Volume 12 Week 5

Monday, Nov. 20


 

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Bob Monette

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Tim Tierney

 

 

 


Senior Boys Football
Lancers come from behind to win Tier 2 championship

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Muhammad Ismail (3), Deepak Sekhri (55) and Wahid Hamidi (1) celebrate winning the NCSSAA Tier 2 senior boys championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


 

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers completed their improbable playoff run on Saturday by downing the Immaculata Saints 14-13 to win the Tier 2 senior boys football championship.

The Lancers entered the playoffs on a two game losing streak in which they only scored one point.

Their first playoff game was against the undefeated
St. Francis Xavier Coyotes. No one gave them a shot against the Western Division champs, but they proved the doubters wrong by defeating the Coyotes 27-7.

They then knocked off the Glebe Gryphons to earn a berth in the championship game against the Saints who beat them 7-1 back on Oct. 20.

The story of the first was the Lancers' defence which held the Saints to just seven yards in total offence.

The Lancers' offence, meanwhile, played a ball possession game which paid off in a touchdown early in the second quarter. Stephen Kukkonen capped a long drive with a three yard run up the middle. Jon Deslauriers added the extra point to give the Lancers the early 7-0 lead.

Sir Will took advantage of decent field position early in the third quarter to score a single off a 48-yard punt by Theodore Holesky. Although no one knew it at the time, the single would end being the difference in what would end up being a close game, at least in terms of the score.

After the change of possession, Saints' quarterback Gilbert Chiasson completed three passes in a row the last of which was a 49-yard touchdown toss to Chad Ouellette who broke two tackles on his way into the end zone.

Immaculata opted to go for the two point conversion, which would prove to be a pivotal mistake. Running back and back-up quarterback Devin Brazeau had to be brought in to run the offence after Chiasson was briefly knocked out of the game on the touchdown pass.

On the two-point conversion attempt, Brazeau's pass fell incomplete which left the score 8-6 in favour of the Lancers.

Sir Wil was looking to put the game out of reach on their next possession. marching the ball 51 yards on seven straight running plays before they decided to go to the air on second and eight from the 11 yard line.

Kukkonen threw the ball into double coverage with predictable results. Playing both sides of the ball, Chad Ouellette intercepted the pass and took off for the races, running 109 yards for his second touchdown of the game.

This time rather than go for the two-point attempt, the Saints kicked the extra point to take a five point lead, up 13-8.

The Lancers could have self destucted at this point, but instead they marched back out on the field and put together another long drive under the direction of Wahid Hamidi who replaced Kukkonen under centre.

Uyo Akpan literally put the team on his should carrying the ball for 45 yards on four plays to set up a two yard run by Hamidi who siimply followed linemen Alex Byrne and Mike Hamm up the middle.

The Lancers then went for the two point conversion to try and give themselves a three point cushion, but the pass fell incompltete putting the Saints in the position of needing a field goal to win or a single to force overtime.

A 15-yard kick return by Brazeau and a 17-yard run by Chiasson would give the Saints a first down on the Lancers' 40-yard line. Chiasson then threw the ball into the hands of Josh McLean on the 21-yard line.

McLean was immediately hit by a Lancers' defender jarring the ball lose into the hands of Ekom Akpan who carried the ball a couple of yards before he was forced to cough the ball up creating a free for all before Kasra Mohamadi swooped in to gain control for Sir Wil.

The Saints would get one more chance to try and win or tie the game late in the fourth quarter thanks to Ouellette's second interception of the game.

The opportunity would go for not, however, when the Lancers thwarted a fake punt attempt on third and nine. They then ran out the clock on the ensuing possession to put the game into the record books and claim their first Tier 2 championship since 1994.

Although Uyo Akpan's name doesn't appear on the score sheet, he was the game MVP racking up 164 yards on 24 carries. He also had two catches for another nine yards.

After the game Lancers' head coach Erik Kukkonen couldn't say enough about his team's resilience.

"We made it a little tough on ourselves with that interception, but we didn't get down on ourselves, we didn't blame each other we just got back to work and did the job," said Kukkonen. "It's a real testament to these players."

As for the team's post season run, the veteran coach gave all the credit to the guys between the lines.

"We played our best football at the right time. They believed in themselves and they stuck to the game plan. I couldn't have asked for more," said Kukkonen.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers

Rushing: # 20 Uyo Akpan 24/164yds; # 1 Wahid Hamidi 11/78 yards TD;
# 34 Sam Jean 5/34yds; # 24 Ekom Akpan 1/12yds; # 5 Stephen Kukkonen 1/3yds TD

Receiving: # 20 Uyo Akpan 2/9yds; # 7 Mahdi Ismail 1/35yds; # 21 Robert Morrison 1/16yds; # 3 Muhammad Ismail 1/3yds

Converts: # 32 Jon Desluariers 1/1

Fumble recovery: # 36 Kasra Mohamadi (1)

Immaculata Saints

Rushing: # 7 Gilbert Chiasson 5/19yds; # 21 Nicolas Dorion 2/6yds; # 27 Devin Brazeau 3/1yd

Receiving: # 42 Chad Ouellette 1/49yds TD; # 16 Josh McLean 1/22yds;
# 5 Dustin Parent 2/21yds; # 18 Jonathan Milonga 1/21yds

Interceptions: # 42 Chad Ouellette (2) TD; # 16 Josh McLean (1)

(Posted 8:30 a.m., Nov. 14)

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