The Huronia Stallions Junior Varsity team defended home turf with a dramatic 31-26 victory over the Oakville Titans. The Stallions started the game with momentum on the strength of a strong kickoff return by Justin Janicki which gave the home squad excellent field position. Quarterback Justin Winn then connected with Receiver Michael Tomczyk for a 43 yard touchdown catch and run. Oakville responded with a long drive which stalled deep in Stallions territory resulting in a 7-3 early score. Runningback Destin Person then caught a screen pass and turned it into a 42 yard touchdown to give the Stallions a 14-3 advantage. Oakville once again responded but were limited to yet another field goal. The Stallions then practiced excellent clock management killing most of the time in the second quarter and scoring on a 25 yard touchdown run by Justin Janicki, giving them a 21-6 advantage. The Stallions had some undisciplined play at the end of the half which forced them to punt in the waning moments of the second quarter. Oakville capitalized with a stunning 61 yard punt return touchdown to make the score 21-12 at the half.
In the second half, Michael Tomcyzk booted a field goal to extend the Stallions lead to 24-12. Defensive End Zack Kean made some big plays for the Stallions defence in the third quarter to thwart the Titans attempts to close the gap. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Justin Janicki scored a second rushing touchdown to give the Stallions a seemingly insurmountable 31-12 advantage. Echoes of a 2009 playoff collapse against Ottawa in the fourth quarter then began to ring at the Barrie Sports Complex as the Stallions committed six unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The Stallions have played disciplined football all season but began to unravel with the pressures of playoff football. Oakville capitalized with two late touchdowns to get within one score. The Titans had the ball on the last possession and advanced within scoring range. With twenty seconds remaining in the game, a last gasp pass by Oakville on third down was ruled complete at the Stallions’ three yard line. Shockingly, the completion was overruled by a second official and the game was effectively over. Defensive Back Aiden Nicoletta and Fullback Michael Casano had strong games and Chris Kenneweg and Jordan Travis added interceptions. The Stallions will take on the North Halton Crimson Tide in the Northern Conference Championship game this Saturday at 7pm at the Barrie Sports Complex in Midhurst. The Crimson Tide advanced with a 30-21 victory over the Peterborough Wolverines. The Stallions and Tide met on July 16th with Huronia prevailing 20-8.
In other news, the Stallions Bantam team saw their season come to the end with a 34-6 playoff loss to the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The Bantam squad was relatively inexperienced this year and will return several key players to next year’s edition.