Hamilton and Burlington swept the Ontario Football Conference Summer titles at the 2016 Champ Day played at Ron Joyce Stadium Saturday (Aug 13).
The Cats started slowly, but built a 22-0 halftime lead and ended the Sudbury Gladiators Cinderella season with a 41-14 victory and Hamilton’s third Varsity crown in four seasons.
Eric Gaudet started the Hamilton scoring with a 19-yard interception return midway through the opening quarter. In the second quarter, back up pivot Jordan Rimac found Justin DiPietro on an option from 30 yards out and this was followed by Brandon Eddie barging in from one yard just before the halftime break.
The teams traded majors in the third period with Hamilton’s Damian Tesoro scooting in from 4 yards away and Bankamina N’Galamulume got Sudbury on the score sheet when he snuck in from 3 yards away. In the final quarter, the Rimac- to- DiPietro combination hit again from 8 yards out. Nolan Putt booted a 42-yard field goal and the Hamilton defence compelled the Gladiators to concede a safety touch.
Samson Recollet connected with Brock Connor on a 7-yard toss for the other Sudbury major.
Nicholas Petermann converted four of the Hamilton scores while Connor Carusello added the other. Miller Donnelly hoofed the Sudbury converts.
For his receiving efforts, DiPietro was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Game. Donnelly was given the Defensive Player of the Game and Hamilton’s Mitchell Garland took the Special Teams Player of the Game nod leading all returners with 75 punt return yards and three special teams tackles.
The only thing that got in the way of the Burlington Stampeders was a 45-minute weather delay in the opening quarter! The Stamps completed an undefeated season with a dominating 51-7 victory over the Huronia Stallions.
Zach Ihasz and Josh Munoz led Burlington’s scoring with a pair of touchdown runs each. Ihasz crossed the goal line from 2 and 49 yards while Munoz ran in from 11 and 17 yards. Nikita Buzynskyy and Brenden Day caught scoring passes of 36 and 10 yards respectively from pivot Connor Irwin Lewis.
Nathan Langley who led all rushers in the game with 197 yards on 20 carries and scored from 25 yards out as well. Buzynskyy booted three converts for Stamps while Dalton James kicked four. The Stamps defence forced a conceded safety touch.
The Stallions lone score came from a 7-yard pass from Nicholas Dejesus to Jaylen Cooper. Michael Tomczyk added the convert. Cooper led all receivers in the contest snaring 9 passes for 140 yards. For his rushing, Nathan Langley was selected as the Offensive Player of the Game and on the strength of five tackles, Ihasz earned Defensive Player of the Game.
Including their playoff run, Stampeders tallied a whopping 523 points while ceding only 78 in 11 games this summer.
It turned out to be the Juwuan Smith show as the Hamilton tailback tallied 168 yards from 15 carries and touchdown runs of 58, 52 and 5 yards to propel the Hamilton Bantam South squad to their first ever Bantam title in a 28-7 win over the Vaughan Rebels.
— HFA Ticats (@HFATicats) August 13, 2016
Marcus Unelli added Hamilton’s other major via a 45-yard interception return. Smith also added a 2-point convert run while Sebastien Mella was good on two converts.
The Rebels score came from a 20-yard pass from Marco Simeone to Maelik Graciano with Adam Castellano adding the convert. For his performance, Smith was honoured as the Offensive Player of the Game while Vaughan linebacker Matteo Frano took the Defensive Player of the Game.
This concludes the Ontario Football Conference summer season.
The Junior (under 23) season commences the weekend of Aug. 20-21 and the full schedule can be found at www.ofcfootball.com