Lancers come from behind to win Tier 2 championship
By Fred Sherwin
Ismail (3), Deepak Sekhri (55) and Wahid Hamidi (1) celebrate winning the NCSSAA
Tier 2 senior boys championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
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
Lancers entered the playoffs on a two game losing streak in which they only scored
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.
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.
story of the first was the Lancers' defence which held the Saints to just seven
yards in total offence.
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.
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.
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.
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
the two-point conversion attempt, Brazeau's pass fell incomplete which left the
score 8-6 in favour of the Lancers.
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.
time rather than go for the two-point attempt, the Saints kicked the extra point
to take a five point lead, up 13-8.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
the game Lancers' head coach Erik Kukkonen couldn't say enough about his team's
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."
for the team's post season run, the veteran coach gave all the credit to the guys
between the lines.
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.
Wilfrid Laurier Lancers
# 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
# 20 Uyo Akpan 2/9yds; # 7 Mahdi Ismail 1/35yds; # 21 Robert Morrison 1/16yds;
# 3 Muhammad Ismail 1/3yds
# 32 Jon Desluariers 1/1
recovery: # 36 Kasra Mohamadi (1)
# 7 Gilbert Chiasson 5/19yds; # 21 Nicolas Dorion 2/6yds; # 27 Devin Brazeau 3/1yd
# 42 Chad Ouellette 1/49yds TD; # 16 Josh McLean 1/22yds;
# 5 Dustin Parent
2/21yds; # 18 Jonathan Milonga 1/21yds
# 42 Chad Ouellette (2) TD; # 16 Josh McLean (1)
8:30 a.m., Nov. 14)
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