Canes un­able to lasso Colts at OFSAA Bowl

In their first ap­pear­ance, Holy Cross ral­lies from 20-0 but falls 31-21

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES EX­AM­INER SPORTS DI­REC­TOR mike.davies @pe­ter­bor­ough­

HAMIL­TON — The Holy Cross Hur­ri­canes did them­selves proud in their first OFSAA Bowl ap­pear­ance even if the re­sult didn’t go their way.

The Hur­ri­canes ral­lied from a dread­ful start and a 20-0 deficit to threaten Sault Ste. Marie’s Ko­rah Colts be­fore fall­ing 31-21 at McMaster Univer­sity’s Ron Joyce Sta­dium in Hamil­ton on Thurs­day af­ter­noon. It was Ko­rah’s sec­ond straight win in the North­ern Bowl as they stretched their un­beaten record to two full sea­sons.

The Hur­ri­canes had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter show­ing heart with a valiant come­back ef­fort.

“The bounce back showed a ton of courage. There is a lot of heart on the team,” said Chris Paige, who coached the Hur­ri­canes with Bond Bjor­gan. “At half­time we told them, ‘Now we have proved we be­long. We just have to show up now and ex­e­cute. Just make it a high school foot­ball game, noth­ing big­ger than that. We didn’t al­low a touch­down In the sec­ond half so we have to be pretty happy with the ef­fort given.”

Paige ad­mits his team might have been caught up in the mo­ment in the early min­utes against a team that had been there be­fore.

“It’s hard at that age to not look around and take it all in when we want them to just fo­cus on foot­ball,” he said. “At the same time, they should take it all in. It’s rare for them to get this far. Al­though we didn’t win I know they will def­i­nitely never for­get this.”

It’s a long way from two years ago when they played a Fri­day Night Lights game with 16 play­ers.

“Three of those play­ers were Daw­son Over­wijk, Trent Rowe and Burke Banile­vic. For them to not quit on a team with only 16 play­ers and to stick with it to get this team to this point shows why we got here. It was strong lead­er­ship and loy­alty from our play­ers that trick­led down from the cap­tains,” Paige said.

Things started about as bad as pos­si­ble for Holy Cross. Michael Ni­co­letta re­turned the game’s open­ing kick­off 85 yards for a Ko­rah touch­down.

Just when it looked like it might turn into a blowout, the Hur­ri­canes, who had not yet crossed mid­field on of­fence and were down 20-0, came to life.

Brett Bjor­gan re­turned the Ko­rah kick­off fol­low­ing their third ma­jor more than 80 yards for a touch­down.

Holy Cross re­cov­ered an on­side kick and on the next se­ries

Bjor­gan found Gabe Lemire with a swing pass and roared down the side­line for a lengthy touch­down run.

In the fourth quarter, a nine­yard TD pass to Bjor­gan and Hay­den McIl­moyle’s con­vert drew Holy Cross within 28-21.

A 10-yard field goal clinched the Colts the vic­tory with 42 sec­onds left.

“That was a tough team and they def­i­nitely gave us a scare. They made a cou­ple of big plays on spe­cial teams that sur­prised us,” Ko­rah coach Tom An­nett told the Sault Star’s Pete Ricci. “That’s the best Cana­dian team we’ve faced this year, with­out a doubt.


Holy Cross Hur­ri­canes, from left, Brett Bjor­gan, Daw­son Over­wijk and Hay­den McII­moyle swarm Ko­rah Colt Noah Grasley dur­ing the North­ern Bowl .

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