Gridiron Report, Steelers Close Out Season, SMFL Hawks, Lions, Cardinals Raise Trophies & Sabercats Hand Out Hardware

On Thursday July 28th, the junior and varsity Sault Sabercats of the Ontario Varisty Football League announced their award recipients for the 2016 OVFL season. The junior Sabercats finished the 2016 season with a 4 – 4 record for fifth place in the Adams Conference while the varsity Sabercats rounded out the season in seventh in Adam Conference with a 3 – 5 record.

Varsity Michael Reid finished third in the OVFL in the defense standings with 150 points in the 2016 season with 42 assisted and 46 solo tackles, one solo sack, one assisted tackle as well as one inception. Reid brought home the 2016 Most Valuable and Defensive Player of the Year.

On offense, Dalton Toppan was named the 2016 Sabercat Offensive Player of the Year after his 36 receptions on 435 yards and four touchdowns that lead the varsity Sacbercats this season.

Defensive end Jared Strachan heard his name called as the 2016 Lineman of the Year along with Darian Belkosky receiving the 2016 Rookie of the Year award for the Sabercats. Sabercat Ryan Yost who saw action as a running back, slotback, defensive end as well as quarterback took the Sabercat Award that is given to a veteran player who demonstrates what a Sabercat is really about. Wide Receiver Issac Belisto was given the 2016 Sabercat Coaches Award for his demonstration on and off the field for hard work and contribution to the Sault Sabercats.

Junior Sabercat Geryd Lesage was named the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the season with 95 points that included 20 solo and 21 assisted tackles, four interceptions, eight battled balls and one fumble recovery. Guard Max Digasparro and defensive tackle Zach Tadashore both heard their names called as co-recipients as the junior varsity 2016 Top Lineman Award. Digasparro was also named as a OVFL Allstar. Kyle Porcheron received the 2016 Offensive Player of the Year while Joseph Rosso who finished the junior season with 117 points was named the Most Valuable Player with 30 solo and 48 assisted tackles along with one assisted tackle and an interception in 2016.

Defensive back Bryon Pine and wide receiver Travis Johnson shared the Rookie of the Year honours for 2016. Nick Roussain who played at running back and as a linebacker brought home the junior Sabercat Coaches Award with running back Parker St. Onge receiving the 2016 Sabercat Award.

The (1 – 6) seventh place Sault Steelers will play their last 2016 Northern Football Conference regular season game on July 29th when they play host to the (5 – 2) third place GTA All Stars at Rocky DiPietro Field.

The Steelers head into week ten after falling to the Spartans at James Jerome Sports Complex with a 33 – 8 loss in Sudbury in week nine of July 23rd. The Steelers lone win came back in July 2nd at Bronte Athletic Field in Oakville against the Longhorns.

Week ten’s kick – off at Rocky DipIetro Field will be at 7:00 p.m.

In Sault Minor Football championship day action, the Little Caesar’s Hawks defeated the All State Bears 28 – 14 in the Tim Horton’s Atom Division. In the Bantam Division Champions, the Tim Horton’s Lions raised the championship trophy after a 25 – 8 over the Yard Smart Ticats. The undefeated Sault Promo Cardinals (7-0-0) completed their perfect season against the 2nd place Northern Dental Chargers (5-2-0) in the SalDan Peewee Division, winning 14-0.

The Little Ceasar’s Hawks (5-1-1) came in the favourite against the All State Blues (4-3-0) in the Tim Horton’s Atom Division Championship, and the Hawks left with the hardware, scoring twice in the 2nd half and shutting down the high-powered Blues offence to seal the victory, 28-14.

The Little Ceasar’s Hawks (4-1-1) came in the favourite against the All State Blues (3-3-0) in the SalDan Atom Division Championship, and the Hawks left with the hardware, scoring twice in the 2nd half and shutting down the high-powered Blues offence to seal the victory, 28-14.

Little Caesar’s started the game with the ball, but the All State defence made a stop on 4th and 3 to force a turnover on downs. The Blues offence capitalized, taking just 3 downs to find the end zone on a 30-yard run from RB Jarett Dewar to go ahead 7-0. On the Hawks next series they were faced with another 4th and 3, but RB Evan Headrick sprinted around the right end for a 22-yard gain and the 1st down. The Blues defence bent but didn’t break, forcing a turnover on downs four plays later, but on the next series DE Spencer Headrick made his presence known with 2 tackles, including a big stop on 4th and 4 to give the ball back to the Hawks at the Blues 44-yard line. The Little Caesar’s offence got rolling on the next series, and Keenen Boissoneau eventually took it into the end zone from 10 yards out to even the score at 7. The Blues next series put them up 14-7 on an 18-yard run by Dewar, but the Hawks’ next possession lasted exactly one play, as Boissoneau busted a 75-yard run to the house to even the score at 14 with time running out in the half.

