#CFC10 Summer Previews & Predictions – VARSITY (7): The Road to the Playoffs starts now!

With the school year coming to an end and Canada Day in the rearview mirror, summer time in Ontario is unofficially underway. It’s this time of year when the weather starts heating up that the action on Ontario’s football fields follow suit. With the playoffs now looming bigger each week, the stakes get higher as each game passes. Each weekend promises to have it’s share of marquee matchups, heavyweight tilts and all around great football action.

Week Seven features games in both the OFC and OVFL that will no doubt have Top 10 and playoff implications. The game that will garner the most attention is an OFC South battle for first place involving the two time defending champions #6 Hamilton Hurricanes hosting the third ranked and unbeaten Burlington Stampeders. With Burlington’s one-sided win last weekend against previously unbeaten Peterborough, it looks like the South once again is the much stronger division. With that in mind the OFC looks like a three man race involving the aforementioned Stamps and Canes and of course, Guelph.

Ottawa is home to the renewal of the annual “Capital City Clash” at every level of the OVFL this weekend, and while the Varsity Cumberland/Myers game may not have as much at stake as the JV and Bantam games, it will be every bit as intense in this version of a civil war.

Several other games in both the OFC and OVFL feature teams with playoff aspirations going toe-to-toe, making for what should be an awesome weekend of football. With all the high-stakes action on the field this weekend, there’s bound to be some movement in next weeks #CFC10 Summer Rankings. Who will win, who will lose….no idea! But as always we will do our best with this week’s installment of the #CFC10 Summer Previews and Predictions.

 

#3 BURLINGTON STAMPEDERS (4-0) @ #6 HAMILTON HURRICANES (4-1)  – Sat. July 4th 18h00 Ron Joyce Stadium

THE MATCHUP: Both teams come into this one off lopsided wins last weekend however the difference being one was expected, the other not so much. The Hurricanes as expected, blew away Oakville 53-7 a week after suffering there first loss since joining the OFC’s summer league. It was Burlington that surprised some, not because they won but because of the dominance displayed and ease in which they dispatched previously unbeaten Peterborough. Viewed by most as the game of the week, the envisioned dogfight never materialized with the Stampeders dominating from wire to wire, blowing the Wolverines away 29-1. The Stamps have a well balanced attack that can pound the ball away, eating up both time and yards. With the lethal strike ability of the ground game pass catchers Matt Orr, Nick Cassola, Josh Palmer and others have plenty of time to get open for QB Clark McCallum.

The Hurricanes also come in boasting a similar balance on offense as veteran running back Osayi Iginuan is a beast. With QB Liam Putt at the helm the pass almost opens up the run and with the threat of Putt hovering over a defense, the already formidable task of shutting down Iginuan becomes exponentially more difficult.  Defensively the Hurricanes have owned the front seven, led by Damian Tesoro the Canes are a tough team to beat at the line of scrimmage….very tough.

BURLINGTON PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Clarke McCallum, RB Jordan Lyons, RB Dominic Mandalfino, REC Josh Palmer, REC Nick Cassola,

HAMILTON PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Liam Putt, REC Nick Petermann,  DL Dan Fascione, DE Damian Tesoro, RB Osayi Iginuan, DB Jake Baker

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: This one is the definition of a pickem, but we’ll go with the Hurricanes at home. Not taking anything away from Stampeder pivot Clark McCallum, Liam Putt is one of the best in the land. In a game that seems a dead heat down the middle, I’ll take the Hurricanes with Putt leading the offense late to win, what should be a whale of game..

FINAL SCORE: HAMILTON 31 BURLINGTON 28

Liam Putt Hurricanes 3

 

#3 MYERS RIDERS (5-0) @ #6 CUMBERLAND PANTHERS (4-1)  – Sat. July 4th 18h00 Ron Joyce Stadium

THE MATCHUP: For the past few years the Varsity edition of the annual crosstown battle between these two has been somewhat anticlimactic. Myers has run the table the last few season while the Panthers failed to make the playoffs in that span. This year however is different……. At first glance Cumberland looks a solid 3-2, while Myers is the same juggernaut it has been forever starting off at 5-0. However the Riders, as good as they have looked, haven’t looked quite as invincible as the last two seasons. Across town the Panthers are off to their best start a few years, but even more impressive is that they are two overtime losses away from being unbeaten as well.

For Myers the Jacob Spinella to Phil Iloki combination is the OVFL’s deadliest as Myers has followed their own blueprint for success from years past…..pass and pass some more. Spinella, a rising senior has 1685 yards to go with 24 TD passes in only five games so far. Defensively Myers reminds me of the Nebraska black shirts from about 5-10 years ago, a tough, punishing defense without any superstars, but working together, buying in and consequently causing opposing offenses fits.

One look at the Cumberland roster shows they have the athletes to play with anyone, Laurier GoldenHawk Kurleigh Gittens is amongst the league’s most electrifying and Baxter Balthazar is a can break one from anywhere on the field. The Panthers know the time is now and as much as they would like to wrestle back bragging rights, a win puts them in the driver’s seat for earning a home playoff date.

MYERS PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Jacob Spinella, REC Phil Iloki, LB Darryl Jean-Baptiste, LB Akash Bakshi, DB Cedrick Lavigne

CUMBERLAND PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Baxter Balthazar, #CFC100 and OPC REC Kurleigh Gittens Jr., RB Quintin Gregory, DB Khadeem Pierre, LB Patrick Madore, LB Jaryd Rushford

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: This is going to be closer than expected. Cumberland will be able to score on Myers and that should make for an exciting affair. Kadeem Pierre and his mates in the secondary will have their hands full trying to contain the Riders air attack, contain being the key word as stopping it doesn’t seem likely. At the end of the day look for Myers to outlast Cumberland in a track meet.

FINAL SCORE: MYERS 45 CUMBERLAND 35

Phil Iloki Myers Riders

OTHER GAMES OF NOTE:

OFC Huronia Stallions 20 #7 Toronto Jr. Argos 17 the seventh ranked Jr. Argos suffer their first defeat of 2015

OVFL Toronto Thunder 28 #10 Durham West 24  – Major playoff implications in this one

OFC Peterborough 33 Sudbury 10 – the Wolverines wash some of the bad taste from last week out of their mouth

 

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