AFL: Third quarter magic helps Hurricanes clinch homefield advantage throughout playoffs

Charlottetown, PE – Digging deep into their playbook, the Holland College Hurricanes Football Club used a bit of trickery Saturday night to kickstart an offence that scored 33 points in the third quarter of a 38-6 defeat of the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves.

It all started in the opening possession of the third, when Hurricanes’ punter Jay Dearborn faked a punt and ran it 13 yards to keep their drive alive, leading to the game-deciding 26-yard touchdown run by quarterback Anton Sianchuk.

Head coach Kyle Quinlan praised his agile quarterback, who led the team in rushing with 107 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

“Anton once again, just being an incredible athlete, turned stuff into touchdowns that really shouldn’t be touchdowns.”

The Hurricanes’ special teams unit put the team on the scoreboard first as points were hard to come by in the first half.

A Dearborn punt inside the opposition 5-yard line forced the Seawolves to concede a safety after they failed to move the chains. The Hurricanes added a field goal late in the first quarter, extending their lead 5-0.

“It’s Canadian football, so specials is a huge, huge part of the game and we have one of the best football players in the country in Jay Dearborn,” Quinlan said.

“We take it just as seriously as offence and defence,” added Dearborn.

The Seawolves would respond late in the second with two field goals of their own, the second coming off a Hurricanes turnover, to take a 6-5 lead into the half.

The Hurricanes came out of the break a different team. In a span of six minutes following the intermission, a Seawolves 6-5 lead quickly turned into a 27-6 deficit. The Hurricanes added another touchdown in the quarter to come away with the 38-6 win.

Sianchuk led the offensive charge with touchdown runs of 26, three and 41 yards and capped off the evening completing his final four throws including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Keith Langille.

The game, played under cool and windy conditions, proved to be the Hurricanes most complete effort to date, with all three phases making a significant impact.

“It was a combination of the defence being ferocious and getting the ball and then the offence finally popping it in when we needed to,” Quinlan said.

With the win, the Hurricanes (5-0) clinch first place and will host the Seawolves (0-5) in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Hurricanes will return home for the final game of the regular season, when they host the Dalhousie Tigers on October 24 at 1 p.m. at the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place.

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