Griffins push farther east
Herman plays Wednesday at Rogers Centre
The road to an OFSAA West Bowl has to go through London.
That’s simple geography for a football game played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
What’s not so cut and dried is how the path to Wednesday’s Bowl always seems to run right through the heart of the London Catholic Central Crusaders.
For the third time in 10 years, the Herman Green Griffins will play for a West Bowl title and each has come at the expense of Catholic Central.
The latest was Friday night at the University of Windsor’s Alumni Field where the Griffins used their blistering speed to wear down a huge Catholic Central defensive line in a 19-9 victory in the West Regional playdown.
As a hulking contingent of Crusaders ran onto the field before the game in their crisp white uniforms with matching white helmets, someone wondered what Penn State was doing in the house.
Indeed, London’s physical prowess seemed better suited to college football than the high school version.
And for the first half, size mattered.
“You could see they were getting tired in the second half,” Herman coach Harry Lumley said.
“That’s one thing about size, sometimes you get tired in the end.”
Herman’s tandem backfield rockets of Arjen Colquhoun and Beau Lumley started to stretch out Central’s line in the second half, allowing them to snap a 9-9 third-quarter tie.
“Our speed took over,” Beau Lumley said.
Except for a interception while playing defence, Colquhoun had a quiet first half for the Griffins as a running back.
“They knew our game and our plays,” said Colquhoun, who has signed to play for the Michigan State Spartans next fall.
“We had to switch things up. We had to get out of our comfort zone and do some different runs.
“Beau and I switched roles and it threw them off a bit.”
Never more than when Colquhoun shook off several wouldbe tacklers for a 55-yard option run to Central’s 20-yard line.
A few plays later, he found the end zone from three yards out and following a Kevin Drake convert, Herman regained the lead at 16-9.
“That option definitely broke it open and gave us some confidence,” Colquhoun said.
Defensively, the Griffins dug in from there and produced two turnovers including one that led to a 20-yard Drake field goal with six minutes to play.
On the night, Drake kicked two converts, two singles and two field goals.
“They’re a good physical team,” Herman middle linebacker Joe Iatzko said. “It was back and forth.
“Our goal all year has been to get to OFSAA but they’re a really hard to team to get by.”
Herman got off to a great start when Jaydon Gauthier found a seam and returned Catholic Central’s first punt 80 yards for a quick 7-0 lead but at half it was a tight affair at 8-6 Herman.
“No one runs the ball inside on us but they did,” Catholic Central lineman Bryon Hall said.
“We pride ourselves on our defensive line but they came out hard and they hit hard.”