CFCFPC Hamilton (RECAP – Varsity): Team East fight through adversity for victory over Team West

The press box was packed for the final kickoff at the CFCFPC showcase at Tim Hortons Field, and the Varsity squads from East and West didn’t disappoint putting on the most entertaining game of the weekend. A late touchdown by the West made things interesting, but the East were able to put the clamps on to dash any hopes of a comeback to walk away with a 28-21 victory.

It was a slow start to the game with plenty of defensive talent ready to show their abilities, including CFC100s Malik Yusef and Joey Corcoran for the East, while CFC100 Somers Peat and highly touted Waterloo commit Jack Andrews lined up for the West.

It took until midway through the second quarter before quarterback Travis Arp was able to finish off a long drive with a one yard plunge across the line, which seemed as though it’d be the only points of the half until the East struck gold with just 33 seconds remaining. After a pass interference call left them in the red zone, Liam Kennedy took advantage with a pinpoint pass to the corner of the end zone where Brandon Lefebvre awaited, evening the score up at seven heading into halftime.

The East continued to play with momentum as Jameson Dominique made a highlight reel interception early in the third quarter to set up his offence at midfield, but after failing to make anything of it, the West made them pay. A combination of CFC100 Joshua Ferguson and Offensive MVP Isaac McAlonan led the offence down the field, with McAlonan eventually breaking the barrier for a one yard touchdown run which once again gave the West the lead. When asked about his MVP performance which also included a 42 yard reception, McAlonan said he was just trying to do what he could to help his team,

“Working hard on and off the field, just keeping focus to try and do what I can to help get a W.”

Although they tried to keep the advantage in their favour, the powerful duo of CFC100 quarterback James Keenan and Overall Game MVP Jamal Mavinga proved to be to much to handle. The pair connected on not one, but two touchdowns in the span of three minutes, splitting the difference between the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter to all of a sudden build a 19-14 lead. Mavinga finished the game with a pretty statline consisting of six receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns, and couldn’t have done it without Keenan who accumulated 133 yards on 9/17 passes. Not to be forgotten is the East’s other pivot Kennedy, who made the most of every snap completing five of his seven attempts for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams battled to gain the upper hand the fourth with the East forcing a safety to help build their lead to seven points, and after Jayden Jehoda punched in another one yard run to increase the lead to double digits with just under three minutes remaining, it seemed as though the West was down for the count.

They were a determined group and wouldn’t go down without a fight however, attempting to claw their way back into the game with a 30 yard touchdown pass by McMaster commit Zach Beno to Ker Yung Hong just 18 seconds later to limit the deficit to seven. The completion gave Beno an impressive 109 yards on just 6/9 attempts for the game, but any prospects of a comeback evaporated when the East recovered the ensuing onside kick. Despite overtime not being in the cards for those in attendance, still it was a remarkable way to end the CFCFPC showcase at Tim Hortons Field.

James Peter was named Defensive MVP for his part in a gritty performance that limited the West to just 169 yards of offence, and after the game was thankful for his support system that has helped guide him through his football journey,

“All in total I would just like to thank my friends, family and everybody who supported me throughout my way. It’s a long process getting to where I am today.”

A pair of CFC100s also made a significant impact for the East side with J.P Cimankinda slicing and dicing his way to 107 yards on nine carries, and Arthur Hamelin showing off his big play ability with two catches for 45 yards. He might not have seen a much action as he’d like – no receiver ever truly does – but still Hamelin was happy to come away with the victory and take advantage of the chances he was presented with,

Post game with #CFC100 Arthur Hamelin from Varsity East

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“It was a tough game, had to battle back in the fourth and put up some points but overall we came out to ball, finished strong and came away with the ‘dub’.” he explains.

“Only had two balls thrown my way, but I caught both of them, so I am happy about that. A few good returns so that’s positive always.”

Although the West couldn’t come away with a win, defensive back Prosper Mbai still had a positive attitude about the experience overall, and was proud of the way his team fought back in the fourth,

“I would say intensity coming out of the half.” is the biggest thing he says he learned. “That needs to be key number one. Not looking back at things you might have made a mistake on, just keep moving forward.”

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