With a 29-17 victory over the Horton Griffins yesterday at Saint Mary's Huskies Stadium, the Phoenix won their fourth consecutive Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League Tier 1 Title. Reporter – Ameeta Vohra.
This caps off another great season for the Phoenix. The team did not suffer a defeat throughout the regular season (8-0-0) or the postseason (3-0-0). Overall, the team is undefeated in 36 consecutive games.
For the first time in this season's campaign, the Phoenix was introduced to Smash mouth Valley Football courtesy of the Griffins.
In the first quarter, the Griffins got on the scoreboard first. Kicker Loic Adam was successful on a 20 yard field goal attempt to put the Griffins up 3-0 at around the 10:30 mark.
However, the Phoenix responded in a big way.
Linebacker Matt Nettle rushed into the end zone for an eight yard run at 4:32 of the quarter. At the 2:35 minute mark, quarterback Derek Brown connected with league MVP and receiver A'dre Fraser for a 12 yard touchdown.
Video Interview with the Pheonix coach.
Video interview with the Horton Griffins coach.
The Griffins attempted a safety rather than kick it from their own end. However, it failed and the Phoenix gained two additional points from it.
However, the Phoenix lost the services of Fraser. At 7:11 of the second quarter, Fraser was injured when he was tackled on a punt return. As a result, Fraser could not play the rest of the game and it would impact the offensive game of the Phoenix.
Going into the half, the Phoenix had a 16-3 lead. They had to find a way to sustain the lead without one of their biggest offensive weapon. This meant someone had to step up offensively while the Phoenix defense had to work extra hard against the Griffins.
In the second half, the Phoenix got on the board first. At 8:09 of the third quarter, running back Ryan Kublek scored on a 40 yard touchdown run.
The Griffins responded back. League MVP and defensive back/full back Adam Melanson scored the team's first touchdown of the game at 4:06 of the quarter on a 17 yard run.
A surprise defensive player came up big for the Phoenix in the fourth quarter. Phoenix rookie defensive back Liam Connell intercepted Griffins pivot Greg Brown's pass and ran it into the end zone for a 35 yard touchdown score at the 11:24 mark. This put the Phoenix up 29-10.
The Griffins did not give up and competed until the end. With 44.1 seconds left of the game, defensive back/wide receiver Noel Morgan ran for 75 yards which resulted in a touchdown score. This was the final score of the game.
During the regular season, the Griffins were 7-0-1 and were tops in the Scotia Division. With losing in the championship game, the Griffins suffered not only their first loss of the regular season, but in the postseason as well (2-1-0). This was the first trip to the championship game for the Griffins since they joined the league five seasons ago.