NS: Finals Set in NSSAFFL Championships

The Citadel Phoenix will defend their Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) championship title next Sunday in Halifax against the Horton Griffins.

Both teams scored victories yesterday in semi-final action. The Phoenix defeated the Dartmouth High Spartans in Halifax, while the Griffins got by the Charles P Allen Cheetahs at Acadia.

This marks the fifth consecutive provincial final appearance for the Phoenix. The team will be gunning for their fourth straight provincial title. As for the Griffins, this will be their first provincial final appearance since joining the NSSAFFL five years ago.

Additionally, the Tier 2 NSSAFFL champion will be crowned on Saturday. The Halifax West Warriors earned their ticket to the final with a win over the Auburn Drive Eagles. Their opponent in the final will be the Lockview Dragons, who easily defeated the John Hugh Gillis Royals.

Here are the results from NSSAFFL semi-final action this week:


Citadel Phoenix 55, Dartmouth High Spartans 26:

At Huskies Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the defending provincial champions showed that they are hungry for another provincial title. The team defeated the Spartans in very windy conditions.

In his pregame comments, Phoenix head coach Jeff Lawley said that the success of the team would hinge on their two biggest offensive weapons. On Sunday, quarterback Derek Brown and wide receiver A’dre Fraser led their team to victory.

Brown has a stellar day on the field as he had 265 passing yards and threw five touchdowns. Fraser scored two receiving and one passing majors for the Phoenix.

Defensive ends Max Fitzgerald and Jordan Redding also came up big when needed for the Phoenix. Fitzgerald had a sack, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a tackle which resulted in a loss. Redding registered five tackles on the day and one punt block.

Emile Milton added to the Phoenix’s defensive success. He had 3 tackles, one interception and a sack. Matt Nettle contributed to the victory with one interception, a sack and a rushing touchdown. Additionally, Shaun Robinson had a fumble recovery and a receiving touchdown for the Phoenix.

As for the Spartans, slot back Ashton Slawter had a 65 yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of the game. That touchdown gave the Spartans the lead 12-7.

At the half, the Phoenix led 21-12 over the Spartans. In the second half, the Phoenix went on a 34-0 run thanks to touchdowns by Miller, Fraser, Nettle, Ryan Kublek and Mohamed Abokar.

“Hats off to the Spartans for a valiant effort, they showed tremendous heart and determination to keep a very close game in the first half,” says Lawley. “We needed to make some key adjustments at half time to secure the victory.”

Spartans quarterback Cody Cluett tried to get the Spartans back into it as he scored a touchdown around the 8:00 mark of the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Shivase Reddick scored another touchdown in the last minutes of the game.

“We had a lead after the first quarter, but just could not sustain our intensity, or rally from some key injuries,” explains Spartans head coach Mike Cosgrove. “They were stronger and faster, and had more depth, and eventually it showed.”

“Dartmouth should be very proud of their accomplishments this season and we are very pleased to move on to the final round,” adds Lawley in his postgame comments.

Even though the Spartans lost the game, Cosgrove is proud of their accomplishments this season. It was also rewarding for the team to be able to get into the Tier 1 semi-finals, considering it has been a while since they made their last appearance. Now the Spartans are lookng ahead for improvement.

“We have to keep building our program,” says Cosgrove. “You don’t just create a championship caliber team in this league overnight.”

The Spartans plan on contending for years to come and plan to grow based on the success of their season.

“Dartmouth High will be near the top of the league for a while, and I think the players are beginning to see the kind of dedication and committment it takes to be a champion,” comments Cosgrove. “We will continue to improve, and continue to get better.”

Horton Griffins 28, Charles P Allen Cheetahs 17:

On Sunday afternoon at Acadia, the Griffins got by the Cheetahs in a very tough battle.

“This was one of those games where both teams wanted it and it showed,” comments Griffins head coach Alec Hyndman. “It was one of the most battled games we played all season, and I expected nothing less from CPA.”

“They have one hell of a good team.”

The Cheetahs opened the scoring as Alex Bayne ran into the end zone on a 63 yard pass reception from quarterback Andrew Adams. Griffins Adam Melanson replied with a 1 yard run for a touchdown. Running back Robert Adams ran into the end zone for a 4 yard run to put the Griffins ahead at halftime 14-7.

In the second half, the Cheetahs responded back by scoring 10 straight points within the first six minutes of the third quarter. The Cheetahs took over the lead 17-14 as Chase Kodejs booted a 20 yard field goal while receiver Jordan Koch had a 65 yard punt return for the Cheetahs.

Again, the Griffins responded back as Adam Melanson had a one yard touchdown run and Robert Adams ran 65 yards for a score.

The top defense in the NSSAFFL went to work. The Griffins had four picks on the day which included ones by defensive end Jake Melanson, cornerback Alex Thomas and half back Danny Booth.

As for the Cheetahs defense, linebackers Taylor MacDonald and Dustin MacCallum led the way. MacDonald had four solo tackles and eight tackle assists. MacCallum registered four solo tackles and seven tackle assists.

