their offence picked up the tempo with their no-huddle attack. With under five minutes left in the game, the Stallions finally got on the scoreboard with a long touchdown drive that culminated with Winn punching in a quarterback sneak. Travis connected on the convert and then boomed the kickoff into the endzone that the coverage team swarmed for a rouge and a 10-8 score. Winn then led a second drive deep into Etobicoke territory that set up Travis’ game-winning field goal with 1:33 remaining. Etobicoke managed to get two more possessions in the remaining time and threatened with a deep completion with 11 seconds remaining. They attempted to punt for a rouge to tie the game but were too far out for the kick to reach the endzone. Etobicoke put forth a valiant effort in defeat after a very-emotional matchup with Huronia the week before.
The Stallions were led on offence by Justin Winn’s spirited play in the second half both running and completing passes to receivers Christian Maciag, William McCulloch, and Jeremy Hussey. Fullback Michael Cassano provided some tough inside running yards on critical drives in the second half.
The Stallions are now 9-0 on the season and will host the 6-2-1 Cornwall Wildcats for a berth in the OFC Championship Game. Cornwall was defeated 9-0 earlier in the season in their lone matchup with the Stallions but are riding a four-game winning streak that includes a big time 18-7 road playoff victory over the Scarborough Thunder. The game is this Saturday at 6pm at the Barrie Community Sports Complex in Midhurst.
The Huronia Stallions Junior Varsity team was knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Scarborough Thunder 40-9. The Thunder took control of the game early with a 65-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage followed by two defensive touchdowns. By the time the Stallions settled down the Thunder had built a 32-3 halftime lead. Huronia’s offence managed to make some plays late with running back Marcus Tenney scoring a touchdown. Wide receiver Payton Plesh had another outstanding game with 95 receiving yards despite being consistently double and triple teamed in coverage. Despite these successes, Huronia was ultimately undone by committing eight turnovers; three of which were returned for touchdowns.
The Stallion defence had difficulty stopping the run in the first half and could not match the Thunder in creating turnovers and big plays. Defensive linemen Elliot Barber and Bantam call-up Jake Sheppard both made a big impact when they entered the game.
The Stallions had a young team that improved throughout the year and won three of their final four regular season games. The coaches are encouraged by the growth and development of the players and are excited to see what the graduating players can bring to the Varsity team next season.
Written by: Jason Romisher
Photo by: Jason Romisher