Hamilton Hurricanes repeat as OFC champions

It was the rematch that the Hamilton Hurricanes were looking forward to. The mentality; to exact revenge on the team that upset the ‘Canes bid for a perfect season record. And nothing stood in the way of the Hamilton squad and their goal of repeating as Ontario Football Conference Champions.

A great week of practice for the Hurricanes and an overnight stay in Windsor the night before the game can be considered contributing factors to how well the Hurricanes prepared, both mentally and physically, for the Championship match-up. The well-rested Hamilton team boarded the team bus and headed to the University of Windsor stadium with one thing on their minds – Bring home Teddy.

The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as both clubs took to the field. The Hurricanes opened the scoring four minutes into the game when Ryan Kotar had a 1 yard touchdown plunge and Chris Bartolomeo converted the extra point to give the Canes an early 7-0 lead. The scoring came quick and it came early, but nobody in attendance expected the highlight play to come from the special teams.

Hamilton’s punt return specialist, Stephen Jordan, shocked the crowd as he received the first quarter AKO punt at the Hurricanes own two yard line, then turned up field while making would-be tacklers miss and getting great blocks down field for a 108 yard touchdown return. Jordan’s efforts put the Hurricanes ahead 14-0 with 8:50 left to play in the first quarter.

The ‘Canes kept the pressure on the Fratmen as Ryan Kotar was able to grind out two more rushing touchdowns; Matt Francis connected with Matt Coates for a 7 yard touchdown and Dan Iafrate for a 29 yard touchdown strike.

The Windsor AKO Fratmen could not get anything going in any aspect of the game. The Hurricanes defense was able to limit the Windsor offense to 233 total yards for the game and had an answer for both Beau Lumley and Joel Archer, as Windsor looked to them for the spark the team needed to get things going. That spark never ignited as the Hurricanes were able to snuff out Windsor’s hopes of taking home the OFC crown.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock at Alumni Field, the excitement on the Hurricanes bench kept building. The final score read: Hamilton 42, Windsor 6 – and the Hamilton Hurricanes were awarded the Teddy Morris Memorial trophy for the second consecutive year.

The Back-To-Back OFC Champions will now host the Canadian Bowl National Championship for the first time since 1981 on Saturday, November 12th at 1pm at Ivor Wynne Stadium. Their opponent will be the Saskatoon Hilltops, who have won the Prairie Football Conference Championship with a 32-3 win over Calgary and took home the Jostens Cup with a 38-28 victory over a tough Vancouver Island Raiders squad.