OFSAA Football Bowl Recap (National Capital Bowl): Last second thriller goes in Crestwood’s favour after an ending nobody saw coming

In what was the finest game of the entire festival, the Crestwood Mustangs squeaked out a 19-18 victory over the Frontenac Falcons to take home the National Capital Bowl.

While there is an entire game to talk about, there’s no better place to start than the final quarter where madness ensued at Tim Hortons Field. With Crestwood sitting uncomfortably in front by just one point, Frontenac’s quarterback Brendan Steele threw his second touchdown strike of the game to Spencer Riley to pull ahead 18-13. The Falcons did their best to hold on tight, but with just 4:12 left on the clock, Crestwood’s star quarterback Ryan Astrom dashed to the corner of the end zone for his third touchdown on the day, putting the Mustangs ahead once again by a single point after a failed two point conversion.

With just over one minute remaining and Frontenac staring down a 19-18 deficit, they began their march for glory. After a beautiful sequence of plays set them up in field goal range, heartbreak would hang in the balance for each team as Frontenac lined up for the game winner. When the ball was kicked, the air was completely sucked out of the stadium, until finally the ball hit the upright and took a Mustangs’ bounce, preserving their National Capital Bowl victory.

“It’s honestly fresh out of a movie.” says Astrom. “I can’t believe it because he made a nice one earlier from something like the 35 yards, so you’d think that’s a chip shot, but any given day right, that’s football.”

It’s often an overused phrase, but truly no team deserved to lose in this battle. Steele put together a masterful performance going toe-to-toe with Astrom all night, eventually finishing with 315 yards and two touchdowns passes. His main target was Jacob MacGee who caught seven passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, while Aiden Foley was also active hauling in six passes for 77 yards.

It unfortunately wouldn’t be enough to match the Mustangs prowess, however, with Astrom finishing the game with 79 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just six carries, to go along with 180 yards passing on 9 completions. Dawson Puk was also a force on the ground gathering 60 yards on 7 carries, while Sidney Parkes made the most of his two receptions gaining 74 yards.

“We saw on film they had some holes, they like to drop their defensive backs deep leaving the flats open so we tried to do a lot of short passes.” Astrom explains. “We know we have some powerful running backs – Emerson DeCarlo, Dawson Puk, Landon Hartwick – they are powerful guys so we just wanted to give it to those guys up the middle and let them carry the team, and they did. The o-line did a great job, the whole offence was just in sync today.”

Puk made sure his presence was felt on defence as well making 6 tackles on the scoresheet, but from the press box it seemed like close to 20. On the other side of the ball, Frontenac was led by James McDonald who wrapped up 7 tackles.


Photo credit: Ryan McCabe

The win meant a little bit more for Astrom and the Mustangs, who knew history was not on their side heading into this matchup,

“We watched film on them all week, we knew who we were playing for two weeks. We had heard a lot about them and we were talking about five years ago it was the same matchup at the Rogers Centre and they spanked our team back then. We had beaten every single Kingston team that we had played except for them, so that makes it extra special.”

If every game could be like this one, nobody would want to miss the OFSAA Football Bowl Festival. The victory gives Crestwood their fourth OFSAA title in nine appearances, while Frontenac can still hold their head high knowing they did the legacy of their school proud in their 11th festival appearance.


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