Junior Gryphons claim OPFL regional bantam title
HAMILTON – The Guelph Junior Gryphons captured the Ontario Provincial Football League’s Regional Rep. Bantam championship Sunday with a 39-14 victory over the Woodstock Wolverines at Tim Hortons Field.
The loss was the first of the season for Woodstock who had won all eight of their regular-season games, including a 26-14 win over the Junior Gryphs at Woodstock May 26. The Wolverines also won their two previous playoff games.
The Junior Gryphs were 6-2 in the regular season as they also suffered a 27-24 loss to the Clarington Knights to close the regular season. They rebounded from that setback to defeat the Toronto Jets 56-24 in the quarter-finals and the Orangeville Outlaws 28-0 in the semifinals.
Guelph led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Daniel Sarabura.
Woodstock tied it early in the second quarter on a TD for Reese Vandevyvere.
The Junior Gryphs regained the lead when Keyon Robinson caught a 16-yard TD pass from quarterback Tarik Pacha on a third-and-long play three and a half minutes after Woodstock’s TD.
The Wolverines grabbed their first lead of the game with two minutes to go in the first half when Logan Collins scampered 25 yards to the end zone on a broken play and Vandevyvere hauled down a two-point convert pass.
However, the Junior Gryphs were ahead 18-14 at halftime as Pacha tossed a 30-yard TD strike to Benjamin Cottrell on the final play of the half.
Pacha hit Cottrell on a 34-yard scoring play midway through the third quarter and Cottrell also scored a two-point convert on a run to extend the lead to 12 points.
Cottrell added another TD on a 94-yard run with five minutes to go in the game and Manuel Jean-Gaston kicked a convert.
Sarabura completed the scoring with a 20-yard TD run with just over a minute to play.
The Junior Gryphs also reached the league final last year, but were edged 25-23 by Orangeville.
- Guelph Sports Journal