The Huronia Stallions Varsity team galloped into the playoffs Saturday looking to capture their 5th consecutive OFC Northern Conference title. Unfortunately for the Stallions, the host Peterborough Wolverines demonstrated why they had the superior regular season and rode a second half surge to advance to the Northern Conference title game with a 26-8 victory. The first half was a hard-fought defensive battle where the Stallions had the early edge thanks to their stout defence. Peterborough could not manage to move the football at all offensively and were forced to concede a safety to gain much needed field position. The Wolverines then capitalized by finding a seam in the defence for a long touchdown run on a jet sweep. A rouge and a field goal extended the Wolverine lead to 11-2 early in the second quarter.
Stallion speedster Jayden Kelly then electrified the Stallions with a 75 yard touchdown on a shovel pass which was followed by a botched extra point. High drama ensued at the end of the half as the Stallions lined up for a field goal with 6 seconds remaining. The Stallions coaches reached into their bag of tricks and ran a fake which resulted in a Nick Stadnyk reception. Stadnyk was unable to reach the endzone and was pushed out of bounds at the two yard line. The officials initially awarded a final play and then conferred and called it halftime. This was the closest the Stallions would get. On the opening possession of the second half, Stallions quarterback Brandon Longstreet was injured. The offence then sputtered with three turnovers, one of which was an interception for a touchdown. As a result, the second half was all Peterborough despite a valiant effort by the Stallions defence. RJ Folz had an incredible final game for the Stallions. Folz, who finished up his 11th year as Stallion had a great game defensively and also played extremely well on offence where he was pressed into service due to injuries and got the start at Guard. Folz had the hit of the game when he swung out into the flats and leveled a Wolverine defender with a crushing blow on a screen play. Linebacker Datun Aketepe had a strong game defensively for the Stallions and a great year overall.
The young Varsity Stallions only graduate four players and can take pride in earning the program their fifth consecutive playoff appearance and winning record.
The Huronia Stallions Bantam team overcame a slow start to crush the visiting North Halton Crimson Tide 58-24 in their Northern Conference Semi-Final matchup. The Tide took a 12-0 lead into the second quarter after a touchdown on the game’s first drive and by capitalizing on two early fumbles by the Stallions offence. Running back Bradlee Kitchikake then got the Stallions offence clicking by taking a long run inside the Tide 5 yard line. Quarterback Nicholas De Jesus then punched it in for the touchdown. North Halton responded with a score of their own to lead 18-8.
This was when the Stallions offence went into hyperdrive. In the second and third quarters alone, the Stallions scored 42 unanswered points. The momentum shift came when receiver Brandyn Talbot caught a spectacular one-handed reaching reception which electrified the Stallions bench and the home crowd. Talbot’s herculean effort injected his teammates with the determination to seize the moment and assert themselves. Kitchikake finished with four total touchdowns to lead the offence. De Jesus had 2 passing touchdowns to Kitchikake and Jayden Moghaddam and 2 rushing scores. Talbot and McCulloch combined for five two-point conversions to round out the scoring.
The top defensive player was Josh Flindall who had an interception for a touchdown just prior to halftime. The Stallions will host the Oakville Titans this Saturday at Noon at the Barrie Sports Complex in Midhurst for the honour of representing the Northern Conference in the OFC Championship game.
Brandyn Talbot with the one-handed grab in the Bantam Game. Photo by the Barrie Examiner
Varsity Picture is Number 18 Austin Currie upends a Peterborough receiver – playing in his final game as a Stallion after 3 stellar Varsity seasons. In the background is #52 RJ Folz – mentioned in article – 11 year Stallion. Photo by Jason Romisher