By Sarah Seeley
Nov. 9, 2013
Charlottetown- The Summerside Spartans capped off their perfect season with a victory in the bantam championship as they defeated the Cumberland Wolfpack 60-35 in the Hilton Bowl Saturday night at the UPEI turf.
The Spartans struck first when running back Cameron Paynter returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
The Spartans were behind 16-14 near the end of the first quarter before they took control of the game. Summerside head coach John Turner said his team was not discouraged.
“We knew our offence could score.”
Spartans quarterback Jayden Reid was also optimistic.
“We really just kept our heads up.”
Paynter returned another kickoff back for a touchdown. The Spartans pulled ahead 22-16 and never looked back.
Paynter scored three more rushing touchdowns before the end of the game at distances of 80, 65 and 60 yards. Paynter’s championship performance was a continuation of his explosive talent from the whole season.
Summerside quarterback Jayden Reid found the end zone twice on 35 and 65 yard rushing plays. Reid said the linemen in front of him were the key to the success of the running game.
“It’s a team effort. The linemen are the backbone of our offence.”
Summerside’s Sebastian Roy-Garand was a workhorse for the Spartans, playing both offence and defence. He scored one 20-yard touchdown from a double reverse play and also kicked six extra points. On the defensive side of the football he intercepted Wolfpack quarterback Blake Thompson’s pass.
Turner said playing Roy-Garand on both sides of the football motivated the team.
“He seemed to spark the defence.”
Wolfpack running back Josh Sperry scored two majors for Amherst including three-yard and two-yard touchdowns.
The score was 54-16 for Summerside at halftime.
The Wolfpack offence picked up in the second half, but was unable to catch up to Summerside’s considerable lead. Running back Michael O’Brien scored a touchdown and receiver Jacob Hampel caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Thompson. Thompson also caught a touchdown of his own on a pass from Hampel in the fourth quarter.
When the final whistle blew, the Spartans were crowned Hilton Bowl champions. Cameron Paynter was awarded the Offensive Player of the Game and Cumberland’s Isaac Farrish won the Defensive Player of the Game.
Cumberland assistant coach Brian Sanderson said his team battled hard.
“Besides the second quarter it was a war, with lots of grit on both sides. We gave it everything we had and we are incredibly proud of our effort and are overjoyed with the result of our first season in football PEI.”
He also said the team looks forward to next season.
“We look forward to the opportunity to battle next year again for the Hilton Trophy, and hopefully even have an increased presence in the league.”
The Souris Wildcats won their sixth consecutive Potato Bowl title when they defeated the Summerside Cooke Clippers 28-0 on a snowy Saturday night at the UPEI turf.
On Souris’ first possession they fumbled the ball and it was scooped up by Summerside, but they could not put points on the board.
Wildcats receiver Tyler Rose gave Souris its first points of the game late in the first quarter on a 65-yard pass from quarterback Sean Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick said the pass was his defining moment in the game.
“That first touchdown was the biggest one.”
He also said the defence and the offensive line were the unsung heroes of the game.
“A big credit goes to the defence and the offensive line plays great all the time.”
The crowd erupted when Wildcats running back Jesse Campbell leaped into the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point was good making the score 14-0.
Summerside ran into trouble late in the second quarter and coughed up the football. Wildcats defender Tyler Rose recovered the fumble in the Clippers’ territory. Fitzpatrick led his team down the field and called his own number to score a goal line touchdown on the last play of the first half.
The score was 21-0 for Souris at halftime.
On the Wildcats’ first drive of the third quarter, they fumbled the football once again. Summerside recovered it, but was unable to score.
On the Souris’ next drive the Wildcats offence drove the ball down the field, leading to Alex MacDonald’s one-yard touchdown run. It was MacDonald’s first touchdown of the season and the last score of the game.
Wildcats head coach Steven MacPhee said each Potato Bowl was a different experience.
“Every year is a different group. They all want it so bad.”
He also said his team gave a great performance.
“They showed a lot of poise, talent, and skill.”
Sean Fitzpatrick was awarded the Offensive Player of the Game for his outstanding performance and Summerside’s Drew Bernard won the Defensive Player of the Game.
Despite the poor weather conditions, there was a large turnout and a high-spirited crowd.