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Sarnia Sturgeon well represented at Sandy Ruckstuhl Memorial Cup

Published on

Jonathan Maillet
For The Journal

They may not have brought a banner home, but both the Sarnia Sturgeon Bantam and Varsity teams had a great showing at the Ontario Summer Football League (OSFL) provincial championships this past weekend at Alumni Field in Windsor. 

In the U14 AA final for the Sandy Ruckstuhl Memorial Cup, the Sturgeon Bantam would face the Quinte Skyhawks in a tight defensive game, Sunday afternoon. 

The team entered the playoffs off a loss, bringing their record to 5-2 for the season; they would avenge one of those losses by defeating U14 Peel Panthers in the semi-finals to face the Skyhawks. 

The first half was a back- and-forth affair, with both teams trading scores on their opening drives. But it would be the Skyhawks coming away with an 8-6 lead after the first quarter. 

Quinte would strike again with a touchdown in the second quarter for a 16-6 lead. The Sturgeon would answer, scoring back-to-back and taking a 20-16 lead into the half. 

The Sturgeon were held to a single point in the second half as the Skyhawks played a good shutdown defence. Quinte struck once in the fourth quarter to go up 24-21. Sarnia would make a late game drive, but ultimately the Skyhawks held on for the win. 

Cole Lucas was named the defensive MVP for Sarnia. 

In the 7 p.m. game, it would be the Sturgeon Varsity team making their second trip in as many years to the OSFL finals; they lost to Huronia last season, and this time, faced the U18 Sault Sabrecats. Both teams entered the finals undefeated on the season, with top rated defence and offence. 

Much like the Sturgeon Bantam game, this was a defensive battle between two top teams. The Sturgeon held the Sabrecats to just a field goal in their first drive. Sarnia would respond with a touchdown, but failed to convert the two points to lead 6-3. 

Sarnia would get two safeties to push the score to 10-3, before the Sault added a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter. They would miss the kick though, and the Sturgeon held a 10-9 lead heading into halftime. 

The second half would look similar to that of the U14 Bantam team, with the Sturgeon held to just one point. As the Sault Sabrecats picked up momentum, they never gave it back. The Sturgeon would give up two touchdowns, and despite some great drives, were unable to close the gap. The Sabrecats would go on to win 23-11. 

Brandon Faulds was named ‘Defensive Player of the Game’ for Sarnia.  

Five players from the Sarnia Sturgeon Varsity team were named to the OSFL All Star team: Quarterback Josh Foulis, wide- receiver Tyler Hopwood, center Cal Steel as well as defensive end Joey Edlington and linebacker Carter Grasse. 

Four of the Varsity players are also heading to play football for the Windsor Lancers next year: Foulis, Hopwood, Curtis Kendel and Mitchell Blais.

Four of the Sarnia Sturgeon U18 Varsity players are heading to play football for the Windsor Lancers next year: (from left) Josh Foulis, Curtis Kendel Mitchell Blais, and Tyler Hopwood. (Submitted photo)

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