Storm captures Division 2 title
By Mike Pearson, News staf
Mitchell Salisbury promised his mom he would score two touchdowns in Wednesday’s HWIAC division 2 football championship.
By the end of the afternoon, the Saltfleet Storm running back had four majors and 198 yards on 18 carries to pace his team to a 26-7 victory over the Ancaster Royals at McMaster University’s Les Prince Field. Ian Barnes Robinson added 94 rushing yards for the Storm.
Salisbury credited his offensive line for clearing the way for his big afternoon. After the Royals shut down Salisbury in Ancaster’s 22-19 regular season win, the Storm showed some new formations and blocking schemes to keep Ancaster’s defence off balance, especially in the second half.
“It was a great team effort,” Salisbury said after the game. “I was just following the blocking.”
Saltfleet ran all over the Royals for 313 yards. Ancaster was held to just 48 rushing yards.
After Ancaster opened the scoring on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Duffy to Brandon Easson, Salisbury capped an impressive drive with a six-yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed after a botched hold, giving Ancaster a 7-6 lead headed to the second half.
After nearly fumbling the second half kickoff, Saltfleet’s run game took control.
Salisbury’s second touchdown gave Saltfleet its first lead late in the third quarter at 12-7.
Ancaster appeared in position to regain the lead after driving into Saltfleet territory. But a costly unnecessary roughness penalty put the Royals out of scoring range, and they couldn’t get a sniff of the end zone for the rest of the day. After taking a hit and limping off the field in the third quarter, Duffy finished the game but couldn’t find success in the passing game. He finished with one touchdown and two interceptions.
After shredding the Ancaster defence for a third score from 37 yards, Salisbury brought Saltfleet fans to their feet a fourth time with an electrifying 61-yard sprint to the end zone in the game’s dying seconds.
For Salisbury, it was a great way to end his experience on the high school gridiron.
“It’s my last year, so it’s a good feeling to win,” said Salisbury.
Salisbury is slated to graduate next fall. But if everything goes his way in the offseason, he may see more of the McMaster field turf next season. He plans to apply to both McMaster and Western University.
Salisbury said the team was inspired by the play of wide receiver/slotback Sam Catterson who battled illness to play in the second half. He registered one catch for 17 yards.