A bend but not break defence and an offence that broke things open with a quick start to the second half meant a win for the Sault Steelers on Saturday night.
The Steelers improved to 3-3 on Saturday thanks to s 38-0 win over the Oakville Longhorns at Rocky DiPietro Field in Northern Football Conference action.
It was a game that saw the locals turn a 10-point lead at halftime into a convincing win after scoring in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
After a pair of catches by Ron Kelly got the Steelers to the Oakville five, Steve Hiiemaa punched the ball in to increase the Steelers lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. A convert by Brady Smith make the score 17-0.
“Ron Kelly, you can’t say enough about the guy,” said Steelers player/coach Brandon Lewis. “He’s a guy you’re happy to have out there and you want to get him the ball. He’s a game-changing player.
“(Quarterback) Darrell (Wood) did a great job with placement of the ball in the second half,” Lewis added, calling the early second half series “huge.”
An interception returned for a touchdown by Chris Solomon with 3:25 to go in the third quarter broke the game open further. The subsequent convert by Smith made the score 24-0 Steelers.
The Steelers took a 31-0 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 17-yard touchdown catch by Dalton Toppan and extra point from Smith.
Hiiemaa ran the ball in from five yards out with just over six minutes to go for his second touchdown of the night. Smith made the convert to make the score 38-0.
“Our offence came out in the second half and was aggressive, it was a different team,” Lewis said. “
A late first quarter field goal by Smith opened the scoring for the locals before Alonzo Clarke ran the ball in from 34 yards out to extend the Steelers lead with just over two minutes to go in the second quarter. With a convert by Smith, the Steelers led 10-0 heading into halftime.
Hiiemaa finished the day with 89 yards rushing on 17 carries.
“The kid is like a little pit bull,” Lewis said. “He just won’t stop.”
Clarke added 87 yards rushing on seven carries.
Kelly had 73 yards receiving on three catches for the Steelers.
Short bodies in the game due to various commitments, Lewis spoke of how the defence came together with some players playing out of position to fill in.
“The defence was for the most part lights out,” Lewis said. “We had a few moments where we bent but we recovered from that.
“The defence as a whole, it was a good effort,” Lewis added.
Ray Duplin had six tackles and a pair of interceptions for the Steelers while Justin Garton also had six tackles.
The Steelers return to action on July 6 at home against the Sarnia Imperials. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Rocky DiPietro Field.