The day started with the Gold Tyke Matchup between the undefeated Golden Dogs hosting the Graiders. These two teams had great matchups during the season where we saw the Graiders continuously improve every game they played. As has been the case all year the Golden Dogs took an early lead with the shifty fast feet of Nate Sinclair finding his way through the crowd and breaking away for a long TD run. After Aden Dionne’s sure-footed kicked convert the Golden Dogs were in the lead 8 – 0.
But the Graiders came back very quickly driving down the field capped by a Yannick Madigan rushing TD. The convert was missed and the Graiders trailed 8 – 6. The defense held off the powerful Golden offense with some great tackling by Cole Bottoms-Cau and Zonna Osas and after yielding some field position the Graiders got the ball back in their own end. Another long drive saw Seth Hamilton break tackles and finally break away to give the Graiders the lead. After Corbin Jones’ successful kicked convert the lead was 14 – 8 Graiders at half time.
The second half featured some very tough defense by both teams with great tackling emerging from the game play. But sure enough Even Drinkwalter broke a tackle and found a seam to race for a TD to tie the game for the Golden Dogs. The defenses were very tough holding off the opponents for much of the second half, until the Graiders got stopped at the Golden’s 25 yard line decided to punt the ball and it sailed over the heads of Gold’s defenders, into the endzone and through the end line for a tie breaking single point. That point proved to be the eventual winner, but late in the game Corbin Jones extended the lead to 21 – 14 with a break away run of his own.
In Game 2 the Bantam Silver Championship saw the Graiders play the Golden Dogs in a game that displayed the successfull teachings of the Bulldogs advanced tackling techniques. Over the last couple of years the Bulldogs have set out to be leaders in teaching safe and effective blocking and tackling. Our summer programs saw almost zero concussions from player to player contact and tackling effectiveness was hugely improved. These teaching transferred to our fall program and this game demonstrated how effective tackling can be as exciting as lots of scoring.
Carter Tomlinson pounded the Grey offensive line forcing the offense to hurry and ensuring that mistakes would happen. Nathaniel Major, of the Gold team, had a huge defensive impact with an interception, forced fumble, batted ball, relentless quarterback pressure and tackle after tackle. Not to be outdone Caedan Carriere of the Grey team scored a quarterback sack, hit crushing tackles and made an offensive catch pulling a pile for extra yards. Ethan Estabrooks on the Gold team was playing quarterback, for an injured Owen Webb, and did an excellent job throwing the ball and handing it off after only two games at the signal caller’s position.
The Golden Dogs and Graiders fought to a 0 – 0 score with 1 play left in the game with the Graiders sitting on the Golden’s 15 yard line. The Graiders Tyler Mullan, their normal kicker was not in the game but Aiden Burke stepped up and kicked the convert to give his Graiders the 4 – 0 win. What a terrific game and finish that was.
Game 3 was the Tyke Silver Championship where the Black K-9s took on the Arctic Wolves. Both teams improved as the season progressed with the Black K-9s winning both the regular season games. But The Arctic Wolves Evan Wells was a secret weapon in hiding. When the coaches tried him as a ball carrier he improved quickly and suddenly found some success and became a very effective ball carrier. The game opened with the Black k-9s scoring first as Tommy Pipe took a counter play 60 yards to score his first TD ever!
The Arctic Wolves came back and despite a number of stops, the Black K-9s simply could not contain Evan Wells consistently and he scored 4 TDs. Despite some receoptions by Ethan Duquette and KJ Ferriera for the Black K-9s and some strong running by Erron Beachey, the Arctic defense kept them out of the endzone for the rest of the game. Arctic Wolves’ Angus Smith scored a TD as well in what turned out to the a 32 – 6 Arctic Wolves win.
Finally, in the Gold Bantam Championship matchup the Black K-9s found themselves in a game against the Arctic Wolves undefeated team. The Bantam division was very competitive and despite the Arctic Wolves undefeated season, it took overtime for them to earn their spot in the Gold Championship as the Graiders fought to a 16 – 16 tie in the semi-finals. It took overtime and a narrowly missed convert for Arctic to prevail in the 22 – 24 win.
The Black K-9s continued to improve and found some success with the screen game and kickoff return late in the season and it certainly showed in this game. In the opening drive the Arctic Wolves drove down the field and from the 20-yard line Jay-C Janveau took a pass from Alistair Bridges and scored. After also kicking the convert the Arctic Wolves were up 8 – 0.
The lead was short-lived as the Black K-9s ran some early trickery on the return seeing the ball get lateralled twice finally ending up in Xander Bagnell’s hand, where he was able to break tackles and race up the side line to score for the K-9s. Riley Brunet kicked the convert to tie the game at 8. Both teams realized that this was winnable by either team.
Later in the first half, after some defensive stops by both teams the Arctic Wolves hit paydirt again with a well-played pass by Bridges as he was being tackled, to Jay-C Janveau again finding the endzone. Up 16 – 8 the Arctic Wolves kicked off short and was recovered by Sierra Joseph to snuff out their onside attempt. The Black K-9s took advantage of the good field position and drove down the field to the 30 yard line. On 2nd down after some tough running by Martin Primeau on the outside, Ashton Gravelle took a counter play 30 yards to score the tying TD.
The Arctic Wolves were not done yet as they scored yet again before the half to move ahead 24 – 16. On the last play of the half, it looked like Bagnell was going to score again for the K-9s but was tackled at the 20-yard line. The second half featured some good stingy defensive play as the only points managed, for the most part, was a very important field goal by Arctic’s Jaxon Sheppard to put his team up 28 – 16. However, the Black K-9s were not finished and late in the game they put together a thrilling drive capped by a 40-yard pass and run by Bagnell where he broke several tackles to finally break free to score. With the score now 28 – 24 the Black K-9s chose to ask Riley Brunet to kick an onside kickoff.
He kicked the perfect onside kick the was very difficult to catch and it bounced off an Arctic returner recovered by a couple of Black k-9 players.
The Black K-9s drove down the field and ran out of time with 1 play left in the game with the ball on the 9-yard line. The choice was to attempt the field goal to tie the game and give everyone an exciting overtime to decide the winner. But as the kick went up, it hooked just inches wide of the uprights and the game ended in a 28 – 24 win for the Arctic Wolves.
All games were super exciting to watch and play as we saw heartbreaking moments mixed with exciting moments throughout the day. The kids got a great experience this year and it was refreshing to see so many smiles and happy faces.
Thank you, everyone, for a great 2016 BYTFL season and we look forward to seeing all of you in 2017!