The teams traded possessions to start the 3rd quarter, until a 4th down run by All State came up inches short of the 1st-down marker. The Hawks looked to be in trouble on their next series, facing 4th and long twice in a row, but 2 completions by QB Matti Tucker to WR Martina Pucci kept the chains moving for the Hawks, and put them into the red zone. Tucker ran it in from 17 yards out to put the Hawks up 21-14 at the end of the 3rd quarter. On the next series Spencer Headrick recovered a fumble at the Blues 41-yard line to give the ball back to Little Ceasar’s, who ate up clock and punched it into the end zone with 2:08 remaining on a 2-yard run around the right end by Tucker. A long run by Jarett Dewar put the Blues into Little Caesar’s territory and give them hope for a comeback, but a fumbled snap on the next play was again recovered by Spencer Headrick to put the game away, with the Hawks on top 28-14.

The Tim Horton’s Lions (6-1-0) emerged as Little Caesar’s Bantam Division Champions after a battle with the Yard Smart Ticats (4-3-0) on Sunday night under the lights at Rocky DePietro Field.

The Ticats started with the ball, but standout RB Carsten Moffatt went down on the second play from scrimmage, and after a long delay QB Darin Pitiwanakwat threw an interception to Lions LB Dylan Dale who returned it deep into Ticats territory. Zach Tarantini then connected with Carter Ianni for a 9-yard Tim Horton’s TD pass to open the scoring, and with the convert the Lions went up 8-0. It was 4-and-out for Yard Smart on their next possession, but shortly after that Tarantini threw a pick to Christian Alfano and the Ticats had the ball back on their own 40-yard line. Both teams had difficulty moving the ball in the first half, but it was Tim Horton’s who won the field position game, hemming the Ticats into their own end of the field for the entire first half, before moving the ball down to the Ticats 17-yard line and punting into the end zone for the single point as time expired to take a 9-0 lead into halftime.

The Lions started the 2nd half with the ball and slowly drove the length of the field, but punted after being stopped at the Yard Smart 21. A no-yards call on the punt return moved ball out to the 25, but the Ticats struggled to gain ground again, turning it over after a fumble on 4th down. The Lions used the short field to their advantage, using up valuable clock time before scoring with 7:00 remaining on a 16-yard run by Mitchell Dewar to make it 17-0. Yard Smart got the benefit of some tough running late in the game by RBs Aaron Wheten and Braydon Grbich to move the sticks and put the Ticats into Lions territory with under 3:00 to go, when Grbich capped the drive with a 36-yard touchdown run. The ensuing convert by Gavin Smith put the Ticats on the scoreboard, down 17-8. The Lions started on there own 35-yard line, but quickly put the game out-of-reach when Mitchell Dewar broke a 2nd down run for 72 yards and a touchdown, which was converted by Lucas Serenelli to make it 25-8. Yard Smart took possession with 1:14 left in the game, but an interception by the Lions’ Dante Campagna claimed the win and the Championship for Tim Horton’s. Nick Mitchell had a monster game for the Lions, with 10 tackles and 2 batted balls, earning him game MVP honours.

In the SalDan Peewee Division, the Cardinals began with the ball, and marched down to the Chargers 21-yard line before DE Caden McLeod burst through the line and forced a fumble that was recovered by Northern Dental. The Cardinals defence held the Chargers offence until Northern Dental Coach Greg Mathison called for a quick kick on 3rd down, which was initially recovered by the Chargers, but a no-yards call on the play gave the ball back to the Cardinals. Sault Promo had a Jaidan Trudeau run for a TD called back on a hold, and moved the ball all the way down to the 3-yard line, but were eventually stopped on 4th down to give the ball back to Northern Dental under the shadow of their own goalposts. The Chargers struggled to move the ball, and a fumbled snap on 4th and 1 on their own 15-yard line turned the ball over on downs with just over 2:00 remaining in the half. The Cardinals capitalized, finding the end zone on a 3-yard plunge by Elijah Plastino with 4.7 seconds left. The conversion by Creo Solomon was good, and the Cardinals took a 7-0 lead into halftime.

The Chargers continued having difficulty moving the ball to start the 2nd half, and after a penalty put them into a 4th and long situation, they turned the ball over on downs again. Sault Promo then marched to the Chargers 15-yard line before giving the ball back to Northern Dental, deep in their own end again. The Chargers managed to move the ball to mid-field before an Illegal Procedure penalty put them into another 4th and long situation that they couldn’t convert. Sault Promo took possession inside the Chargers end of the field again, and advanced into the red zone before Devin Mauro moved the pile into the end zone for a touchdown. Solomon converted the PAT again to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead late in the 4th quarter. The Chargers tried to open it up on their next possession, passing incomplete on 1st down before throwing an interception to Plastino, sealing the win and the championship for the Sault Promo.

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