SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Waterwise Spartans capped a perfect season in impressive fashion.
The Spartans defeated the Charlottetown Privateers 39-6 in the Ed Hilton Bowl at Eric Johnston Field on Saturday afternoon. The Spartans, who lost last year’s final to the Cornwall Timberwolves, went 8-0 (won-lost) in the regular season and playoffs in the P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League.
“It feels great,” said Spartans head coach Brian Goguen in a post-game interview with the Journal Pioneer. “I’m proud of each and every player.
“We had 21 players and we made the call (Saturday) ‘21 Strong.’
“Every player contributed from the start to finish of the season, and it was because of the teamwork and effort they put in at practice and every single game and play.”
The Spartans, who took a 33-0 lead into halftime, were in control the entire game. Running back Kieran Arsenault scored all six Summerside touchdowns, led 33-0 at halftime. Ethan Gallant-Smith’s rushing touchdown on the game’s final play spoiled the Spartans’ shutout bid.
“I don’t know what to say about our defence,” said Goguen. “They are just incredible. From the first play of the game to the last play of the game, they never gave up.”
Arsenault and the Privateers’ Jared Watts were selected as players of the game. Although Arsenault was the star for the Spartans, he stressed it was a team accomplishment.
“Our team played hard all the way through,” said Arsenault, a Grade 9 student at Miscouche Consolidated School. “If someone got hurt, we had their back and we are all brothers on the field. We take care of each other.”
Goguen admitted Saturday’s wet and windy conditions, which included unseasonably mild temperatures, affected the play-calling.
“It was raining and the conditions were really tough, so we just pounded the ball on the ground,” said Goguen. “We knew we couldn’t throw much, but we did mix a couple of throws in.
“We knew we had the running game if we just played our positions and were physical.”
Arsenault, who admitted it was hard to hold onto the football, will graduate to the Summerside Clippers of the P.E.I Varsity Tackle Football League.
“It’s a great way to finish it off,” said Arsenault, referring to his bantam career. “I’m proud of the Spartans. We all played great.”