Make it back-to-back bowl victories for the Korah Colts.
After winning city and Northern Ontario Secondary School Association (NOSSA) titles, the Colts won their second consecutive Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) bowl title on Thursday.
A quick lead early was the difference as the Colts held on for a 31-21 victory over the Holy Cross Hurricanes of Peterborough in the Northern Bowl, held at McMaster University.
The Colts got on the board early as Michael Nicoletta returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give Korah a 6-0 lead 14 seconds in.
Later in the opening quarter, with the Colts facing a third down, the Sault entry faked a punt and Tyler Brechin ran the ball to the Holy Cross 16 for a first down.
After a pass interference penalty brought the ball to the one, Brechin proceeded to run the ball in from the one on the next play to increase the Colts lead. The subsequent convert by Gaston Matilla gave Korah a 13-0 lead.
After Korah fumbled the ball deep in Holy Cross territory early in the second quarter, Aaron Keranen proceeded to recover a Holy Cross fumble on the Holy Cross 20 to get the Colts the ball back.
Zac Zeppa proceeded to run the ball in from eight yards out for another Colts major. With a convert by Matilla, Korah’s lead moved to 20-0.
On the kickoff, Brett Bjorgan ran the ball 81 yards to get Holy Cross on the board. With a convert from Hayden McIlmoyle, the Colts lead was cut to 20-7.
On a short kick, Holy Cross recovered the ball and Gabe Lemire caught a pass from Bjorgan for a 52-yard touchdown on the next play. A convert by McIlmoyle, the Colts lead was cut to 20-14.
With 1.7 seconds to go in the opening half, Jordan Robinson-Wright hit Noah Grasley for a touchdown. A penalty to the Colts negated the convert and Korah took a 26-14 lead into the half.
Holy Cross conceded a safety with just over six minutes to go in the third quarter, giving Korah a 28-14 lead.
Holy Cross cut the lead to 28-21 in the fourth quarter thanks to a touchdown by Bjorgan and convert by McIlmoyle midway through the quarter. Lemire hit Bjorgan on an eight-yard pass for the major.
A 10-yard field goal by Matilla with 42.5 seconds to go sealed the win for the Colts.
The Colts run game was in working order in the win as the team ran for 215 yards on 34 carries as a group.
Brechin led the way with 78 yards rushing on 11 carries while Zeppa ran for 66 yards, also on 11 carries.
Grasley had 64 yards rushing on 11 carries while also catching a pair of passes from Robinson-Wright for 30 yards total and was named the most valuable player of the game.
Colton Smithers caught a pass for 41 yards.
Robinson-Wright finished the day 5-for-11 passing for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively for Korah, Jacob Jurich had seven tackles.
Lemire ran the ball 11 times for 37 yards for Holy Cross in addition to his touchdown catch.
Bjorgan caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown while also running the ball 11 times for 33 yards.
Lemire finished the day 8-for-16 at quarterback, throwing for 74 yards while Bjorgan’s lone completion in two pass attempts was his touchdown toss to Lemire.
Defensively for Holy Cross, Lemire had seven tackles.
It’s the second straight OFSAA bowl win for the Colts, who won the National Capital Bowl one year ago thanks to a 45-12 win over St. Peters of Orleans, Ont.
The game marked the first OFSAA bowl game for Holy Cross.
The Hurricanes advanced to the Northern Bowl thanks to a 61-14 win over Centennial Secondary School of Belleville in the Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association final on Nov. 13.
Holy Cross posted a 5-1 regular season record before picking up a 42-14 semifinal win over the Adam Scott Lions and then beating Thomas A. Stewart Griffins 36-13 in the city final.
The Griffins handed Holy Cross its lone loss during regular season action.