John Abbott Islanders head to the championship game
PHOTO BY PAUL TZIMOPOULOS
Under the watchful gaze of an anxious crowd, the John Abbott Islanders went up against
Les Filons de Thetford this past Saturday to determine who would reach the Bol D’Or next
Friday, November 15.
The game began with a short kick out of bounds from Les Filons, providing ideal placement for the Islander offense. Mathieu Boudreau quickly took advantage of this, connecting with trusted running back Elijah Williams, for a 36-yard touchdown. Impressive plays like these have led them both to be recognized by the RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec) this season: Boudreau as all-star quarterback and Elijah Williams as the most valuable offensive player of the league.
Keeping the pressure on the home team, Thetford managed to get into the Isles’ end zone, closing the first quarter with a 7-7 tie.
As the second quarter began, the Islanders kept driving down the field. Fans cheered as
Antoine Beauchamp pummeled the Thetford quarterback and kept the Isles’ momentum moving forward. Unrelenting, the Islanders completed a 42-yard field goal.
As the clock ran down on the first half, the Islanders forced the Thetford offense to give up possession of the ball on a fumble, giving Troy Lendvay the opportunity to run for a 30-yard touchdown. The first half ended with a score of 17-7.
The beginning of the second half was filled with defensive power as the Abbott defensive line prevented any forward movement by the visitors, save for a single point. Ashton Miller-Mélançon and Jeremy Morin both contributed to this with an interception each.
After a slow beginning in the fourth quarter, the speed of the game picked up with a 52-yard run from Owen Burjarski, followed by a second interception by Ashton Miller- Mélançon.
First-year player Shawn Valentine slammed through the Thetford defense, scoring the final touchdown of the game. With this, the scoreboard flashed a victorious final score of 28-8.
Head Coach Patrick Gregory had nothing but good things to say about the team’s semi-final victory.
“We are very pleased by the effort from our group today,” he said. “I loved how we competed and battled. We set a physical tone from the start against a physical group. We stopped their run and forced turnovers on defense and I thought Troy's kicking and our special unit were game changers.”
This Friday, November 15, the Islanders will be playing in the championship for the third year in a row.
They will face the Lynx of Édouard-Montpetit for the Division 2 title in Thetford Mines.