© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Members of the Souris Wildcats celebrate their 20-15 win over the Summerside Clippers to take the Potato Bowl in the P.E.I Tackle Football League Varsity Division.
Brando Olivier’s kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was the final dagger stab as the Souris Wildcats defeated the Summerside Cooke Insurance Clippers 20-15 in the Potato Bowl championship Saturday in Charlottetown.
Souris now has won five straight P.E.I. Tackle Football League titles in the Varsity Division and this one, said Olivier, was one of the hardest. He’s been on three Wildcats title teams.
“Definitely tougher. An unreal game. Expected, for sure,’’ said the 18-year-old receiver. “It feels awesome.’’
Cold icy wind defined the game at MacAdam Field on the UPEI campus in front of over 150 spectators who braved the conditions.
Souris led 6-0 at halftime as passes were hard to come by in a stiff cross-breeze. But midway through the third quarter Summerside punched in the football for a touchdown and got the one-point conversion to make the score 7-6.
Then the fireworks began.
First, Souris receiver Matthew Birt hauled in a TD pass from quarterback Sean Fitzpatrick. Souris botched two-point conversion which made the score 12-7.
Summerside running back Adam Gallant took over in the late third and fourth quarters, churning out yards on the ground and helped drive the Clippers deep into Souris territory.
Gallant capped an early fourth-quarter Summerside drive with a touchdown after hauling a screen pass from Clippers QB Ryan Johnston. Summerside hit on the two-point convert for a 15-12 lead.
But Olivier took the subsequent kickoff around his 30-yard line, patiently set up his blocks and raced down the sideline for the go-ahead score. Souris converted the two-point attempt and had a 20-15 lead.
From there, Summerside’s next two drives ended in failed fourth-down attempts. Souris ran down the clock and ran into celebrations for its five-peat.
“We tried our best, but just came up short,’’ said Gallant. “I couldn’t be prouder of our guys. They came to play today. We just didn’t roll over.’’
In bantam division semifinal action on Saturday in Charlottetown, the Charlottetown Privateers thumped Cornwall Timberwolves 74-6 and earned a berth in the bantam championship game.
Privateers quarterback Colin Trewin led his squad in scoring with three rushing touchdowns and seven successful two-point PAT kicks.
Noah Lane, Jonathan Goyette and Stephen Macmillan each had two touchdowns for the Privateers, while Tyson Jesso added a single touchdown to round out the scoring for Charlottetown.
The Privateers led 36-0 at halftime.
Running back Joe Burey had the lone Timberwolves touchdown.
Charlottetown takes on Montague in the title game after the Vikings downed the Summerside Spartans 48-38 on Sunday in Summerside.
Sam Thompson and Jesse Campbell each had three rushing touchdowns for Montague while John-Ross Young had a single touchdown.
Running back Cameron Paynter scoring five of the Spartans’ six touchdowns in the contest.
Halftime score was 19-15 for Montague.
With the victory, the Vikings qualify for its first bantam championship in its first season in the league.
The title game is Saturday at 3:30 p.m., at MacAdam Field.