NS: Round One NSSAFFL Playoffs Review

Round one of the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL)playoffs is in the books.
The Citadel Phoenix passed its first test in defence of their title with a win over the Cobequid Education Cougars. Meanwhile, third time was definitely the charm as the Horton Griffins defeated the Prince Andrew Panthers to win their first playoff round at home in three tries.

Even in high winds and rains, the Charles P Allen Cheetahs were able to take out last year’s provincial runner-ups, the Sir John A MacDonald Flames. Also, the Dartmouth High Spartans battled the elements and defeated Sackville High Kingfishers.

In Tier two playoffs, the John Hugh Gillis Royals got by the Avon View Avalanche while the Halifax West Warriors won in a blowout over the JL Ilsley Judges. The Lockview Dragons trounced the Cole Harbour Cavaliers.

Now starts the semifinal rounds this upcoming weekend. In the Tier one playoffs, the Phoenix will take on the Spartans in Halifax while the Griffins will host the Cheetahs at Acadia. As for Tier 2, the Warriors will play Auburn Drive Eagles while the Royals will take on the Dragons in the other match.

Here are the results from all of the round one NSSAFFL playoff games:

TIER ONE RESULTS:

Citadel Phoenix 31, Cobequid Education Centre Cougars 14:

The Phoenix is rising towards another title and they are showing no signs of slowing down. On Sunday afternoon at Saint Mary’s Huskies Stadium, the dynamic duo came up big once again in a tight game against the Cougars.

“The final score was not indicative of the game as it was very tight competition from the opening kickoff,” comments Phoenix head coach Jeff Lawley after the win. “CEC presented a big challenge for our team.”

Phoenix quarterback Derek Brown threw two rushing touchdowns as well as two passing touchdowns. Additionally, Brownhad 297 total yards on the day. Wide receiver A’dre Fraser scored two touchdowns and had 219 yards. Ian Miller had a big game for the Phoenix as he had six catches for 130 yards.

Defensively for the Phoenix, Nick Rhodenizer and Drew MacDonald played a big role. Rhodenizer had eight tackles (one which was for a loss), a fumble recovery and a pass deflection. MacDonald had eight tackles and one interception.

Asked what went wrong in the game against the Phoenix, Cougars head coach Scott Annand says it came down to inconsistency by the team.

“CEC inconsistent effort executing offensively and defensively,” explains Annand. “Poor tackling extended Citadel drives and led to big scoring plays.”

For the Cougars, linebacker Derek Naugler was stellar in the loss. Naugler registered 12 solo tackles for the team.

“Quarterback Gab Bagnell showed that the future Cougars could be contenders as they continue to rebuild,” adds Cougars head coach Scott Annand.

Next up for the Phoenix is a date with the Spartans on November 20th at Saint Mary’s Huskies Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.

“We are very pleased to be moving on to round 2 and CEC should be very proud of theirprogram,” comments Lawley.

Horton Griffins 61, Prince Andrew Panthers 21:

At Acadia on Sunday afternoon, third time was the lucky charm for the Griffins as they won their first home playoff game in three tries . It was also the team’s first win in their five year history of being in the NSSAFFL at the expense of the Panthers.

We came out firing,” says Griffins head coach Alec Hyndman. “The guys were ready and were relentless on both sides of the ball.”

Robert Adams had a big day for the victors. The Griffins running back rushed into the end zone for three touchdowns. He also tackled Panthers Andrew Klain for a safety. Quarterback Greg Brown threw touchdown passes to Noel Morgan and Mike Boylen. Adam Melanson also threw a touchdown to Morgan in the win. Additionally, Zack Gouthro rushed into the end zone for the Griffins.

Overall, the Griffins scored three pass touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns during the game.

“A lot of teams have been going 8 in the box against us, in an attempt to slow down our running game, so we have worked extra hard on our passing game, and it shows,” comments Hyndman. “I was very happy with the overall feel of the game.”

Kicker Loic Adam was successful on a 30 yard field goal attempt. Defensively for the Griffins, Morgan had a touchdown on an interception return. Alex Thomas and Brandon Whitman also had interceptions for the team.

“On D we had an outstanding day with four picks, and one for a TD,” adds Hyndman.

As for the Panthers, Dylan Cossar scored a touchdown on a kickoff return. Quarterback RIley Potter connected twice with Andre Peach for two touchdowns late in the game. Defensively for the Panthers, Andrew Klain had an interception.

“We quite simply played a team that was very good and deserved to move on,” comments Panthers head coach Joe Flemming. “We had a couple of defensive breakdowns, but I think the deciding factor, is that our offence struggled to get momentum, and unfortunately, that lack of momentum kept our defence on the field for far too long against a very powerful Horton offense.”

At the half, the Griffins built up a 49-7 lead and never looked back.

“Horton had us pinned down quite early, and some would say we probably should
have run the clock,” says Flemming who has a lot of respect for the Griffins coaching staff.

The Panthers head coach says that the Griffins “graciously offered” for them to run down the clock. While the team understood and respected the intent of the offer, the Panthers did not back down. Flemming says that with it being playoffs the coaching staff teaches the players to play a full effort for four quarters.

“We were either going to win, or, if we find ourselves on the losing end, we were going to try and wear down whoever we played in order to make it as tough as possible for them in the next round,” explains Flemming. “In my opinion, that’s the spoiler role of the teams who don’t advance.”

“I can’t speak for other teams, but if you’re playing PA, as long as there’s good, safe football being played, you’re playing us for 60 minutes.”

Flemming says that he is proud of how hard and clean the team played this season and is looking forward to next season.

