CWOSSA football 2023

Bishop Mac edged out of CWOSSA football semifinal

BRANTFORD – The District 10 champion Bishop Macdonell Celtics were involved in another thriller as they tangled with the Assumption Lions of Brantford at the Brantford Bisons Alumni North Park Sports Complex in the CWOSSA football semifinals Thursday.

While the Celtics captured the D10 title with a last-minute touchdown last week, they saw their season come to an end when the host squad scored a TD with 12 seconds to go to claim a 31-24 victory.

While most of the points were scored in the first half, Assumption led 21-20 at the break, the excitement and pressure was turned up a notch in the final minute.

The Celtics tied the score at 24-24 with 52 seconds to go with a safety when Dimitri Grieb’s 30-yd field-goal attempt went wide.

Assumption’s winning drive took 40 seconds, the key play being a 61-yard pass from QB Tyson Kemp to Julian Yanez who made an over-the-shoulder catch before being stopped at Bishop Mac’s three-yard line.

On the following play Owen Townsend ran left and found his way into the endzone for the winning TD. Yanez kicked the convert.

The game had been a see-saw affair with neither team leading by more than a converted TD.

Assumption scored first as Kemp hit Zagham Syed with a seven-yard TD toss. Yanez added the convert.

Bishop Mac came back with Seth Nelson hauling in a pass from QB Alex Iacocca for a 67-yard catch-and-run scoring play. Grieb’s convert tied the score.

The Lions went ahead again on the first play of the second quarter when Kemp connected with Gabe Hamilton on a 25-yard pass for the TD. Yanez converted.

A 25-yard field goal for the Celtics by Grieb cut the gap to four points before Bishop Mac went ahead for the first time on a 15-yard touchdown run by Marco Piccioni. Grieb’s convert put BM up 17-14.

But Assumption regained the lead on another Kemp-to-Hamilton scoring play, this one covering 25. Yanez booted the convert.

A 22-yard field goal by Grieb late in the opening half allowed the Celtics to close to within a point of the Lions.

In the second half, the teams each had a field goal – Yanez for Assumption and Grieb for Bishop Mac – to set the stage for the last-minute excitement.

Laurel Heights Highlanders of Waterloo dropped the Resurrection Phoenix of Kitchener 29-3 at the Waterloo Warriors Field in Thursday’s other semifinal.

Assumption and Laurel Heights are to meet in Tuesday’s CWOSSA final at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium. Game time is 6 p.m.

The CWOSSA champ is to advance to take on the Northwestern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletics Association (NWOSSAA) champ in the OFSAA Football Bowl Series’ Northern Bowl Nov. 27 at 1 p.m. at Windsor’s Acumen Stadium.


  • Guelph Sports Journal