Late game turnover by Westdale helps Sherwood come back
By Mark Newman, News Staff
Ryan Duguay scored a hard-fought nine-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter to help the Sherwood Saints to a 12-9 come-from-behind victory over Westdale in the Hamilton public high school Division 1 junior football final at Ivor Wynne Stadium this afternoon (Friday).
It was Sherwood’s third junior football title in a row after capturing the Division 2 crown the previous two seasons.
“I knew my blocks were going to be there for me,” said Duguay, who took a pitch from quarterback Zack Howard and swept to his left.
Jeff Beattie kicked the convert.
“I’m really so proud of my guys,” said Sherwood head coach Steve Green. “They played with heart the whole time and never gave up.”
Westdale had a 9-5 lead heading into the final two minutes of the game and were moving out of their end when the ball sprang lose and the Saints recovered it on the Warriors’ 44-yard line.
Westdale quarterback Joel Collins claimed he was down when the ball popped out of his hands.
Swarming defensive units on both teams forced many two-and-out series.
The Saints offence featured almost constant backfield motion and frequent use of the wildcat formation where the ball was snapped directly to the running back.
“We know how great of a team Westdale is and how tough they are on defence,” Green said. “We thought we needed to throw everything at them and get them thinking.”
Westdale opened the scoring with a safety with 3:41 remaining in the first quarter.
On second and 10 from their own one yard line the Saints fumbled the snap and the ball carrier was tackled in the end zone.
Beattie’s 25 yard field goal attempt went wide left for a single point with about three minutes left in the second quarter.
Beattie hit on a 15-yard try nearly two minutes later to give Sherwood a 4-2 lead at half-time.
Westdale took an 8-4 lead with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter when Collins found Christian Sirko in the end zone on a 15-yard pass for a major.
The single point convert try was no good.
Collins added a 45-yard single for the Warriors about three minutes later.
Zach Hobers punted a 46-yard single for Sherwood early in the fourth quarter.
Green said he expects to lose about half of his players to senior football next season.