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After upsetting the UNB Red Bombers 15-10 in a defensive showdown, only the juggernaut Dalhousie Tigers stand in the way of the Holland College Hurricanes capturing their fourth consecutive championship.
The battle for the Moosehead Cup, signifying Atlantic Football League supremacy, takes place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wickwire Field in Halifax.
“Last week we showed exactly what we’re capable of when we play 60 minutes of football,” said head coach Ross Young.
The experienced Tigers return to the championship game following a perfect season, overpowering their opponents at every turn. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, overcame adversity and steadily grew as a unit to earn a spot in this year’s finale.
“It’s a big task. We’re playing against a great football team over there, but I’m confident our players are up for it,” Young said.
Led with a strong aerial attack headlined by quarterback Nick Hunsley, the Tigers dominated competition in their seven games this season, defeating opponents by an average of 36 points. Despite what the numbers might suggest, the young Hurricanes are unfazed and ready for Saturday’s 60-minute slugfest.
“It’s a tremendous challenge, but it’s going to be a fun experience for them and we’re ready for it,” Young said.
The Hurricanes can build on the encouraging Week 4 effort against the Tigers, when they took a seven-point lead into the second quarter. Dalhousie ended up taking the game 49-8, but Holland College came away proving they’re capable of playing with the best.
If Holland College can sustain drives on offence and keep Hunsley on the bench, the Hurricanes have a chance at pulling off another upset.
“I have great confidence in our team and we’ll do everything possible to bring the championship back to our Island,” Young said. “But for us to have success we have to shut down Dalhousie’s passing game.”