During most of the first half of this game it looked like the Rive-Nord Sabercats just might be able to pull off another huge upset like they did a week earlier against the Rive-Sud Jr. Bruizers in the semi final game as they built up a 13-3 lead and appeared to be in control of the game. However, the Jr. Riders scored a TD just before the half time break, made some adjustments that let them dominate the play on the field in the second half and ended up winning 30-13.
After a ceremonial kickoff by the current QJFL president Paul Renaud, who was accompanied by past presidents Joe Pistilli and Don Stark, the Jr. Riders went on offense first starting from their own 35-yd line and with four quick plays got a first down at the Sabercats 41-yd line. On the two plays, though, they could only get one yard closer and Jonah Zlatinsky then attempted a 47-yd field goal. The kick was on target but just a couple of yards short and Jeff Guay was able to return the ball all the way back to the Jr. Riders 53-yd line.
After forcing the Sabercats to go two-and-out on the ensuing possession, the Jr. Riders then mounted their second offensive series of the game from their own 20-yd line and with a mixture of runs and passes got a first down at the Sabercats 26-yd line. After gaining five more yards on the next two plays, Zlatinsky redeemed himself with a perfect 28-yd field goal to give the home team a 3-0 lead.
After the teams exchanged punts, the Sabercats started their 3rd offensive series of the game from the Ottawa 43-yd line thanks to a 15-yd “no yard” penalty against the Jr. Riders on a punt return and three plays later they had a first down near the red zone. Anthony Muntu then three a 24-yd pass to Dynell Pierre in the end zone on the last play of the 1st quarter to put his team in front 7-3 (Joel Viel convert kick).
The two teams then exchanged a series of two-and-outs before the Sabercats went back on offense from their own 34-yd line. Using a mixture of runs and passes they got a first down at the Ottawa 25-yd line. After Guay gained three yards on a carry, Muntu threw a 22-yd TD pass to Hall Antoine to increase the Sabercats lead to 13-3 (convert kick blocked).
After another exchange of punts it looked like the 13-3 score would hold up until the half time break, especially after the Jr. Riders go the ball back on their own 26-yd line with only 40 seconds left on the game clock. Ottawa then executed three plays and on each one the Sabercats defense was assessed a major penalty, which gave the Jr. Riders a first down just a yard outside the end zone with 1Jr. Ridersfor a procedure penalty, the Jr. Riders then scored their first TD of the game when Alex Gauthier threw a 6-yd pass to Jaegar Prot to narrow the gap to 13-10 (Zlatinsky convert kick).
The 2nd half started with a series of two-and-outs by both teams until mid way through the 3rd quarter when the Sabercats lined up for a punt. Their kicker, however, wasn’t able to control the ball on the snap and was tackled by Liam Paquette at the 23-yd line. Ottawa offense then went on the field and on the next two plays, Jahdel Ferron carried the ball to the 1-yd line before Tyler Scott, who took over at the QB position, scored a TD on a QB sneak to give Ottawa a 17-3 lead that they would never relinquish.
Ottawa got the ball right back on the ensuing kickoff when they were able to make contact with it before it went outJr. Ridersafter, Zlatinsky added to the Jr. Riders defense continued to apply pressure and they forced the Sabercats to punt on the ensuing possession, letting the Ottawa team go back on offense starting from their own 39-yd line. They then executed an 8-play, 71-yd scoring drive, with seven of those plays being handoffs to Ferron, who finally got into the end zone from a yard out to widen the gap to 27-13.
The next offensive series by the Sabercats was cut short with an interception by Austin Mackay and after another exchange of punts, Zlatinsky finished the scoring with a 16-yd FG to make the final score 30-13.
At the end of the game, the following players were recognized for their outstanding performances:
The entire Sabercats team also presented a commemorative plaque to their head coach Pierre Fauvel who was retiring from amateur football after the game.
Past and present league presidents presenting the Joe Pistilli Cup to the Ottawa Jr. Riders team captain
A complete game summary and general stats are shown in the PDF document below.