The St. Ignatius Falcons’ grip on the Thunder Bay Senior High School Football Championship remains intact. Now they want to break the tie in their performance at the OFSAA Bowl.
Tyler Robertson’s touchdown in the third quarter proved to be the difference in a defensive battle as the St. Ignatius Falcons beat the Hammarskjold Vikings 10-7 to claim the Superior Secondary School Athletic Association senior football title. Saturday, winning a division in the Viking / The Falcons Rivalry.
Earlier on Saturday, the Hammarskjold juniors knocked down the Falcons, 15-7, in their final.
Saint-Ignace has now won five of the city’s last seven crowns (the 2020 season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The Falcons will travel to face the Algonquin Barons of North Bay or the Colts Korah of Sault Ste. Marie in a bowl game on November 20 to end their senior season. Algonquin will meet Korah for the Northern Crown on Saturday.
The Football Bowls Festival has been moved from Queens University to single-site venues this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Falcons are 2-2 in their last four trips to OFSAA meetings, winning their last two in 2018 and 2016.
“I feel amazing. It’s really good to get the win, ”said Robertson, who ran for 144 yards and won offensive player of the game honors for the Falcons.
“It was working in the first quarter,” Robertson said of the move. “No matter what works, we’ll go with it. It’s good for me.”
There was only one game to score in the first half of the senior final. Rob Hathazi kicked a 29-yard field goal at 6:51 of the second quarter to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead.
Early in the third quarter, AJ Tshilombo blocked a Hammarskjold punt. Robertson took full advantage of the resulting field position, closing a 27-yard rush with a two-yard-for-six dive and Hathazi converted to increase the lead to 10.
St. Ignatius head coach Jason Moore made good use of his all-star backer in the first part of the game.
“We knew he would be targeted this week,” Moore said of Robertson. “We tried to spread it out, to get everyone out of the box as much as we could, which we did in the first half. And then we took him home. “
Hammarskjold has beaten St. Ignatius twice in the regular season. All games were low scoring – the total points scored in those games was 34. Moore was planning another low scoring contest.
“It is an engine of daring. We just fought through it all. The boys came to play, ”Moore said. “It was beautiful to watch them. I like a tight game. It makes it so much more exciting. I’m going to have a heart attack at the end of it, but it still made it more exciting.
“We knew that no matter what, we had to have a racing game. If we couldn’t run against them, then we were dead in the water, ”he added. “The last time we faced (Hammarskjold) it was the same situation. We couldn’t throw the ball. . . . They were very close matches.
Coming 10 behind, the Vikings made their push early in the fourth quarter. Dylan Halls ran 25 yards to the St. Ignatius 12-yard line. Two games later, he hit a seven-yard touchdown at 2:16 to close the score. Sam Keene’s extra point made it 10-7 St. Ignatius.
Halls gained 133 yards to win the offensive player of the game title for the Vikings.
The Morand de Hammarskjold garrison and Joseph Colistro de Saint-Ignace were the defensive victors.
Hammarskjold crossed the goal line midway through the fourth quarter, stopping Robertson inside of it to keep him close. With seconds to go, the Falcons pinned the Vikings deep in their zone to secure the victory.
Despite the loss, the Vikings have been mixed in this division in recent years. Unfortunately, the program hasn’t won a senior city crown since 2008.
“Really proud of the effort from our guys,” said Hammarskjold senior head coach Mike Judge. “Two good teams. Unfortunately, only one wins. It’s a little rough right now. I certainly wish their congratulations on their program. Well-deserved victory (Saturday). Very proud of our seniors and the leadership they have shown this season. . . . We knew it would be a one point game. They made this game more than we didn’t.
In the junior final, two long touchdowns by Owen Renn of Hammarskjold propelled the Vikings past the St. Ignatius Falcons.
After a scoreless first quarter, Renn ran 38 yards at 8:44 off the second for the game’s first score. Nolen Sloan’s extra point was good. At 8:02 of the third, Renn scored a 38-yard touchdown with the convert from Sloan, making it 14-0.
A failed field goal turned into a red dot giving Hammarskjold a 15-0 lead. Kristof Lindstrom’s 57-yard touchdown and Matteo Iossa’s extra point late in the fourth quarter produced all seven runs for the Falcons.
Hammarskjold’s victory ended a drought among the juniors. The Junior Vikings last won the trophy in 2009. St. Ignatius (six) and St. Patrick (two) have dominated the scene for the past nine seasons.