“I’m excited to hit the field with a new group next year,” says Flemming. “Our grade 12’s have built a great foundation.”

Meanwhile, the Griffins will be playing next week with heavy hearts. Quarterback Greg Brown’s 19 year old brother Jordan lost his long fought battle with cancer while the game was being played. As the Griffins prepare for their next game, they will be rallying around the Brown family during this difficult time.

The team will wear “JB” patches on their uniforms to show their support at Sunday’s game. Hyndman says that Brown’s father Norm (who’s a teacher at the school), has confirmed the quarterback will be in the lineup but the team is giving him as much time as he needs to deal with this tragic loss.

Now the Griffins must face the Cheetahs in the semifinals. The game will be at Raymond Field at Acadia on November 20th. Game time is 1:00 pm.

Charles P Allen Cheetahs 47, Sir John A MacDonald Flames 15:

On Friday afternoon, the Cheetahs withstood rain and high winds at Burnside Turf, to extinguish the Flames. At the half, the team led 22-0 over last year’s provincial runners-up.

Receiver Jordan Koch and running back Louis Stephen led the way for the Cheetahs. Stephens rushed in the end zone twice while Koch caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Adams and ran into the zone for another score. Dustin MacCallum also scored for the victors.

Kicker Chase Kodejs was successful on a field goal attempt and on three one point conversions. On defense, Alex Bayne had an interception which resulted in a touchdown. Defensiveback Riley Jenkins also had an interception for the Cheetahs. Linebacker Taylor MacDonald had five tackles while MacCallum had four. Defensive lineman Jay Hachey contributed with two sacks during the game for the Cheetahs.

The Cheetahs will now travel to Acadia on November 20th to face the Griffins. The game is slated for 1:00 pm at Raymond Field.

Dartmouth High Spartans 43, Sackville High Kingfishers 6:

Another game that was played in bad weather conditions on Friday evening at Burnside Turf. The Spartans prevailed in a big way over the Kingfishers.

Spartans quarterback Cody Cluett threw for four touchdowns and had 316 passing yards to lead the team to victory. Wide receiver Shivase Reddick scored two touchdowns while slotback Ashton Slawter, running back Julien Rogers, receiver De’Shawn States and full back/safety Jacob Moore each had a touchdown for the winners.

As for the Kingfishers, fullback Drew Alexander scored a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Taylor Pertus. The injury bug affected the team as receiver Evan Acosta, quarterback Connor Leblanc, offensive/defensive lineman Kyle MacDonald and offensive lineman Justin Manuel got injured during the game. While Alexander and running back Dustin Brogaard were successful at running the ball down the field, it wasn’t enough.

“Our kids played hard and were in the game but four key injuries took us out of the game,” adds Kingfishers head coach Joe Simatovic. “We were not deep enough to overcome these injuries and they were better than us.”

Spartans head coach Mike Cosgrove likes what he saw from the Kingfishers on the field and knows they will only get better.

“They ran the ball really well.,” comments Cosgrove. “We know they are a young team, so I would expect them to improve next year.”

“Although the score was 43-6 they played us hard.”

Simatovic gives full props to the Kingfisher’s opponents.

“We ran across a very athletic team that deserved to advance,” says Simatovic. “Congrats to Dartmouth and good luck to them as they have a tough road ahead.”

As Simatovic alluded to, the Spartans are about to face the toughest task of the playoffs. Spartans head coach Mike Cosgrove knows that too. While he is proud his team, there is still more work to be done to prepare for their next game.

“We need to clean up a few things and keep improving, but the guys played well, and they have worked hard to get here,” says Cosgrove. “We have a real tough game ahead against Citadel.”

The Spartans face the defending provincial champions, the Phoenix on November 20th at Saint Mary’s Huskies Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm.

TIER TWO RESULTS:

Halifax West Warriors 57, JL Ilsley Judges 0:

At Mainland Commons on Saturday afternoon, the Warriors crushed the Judges.

Warriors quarterback Scott Borden had four touchdowns passes in the victory. Running back Zack Sellars rushed for 103 yards and two majors while David Nesbit rushed in for two touchdowns and caught another one.

Receivers also figured prominently on the score sheet. Kyle Harris connected with Borden for two touchdowns while Allan MacLeod scored a major. Defensively, Luke Byrne had a big day as he registered six tackles, one interception and one sack for the Warriors.

With the win, the Warriors advance to round two where they will face the Auburn Drive Eagles. The game is slated for Thursday November 17th at Burnside Turf. Start time is 6:00 pm.

John Hugh Gillis Royals 42, Avon View Avalanche 30:

On Saturday afternoon in Antigonish, the Royals prevailed over the Avalanche.

For the Avalanche, running back J.P. Primeau scored all of the team’s majors. This included two rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown and a blocked punt recovery score. On defense, A.J Whitehead led the team with eight tackles and Dan Snow had two sacks in a losing cause.

Statistics were not available at press time for the Royals; however, Avalanche head coach Rory Campbell says that defensive end David Bond could not be contained in the game.

The Royals will now face the Lockview Dragons in the Tier two semifinals on November 19th at 6:00 pm. The site of the game is Burnside Turf.

Lockview Dragons 61, Cole Harbour Cavaliers 0:

On Sunday afternoon, the Dragons crushed the Cavaliers to advance to the next round of the Tier two playoffs. No game statistics were available at press time.

Next up for the Dragons are the Royals and this game will be played on November 19th at Burnside Turf. Game time is 6:00 pm.

(Photos courtesy of Joe Chrvala of Cheetahs Football)
(website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jchrvala)

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NS: Round One NSSAFFL Playoffs Review

Round one of the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL)playoffs is in the books.   (more…)

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply