‘Canes looking forward to junior football playoffs

The Hurricanes play their final regular season home game tomorrow (Saturday) at 4 p.m. at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The (3-4) Hurricanes will host the (0-7) London Beefeaters.

After a dropping their first four games in their return to the Ontario Football Conference (after an absence of 14 years), the junior-age team has pulled things together and won its last three games in convincing fashion: 36-6 over London; 23-16 over the eight-time defending champions St.Leonard Cougars; and 34-14 over, at the time, first place Windsor AKO Fratmen.

In the Hurricanes first four games this season, three of the losses were by just one score. With a win tomorrow, the ‘Canes would finish fourth at 4-4, but just one game out of second place. The club has already qualified for the post-season and will be on the road until eliminated in the playoffs.

The Burlington Braves and St.Leonard Cougars will play tomorrow afternoon and the winner of that game will take first place in the Conference and will host the ‘Canes next weekend.

With two playoff victories, Hamilton would qualify for, and host, the Canadian Championship game on Nov. 8. Today’s game is also important for several Hurricanes who are chasing club records. With four catches, wide receiver Steve Hughes will pass Al Annonech’s team record of 45 receptions in a season. With two touchdowns, Hughes will also pass Keith Anderson’s team high 11 TD catches in a season.

Linebacker Aram Eisho will need a big day of 42 defensive points to catch Ron Zammit’s 191 defensive points in a season. And quarterback Brian Echlin will need a very high percentage day to pass Jason Hayes’ single season 60.4% completion percentage.

The league executives and coaches will meet the next morning in Hamilton to select the Conference All-Star team as well as the conference’s top award winners. It’s anticipated Hurricanes will make both lists and Head Coach Jason Hayes should be a frontrunner for coach of the year for his efforts in turning an expansion team into a contender in its first season.

Eisho will get serious considerations as the conference’s top defensive player as well as the top defensive rookie. Hughes should also be a contender for the top offensive player and offensive rookie.