OFSAA Football Bowl Recap (Golden Horseshoe Bowl): #CFC50 Nelson earn their first OFSAA title since 2011 and fifth in school history

Feature photo credit: Ryan McCabe

It took four long years, but the #CFC50 Nelson Lords can finally call themselves OFSAA champions once again after defeating the #CFC50 St. Marcellinus Spirit 27-6 in the Golden Horseshoe Bowl.

This game could have been much closer had a few plays gone the Spirit’s way, but with a desire to end the drought that has plagued their school since 2011, Nelson was simply the better team on this day

After taking some time to size each other up, the Lords opened the scoring with 25 seconds left in the first quarter on a Robbie Walker touchdown that capped off a lengthy drive. They added onto their point total midway through the second quarter on a 28 yard field goal by A. J. Shofield to extend their lead to 10-0.

This then led to what might have been the turning point of the game. With St. Marcellinus still moving the ball with confidence after the Shofield field goal, a sequence of three plays would be a microcosm for how the day would go for the Spirit. First, star running back Kevin Wong made a mad dash to the end zone, only to see laundry fly and the play called back on a penalty. That miscue was closely followed by a beautiful passing play that ended with the ball bouncing off the turf in the end zone, leaving the Spirit with no option but to settle for a field goal. Their fortunes wouldn’t turn there, however, as the kick sailed wide and St. Marcellinus walked away with nothing to show for their efforts.

On the contrary, the football Gods were shining down on Nelson late in the second quarter. On a crazy sequence that was just as hard to follow live as it is to describe in writing, Will Corby managed to recover a fumble by his teammate Evan Catania and slip by the rest of the defenders untouched for a touchdown, giving Nelson a definitive 17-0 lead going into halftime.

St. Marcellinus never rolled over despite longs odds facing the vaunted Nelson defence, but two field goals by Christopher Micelli would be all they could manage by the time the final whistle blew. Shofield would add another field goal midway through the final quarter to give Nelson a 20-6 lead, then just for good measure, grade 10 standout Zach Ihasz scored from 14 yards out to help secure a 27-6 decision.

“I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now.” says Lords’ defensive standout, Ethan Rolle. “We watched game film on them, but honestly we didn’t know much about them before this game. They came out here and they put up a good fight. We definitely cracked down on all their plays, we knew what they were doing, we executed and came away with the W.”

It took an all around team effort to get the job done, with Quinn Pritchard carrying the rock 22 times for 99 yards, Michael Lehmann catching eight passes for 74 yards, while on defence both Mitchell Unwin and Ryk Vanderpol recorded five tackles. Possibly the most impressive performance was from 6’4” quarterback Jared Currie, who showed great poise completing 79% of his passes for 175 yards.

Overshadowed in the loss will be a gutsy effort by Wong, who finished with 157 yards on 11 carries, and he certainly would have had more if the Spirit had stayed disciplined. Also having a big game for St. Marcellinus was Eric Colanna who racked up a game high seven tackles.

After waiting a long time to recapture OFSAA glory, the Lords may not have to wait very long until they raise another banner. Led by young guns Lehmann and Ihasz, Nelson is set to have over 20 players return next fall to do it all over again, so don’t be surprised if we are talking about back-to-back OFSAA titles at the same time next year.


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