Offensively, running back Louis Stephen had 124 rushing yards on 19 runs. Koch had 73 rushing yards on six runs for the Cheetahs in the loss.

Hyndman was pleased that all the hard work this week paid off for the Griffins.

“This week we worked like every quarter is the most important one,” says Hyndman. “We have gone hard all year, and the guys have really worked on the little things.”

There were a couple of key things that contributed to the Griffins success on Sunday.

“We had some guys really step up and that’s what you need to win the close games,” explains Hyndman. “We were really able to control the clock, which is what we want.”

Players and coaching staff on the Griffins played on emotion too. Quarterback Greg Brown’s 19 year old brother Jordan lost his long fought battle with cancer during last week’s quarterfinal game against the Prince Andrew Panthers. Greg and Jordan’s father, Norm is also a teacher at Horton.

“The team dedicated this game to Jordan Brown, and show we were there for Greg and the whole Brown family,” adds Hyndman. “It was emotional, I will remember this game for the rest of my life.”

With this win, the Griffins advance to the provincial finals for the first time since the team joined the NSSAFFL five years ago. Hyndman says there is an area the Griffins need to improve on come the championship game.

“We do need some more work on the penalties, that could cost the game next week,” comments Hyndman.

The Griffins are about to face the biggest test of their season against the defending provincial champions, the Phoenix. It won’t be an easy task.

“Now we have to do it one more time, and this will be the hardest game yet,” explains Hyndman. “Citadel is loaded with talent, and veterans who have played in these big games.”

While playing for the provincial championship is unfamiliar territory for the Griffins, Hyndman says the team will be up for the challenge.

“We have talent too and I know my guys are going to go hard, just like all year,” says Hyndman. “It’s going to be a busy week, but we will be ready.”

The Provincial Tier 1 NSSAFFL Championship Game between the Citadel Phoenix and the Horton Griffins will be played on Sunday November 27th at Saint Mary’s University Huskies Stadium. Kickoff is 1:00 pm.


Halifax West Warriors 50, Auburn Drive Eagles 0:

At Burnside Turf on Thursday evening, the Warriors cruised by the Eagles. Running back David Nesbit led the way for the Warriors as he scored three touchdowns in the game. Quarterback Scott Borden connected with Nesbit for a 5 yard catch. Additionally, Nesbit ran in for a 15 yard and a 35 yard touchdown score for the victors.

Allan MacLeod had a big game for the Warriors as he scored a touchdown on a 60 yard punt return. The free safety also caught a 20 yard touchdown pass from Borden. Running back Zack Sellars had a 15 yard touchdown run and Alex Reader kicked the ball throw into the end zone for a rouge.

Defensively, Kyle Harris had an interception which resulted in a 35 yard touchdown. Ricardo Garcia had a tackle in the end zone for a safety.

Warriors head coach Dave Kelly was impressed with the effort the players put forth on the field on Thursday.

“It was a hard fought game,” says Kelly. “Our defense executed and played well the entire game which gave the offense time to recover for a slow first half.”

“From the kick off through to the final whistle they stayed focused the entire game and committed physically to the task at hand.”

Kelly says that the team has achieved a major feat.

“Advancing to the tier 2 championship is an accomplishment considering the slow 1 win and 3 loss start to the season,” explains Kelly. “Coaches and players are one step away from finishing the journey that began back in August.”

Now the Warriors want to make the best of the opportunity to play in the Tier 2 NSAFFL championship game.

“Getting the chance to end the year on a winning note is always a plus,” comments Kelly. “This allows senior players to fill a sense of accomplishment and invigorates younger players with an “I can’t wait for next season” attitude.”

Lockview Dragons 41, John Hugh Gillis Royals 0:

At BurnsideTurf on Saturday evening, the Dragons thumped the Royals.

“A tough game at Burnside,” says Dragons head coach Mike Korecki. “Gillis plays a real hard style of football and they were prepared to stop the run on us, so we passed the ball.”

Wide receiver Brian Jones led the way with eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Daniel Mader had 27 carries for 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Corey Cann also rushed into the end zone for a score and Tim Hart added 5 singles for the victors.

The Dragons defense was led by Chad Wicks and linebacker Nick Gosse. Wicks registered three sacks while Gosse had two sacks and a block punt.

Korecki assesses his team’s effort on the field on Saturday.

“Brian Jones had a great day 3 TDs and in the first half, we also dropped some balls that would have opened the game up early,” explains Korecki. “Defense allowed one real play that hurt but it was great to see the defense pitch.”

The Dragons have had two back to back shutout victories in the Tier 2 NSSAFFL playoffs. However, they know that there is still some work left to do.

“Now we have to focus on the rest this week so it’s going to be busy,” adds Korecki.

The Tier 2 Championship game with Halifax West Warriors versus Lockview Dragons will be Saturday November 26th at Burnside Turf. Game time is 1:00 pm.

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NS: Finals Set in NSSAFFL Championships

The Citadel Phoenix will defend their Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) championship title next Sunday in Halifax against the Horton Griffins.Β  (more…)

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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