GOTW ON: Battle of Windsor resumes between CFC50 No. 4 Holy Names and No. 13 Herman

Another chapter in the Battle of Windsor will be written under the lights on Friday night with the CFC50 No. 4 Holy Names Knights taking on the No. 13 W. F. Herman Green Griffins.


It looked like the city would be painted green again last season after Herman defeated Holy Names in the regular season, but when championship day came around, the Knights had no plans to relinquish their grip on the ultimate prize. They had to sit back and watch their rivals roll to victory after victory at the OFSAA Festival for a long time with the pair meeting in ten straight Windsor finals, but now Holy Names have a chance to create a dynasty of their own in search of their third straight provincial banner, while Herman look to make their triumphant return to the big dance.

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So far everything has gone according to plan with each side entering at 2-0, although there is an asterisk involved as the Knights were gifted a win last week after Massey forfeited, giving them an extended period to prepare. It’s also made for a long couple weeks waiting to get back in action, but CFC100 quarterback Matthew Guenette is confident the Knight’s preseason tour down south helped prepare them for the big game,

“Luckily, we got some early preseason games in Michigan to help prepare us for the high level of competition that will be needed to compete this week. Our top three points of emphasis our team is focused on heading into this week’s game include preventing get beat by a deep ball on defence, making the first downs and converting those into touchdowns, then being conditioned for a hard fought battle.”

Guenette wasn’t sure if he’d even be the starter going into training camp, but he’s exceeded his own expectation with a great performance in Michigan, and is now in command of an offence with some explosive firepower. He had a busy offseason with camp visits to Grand Valley State University, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Toledo, Waterloo and Windsor, which is eerily similar to the path his new favourite target explored before exploding on the NCAA scene.

It all begins on offence with the number one prospect in the nation CFC100 tight end/receiver Theo Johnson, who’s entertaining Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia among his final top seven after receiving over 25 DI offers. He naturally draws the majority of the attention whenever Holy Names strolls off the bus, but Herman can’t forget about Justin Pope, who’s just as liable to burn the defence if they leave a gap in coverage. In the backfield they’ve replaced CFC100 Michael Herzog with the tandem of Boriz Wright and Mike Pizzutti, and they also had to insert four new starters on the offensive line.

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On the other side of the ball, their defence will be looking to keep a clean sheet led by CFC100 defensive end Devin Veresuk, linebacker Kaden Burdick and defensive back Cyrus McGarrell. If last season’s results between the two are any indication, this will likely be a low scoring affair, but Guenette is confident they can open it up with a solid attack,

“We’re a team that’s both good in the air and on the ground with a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball. Scouts should expect to see Theo, Justin and Devin putting in the work against a tough rival. I am hoping to finish the season with a perfect record, win the WECSSAA Championship,  move onto SWOSSAA, and then a third shot in a row at an OFSAA title.”

Although history hasn’t been on their side the past two years, Herman understand there’s a lot of new faces involved in this edition, and they’re ready for the next crop of stars to forge their own legacy. They’ll be led under centre by Cody Briggs, who won’t have any shortage of fire power at his disposal with Chris Mooring in the backfield, and Vyshonne Janusas looking to neutralize the air leading the receiving corps. Janusas is feeling confident in his abilities after leading the OPFL in receiving yards this past summer en route to the championship with the Essex Ravens, and is ready to perform in the clutch when his teammates need him the most,

“I would say my top 3 focuses this week would be to make big plays when needed, constant pressure applied on the defence to open up other players to make plays, and to just play my game. Once I get rolling, it’s hard to stop me. Some personal goals of mine I’ve set for this season is to play more aggressively, and to make the most out of plays every chance I get. When I play more aggressive, it allows others to make plays and open up things.”

On defence, the Griffins will be looking for Aron Massaquoi and Dylan Dugal to limit some big gains in the secondary, and they’ll also be looking to keep their shutout streak alive after blanking Essex a week ago. The nickname “Green Machine” gets thrown around sometimes when describing the football factory at Herman, and Janusas says it’s all about breeding aggression from the moment you step on the field,

“Scouts should expect 100% effort from all players especially big games like this one. We understand what type of game this is and the importance, so we’re going to come swinging from the start.”

Kickoff is set for 7:00pm on Friday night at the the third annual Turkey Bowl hosted by the University of Windsor.

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