NSSAFFL preview week (2): Reigniting a Scotia Division rivalry

Later today in Tantallon, Nova Scotia, a Scotia Division rivalry will be reignited once again.

The Sir John A MacDonald Flames will host the Horton Griffins in a key division showdown.  Kickoff is 4:30pm.

Flames Head Coach Steve Majury is anticipating a tough battle but is looking forward to playing on their home field in front of the hometown crowd for the first time this season.

“This is a big game for us; it’s our first home game at Sir John A MacDonald in 2013 and our school is excited about our football team,” expressed Majury.  “We are ready for the challenge that Horton High will bring to us on Thursday and we expect a very physical football game.”

The last time these two teams met was October 1, 2011 when the Griffins extinguished the Flames 28-0.  While the rosters may be different, the rivalry is still the same.

Majury is anticipating a battle against their Wolfville opponents but said what the keys of success will be for the Flames.

“We expect Horton to be a tough opponent and we are eager to play,” assessed the Flames rookie Head Coach.  “They are well coached and have some very talented players.”

“We need to play Flames football which is physical in nature.  We need to execute at a high level and ensure we are disciplined in our assignments.  We need to control the line of scrimmage versus Horton and have a great day on special teams.”

The Flames will look for their offensive line to lead the team to success.  Players who will play a prominent role on the line include Patrick Logan, Brandon Snow, Tristan Williams, Gregor MacKellar, and Malcolm Anderson.

However, the Flames have set their sights on two parts of the Griffins game.

“We need a huge day from our defensive front seven of Donovan Blue, Scott Logan, Robie Holland, Josh DeGruchy, Mitch Janes, Zack Leger, and Jack Chiasson if we are to contain Horton running back Cam Davidson,” said Majury.  “Special Teams wise, we need to contain Horton’s return game so we need to be very disciplined in our lanes and make disciplined tackles.”

Cam Davidson 3

As for the Griffins, they are confident in their chances against their Scotia Division rival. However, the key for their success will ride on the leadership within the team’s core of players.

“We are going into this game looking to be crisp and sharp,” explained Griffins Head Coach Alec Hyndman.  “We are playing a very talented team and we know what it’s going to take to beat them on their home field.”

“With such a young team of four grade 12 starters, we need our veterans to step up.”

Four players that will hold the key to success will be running back Cam Davidson, Jacob Melanson, Duncan Hill and Brock O’Brien.  Additionally, Hyndman said a nucleus of rookies on the team will factor into their success.

“We are also looking for our rookies to keep working hard in Isaac Melanson (brother #3), Luke Oulton, Mike Oglivie, and Mackenzie Carr,” commented Hyndman.  “But we have had a focused week, and are ready to take on Sir John A.”

Hyndman added that travelling to play their opponents has been traditionally met with success.

“We always seem to play well on the road, and are looking for that to continue,” said the Griffins Head Coach.

Ultimately, this game could be decided on the field based one thing.

“I believe it may come down to special teams this week,” assessed Hyndman.  “We have spent a lot time fixing what we saw in Week 1.”

“Both of us can break one for six at any point.”

Not only do both teams realize the significance of the game on the Scotia Division standings, but also know how it could have an impact on future playoff implications.

“There are some tough teams in the Scotia Division and it’s going to take an almost perfect season to reach Tier 1 playoffs,” explained Hyndman.  “6-2 might not be good enough this year.”

“I think both teams realize that a loss here makes Tier 1 playoffs that much harder, and a win brings you that much closer.”

Overall, the Griffins are ready for the task at hand against their Scotia Division rivals.

“At the end of the day, my guys know this very important saying – losing is easy, winning is hard and we are ready to work hard,” said Hyndman.

The Sir John A MacDonald Flames will host the Horton Griffins on Thursday September 12, 2013.  Kickoff is 4:30pm.

Sir John A MacDonald Photo Credit:  Mark Kays

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