Gators run away with junior football title (Ontario)

Sweat dripping from his forehead, Ryan Dixon looked as if he had just completed a marathon.

It certainly felt like it for the running back with Whitby’s Donald A. Wilson Gators after he’d rushed for six touchdowns and piled up 471 yards on 44 carries in a 40-28 win over Toronto’s St. Michael’s Kerry Blues in Wednesday’s Ontario regional junior championship.

“I’ve had enough football for now, but I’m real happy – and exhausted,” said the 15-year-old after helping his Durham Region team win its first provincial title.

Dixon had touchdown runs of three, five, two, 15, 40 and two yards.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said the 5-foot-9, 195-pound power runner, who had runs of 44 yards in the opening quarter, 39 yards in the third and 71 with eight minutes left in the game.

“The plan was to run the football and they kept calling my name.”

Playing on their home field, the Kerry Blues scored first on a 31-yard field goal by Anthony Iafrate in a game that had a strange combination of rules: three downs in the first half, and four, what the Gators play in their league, in the final two quarters.

Gators rookie defensive coach Steve Howlett, also known for his five winless seasons at the University of Toronto where the Blues established a national university record 49-game winless streak, now is on the flipside.

“Dixon is amazing – there’s a player with huge talent and what a joy it’s been working with these young kids and the other coaches,” said Howlett, whose team finished 12-0.

“St. Mike’s traditionally has a great program, and while I don’t think they had as much talent as we did in this game, they kept coming back every time we thought we had the game in control,” said Howlett.

St. Mike’s coach Frank Ribarich, unhappy with his team’s numerous mistakes and inability to score three times from inside the Donald Wilson 25-yard line, couldn’t help but concede Dixon’s dominance.

“They just put the football in his hands and challenged us to stop him – and we couldn’t,” said Ribarich, whose team had won two of the last four Ontario titles.

“He was a bruiser with quickness and made great decisions.”

St. Mike’s quarterback Esteban Cardenas had four touchdowns passes, two to Rowan Comish with the others to Christian Barker and Joe French.

French’s score came three plays after an 84-yard kickoff return by Michael Flannery.

Source: The Toronto Star

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