After giving up six points on an early drive, the Sault Sabercats varsity team rode a solid defensive performance to a 35-6 win and remain unbeaten in Ontario Football Conference action.
The Sabercats traded touchdowns with the Hamilton Hurricanes in the opening moments of the game before shutting the Hurricanes down for much of the rest of the contest to improve to 3-0-1 in OFC action.
“The defence really stepped up,” said Sabercats coach Matt Premo. “They stepped up. I don’t know that we were prepared for their mobile quarterback. We made some adjustments after that first drive and they did a great job on offence after that. We held them to basically nothing on offence after that.”
Just 53 seconds in, Tyler Brechin caught a pass from Jordan Robinson-Wright and ran the ball in to give the Sabercats an early 6-0 lead.
Hamilton would get on the board as Keaghan Rehn caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Xavier Hamidu to tie the game at six.
The Sabercats Robinson-Wright hit Rob Wright for a 10-yard touchdown pass just under two minutes into the second quarter. With a convert by Gabe Spina, the Sabercats took a 13-6 lead.
The Sabercats would increase the lead thanks to a touchdown catch by Dylan Forsyth and subsequent convert by Spina with 4:06 to go in the half.
With 2:07 to go in the second quarter, Matthew Wheten caught a touchdown pass from Robinson-Wright. With a convert by Spina, the Sabercats took a 27-6 lead into the half.
The Sabercats got a single point on a 72-yard punt through the end zone by Tyler Brechin to make it 28-6 lead.
After getting the ball back on a turnover, Brechin caught a pass from Robinson-Wright for an eight-yard touchdown pass. With the convert, the Sabercats took a 35-6 lead midway through the third quarter.
Robinson-Wright finished the day with 196 yards passing and five touchdown passes in the game.
“He had a great game,” Premo said. “We can’t ask for more. He did a great job and we spread pretty good as well.”
Brechin caught five passes for 149 yards.
Rehn had 61 yards receiving for Hamilton.
Defensively for the Sabercats, Joe Rosso had four tackles.
Brandon Kremenjas had nine tackles for Hamilton.
Discipline was an issue at times in the game for the Sabercats and something the team will look to correct quickly.
“We had a ton of penalties,” Premo said. “We addressed it at halftime, we addressed it after the game, and we’ll address it this week at practice. It was bad. They (Hamilton) were talking and our guys were getting caught up in it. We have to understand that that’s not beneficial to the team. We have to do what’s right for the team and learn to walk away.”
The Sabercats return to action on June 15 at home against Chatham. Kickoff at Superior Heights is set for 4 p.m.