It was a chilly day at the Steve Omischl Sports Complex but that did not stop the West Ferris Trojans offense from a scorching start as the locals upset the unbeaten Korah Colts 25-24 to capture the NOSSA championship Saturday afternoon.
With the score 24-24 in the fourth quarter, Trojans punter Mason Stanfield kicked a rouge which ended up being the difference as the offence on both sides stalled in the fourth quarter as the temperature dropped below zero.
The opening play of the game, which Quarterback Mason McGrisken called “the biggest play of the game” was a kickoff return of 90 yards by Brayden Campbell. The result of such a play was a short rushing touchdown by Ryan McColeman to give West Ferris an early 7-0 lead.
That would be it for the Trojans in the first quarter as the Korah Colts defence held them at bay. The Colts offense however came alive, scoring on their first drive of the game to make it 7-7. The Trojans defence conceded a safety midway through the quarter to give the Colts a 9-5 lead.
From there it would look to only get worse for West Ferris as in the final minutes of the first, the Colts would take a 16-7 lead.
The Trojans turned it back on in the second quarter as Ryan McColeman scored on a 5-yard rush to put the score at 16-14. The next possession for West Ferris resulted in a passing play from McGrisken to James Piper to give the Trojans the 21-16 lead.
Looking for more, West Ferris made it to the 5-yard line but a fumble by McColeman gave possession back to Korah. The Colts, however, could do nothing against the strong Trojans defence core and went 3 and out giving possession back to West Ferris who turned it into a 3 point field goal, the score 24-16.
All told the second quarter ended with West Ferris outscoring Korah 17-0.
A lengthy injury stoppage ended the first half of the game where after a play a Korah player laid on the field as they teams waited for an ambulance to arrive. All told, the Colts lost Caleb Patteri to what looked like an ankle injury.
Patteri who was named the “offensive player of the year” in the Sault Ste Marie High School Senior Football League, would not return to the game.
The third quarter started with a fumble by the Trojans on the 30-yard line in their first possession of the half, which in turn lead to a Colts touchdown by Darian Belkosky. The Colts gambled with a two-point conversion and were successful, tying the game at 24 early in the third.
The quarterback for Korah, Jordan Robinson-Wright, threw a 30-yard pass to Matt Jackson for a touchdown, which would have given the Colts a 31-24 lead, but was nullified by a penalty which would prove costly for the Colts.
On the Trojans next possession, they would go 3 and out, however kicker for West Ferris, Mason Stanfield would punt the ball into Korah’s end zone, resulting in a rouge to give the Trojans a 25-24 lead.
“Mason Stanfield had a slow start for us in the city final, and people wondered if we were going to change him, but he was our guy and he boots that one into the end zone and it turned out to be the difference,” said Trojans head coach Mark Robertson
The offense would dry up from there, to which many in attendance attributed to the injury delay at the end of the second quarter.
“We definitely had momentum at the end of the second quarter. It certainly took the wind out of sails, but there is nothing you can do about it.” Robertson said post game.
The Trojans defence would hold on and keep the score 25-24 giving West Ferris their second NOSSA title in 4 years, the last coming in 2013.
“We were not looking past the Soo for one second, and we are going to enjoy this and figure out logistics next week.” Robertson would say on his teams preparation for the upcoming possibilities.
The Trojans will pack up and head to the Northern Bowl at the end of the month as they will clash with the Thunder Bay champions for the bowl title.
Story by Kortney Kenney