SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Cooke Insurance Clippers used another dominating performance in making franchise history.
The Clippers trimmed the Cornwall Timberwolves 60-8 in the Papa John’s P.E.I. Varsity Tackle Football League championship game before a big crowd at Eric Johnston Field on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s special that it’s the first time we’ve ever won the Potato Bowl on our home field,” emphasized Clippers head coach John Turner. “For me, it’s pretty special because it will be the last time coaching all three of my sons (Owen, Charlie and Finn) on the same team.”
Overall, the Clippers went 6-0 (won-lost) overall.
“It was probably the best well-balanced team we’ve ever had,” said Turner. “This group of players came focused on game day, and they executed the game plan to a T. What can you say?
“All year, our defence played great all year, I think we gave up 17 points and our offence turned the ball over once. That’s what it comes down to for these games in November. When you are not sure what the weather will be like, you have to play defence and not turn the ball over.”
After counting a rouge – single point – on the opening kickoff, the Potato Bowl’s offensive player of the game, Cole Adams, scored a rushing touchdown to get the Clippers off and running. Caleb Dawson then rushed into the end zone on the two-point conversion.
“Cole Adams is a great running back,” said Turner. “He can beat you with speed, but he can run over you too.
“The O-line blocked well, and we ran the football like we wanted to.”
Dawson scored on a 20-yard end-around, and Dawson’s kicking convert was successful. The score remained 16-0 until the last minute of the second quarter, when Adams raced for a 70-yard rushing touchdown – a play Turner described as the game’s turning point – to send Summerside into halftime ahead 23-0.
“We were just trying to run out the clock before the half as we were going into the wind, and wanted to go into the half with our two-touchdown lead,” said Turner. “Cole made that unbelievable run, breaking all those tackles, and giving us that bit of a cushion. You might score two on our D, but not three touchdowns.”
Summerside continued to roll offensively in the second half. Adams scored on a 20-yard toss play, and Blake Jurkowski had a 40-yard punt return touchdown.
A 50-yard pass play from Lucas Banman to Parker Newson accounted for the Timberwolves’ lone scoring play. Banman ran for the two-point conversion to make it 46-8.
Quarterback Owen Turner scored on a 20-yard scramble, and then Dawson kicked a 37-yard field goal.
“It was the first field goal in my nine years of coaching,” said Turner. “Usually, we just go for it, but Caleb has a big leg, and he showed it.”
Turner registered his second touchdown on a 35-yard run, and back-up quarterback Nic Gunning hit wide receiver Parker Cameron for a 20-yard catch to close out the scoring.
Danielle MacDonald of the Timberwolves (3-3), was named the Potato Bowl’s defensive player of the game.
Turner acknowledged the work of his longtime defensive co-ordinators, Brian Doucet and Jeff MacDonald.
“Defence wins you championships,” said Turner. “If you look at any of our championships, whether it was in bantam or varsity, we had a great defence on all those teams.”
Recent Potato Bowl champions:
2017 – Summerside Clippers.
2016 – Summerside Clippers.
2015 – Summerside Clippers.
2014 – Charlottetown Privateers.
2013 – Souris Wildcats.
2012 – Souris Wildcats.
2011 – Souris Wildcats.
2010 – Souris Wildcats.