The Westdale Warriors captured their first ever provincial football championship edging Thunder Bay’s St. Ignatius Catholic Secondary, 26-17, in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Northern Bowl at Tim Hortons Field Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 2).
Westdale’s Mitch Garland had the game winning touchdown, returning a 70-yard punt to give the Warriors a 19-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Brodie Bistrovich tossed two touchdowns in the win connecting both times with Liam Garland on six and 27-yard strikes. Aksum Polk added the other Westdale major to seal the game with just three minutes remaining to set the score at 26-17.
Bistrovich finished the game 11 for 15 with two touchdowns with just a single interception. Polk was the game’s top rusher finishing with 125 yards on 14 carries including the game sealing touchdown. Westdale’s Travis Gelly was the game’s top receiver hauling in 52 yards on two receptions.
The win is not only Westdale’s first in the OFSAA Football Bowl series, but it marks the first time a Hamilton public school has claimed a bowl title since the event started in 2000. Westdale lost in the Warriors only other appearance, 24-13, to Assumption College (Brantford) in 2013. Waterdown District was the first Hamilton public school to make an appearance in 2003 while Sir Allan MacNab played in last year’s event at McMaster University.