Wild comeback falls short in Northern Conference FinalSaturday, August 04, 2012 by: Chris DawsonBARRIE, ON - The Nipissing Wild fell behind 35-10 at halftime but battled back with 19 second half points falling 36-29 to the Huronia Stallions in the OFC Northern Conference final on Saturday afternoon.
Unlike the week before, the tables were turned as the Stallions put together two solid drives to rack up 14 points on their first 2 possessions of the game.
The Stallions added to their lead when Justin Rancourt was picked off by a Stallions defender who rumbled downfield for another score to increase the Stallions lead in the first half.
Justin Rancourt connected with his Algonquin Barons teammate Eric Lapointe for the first of his two touchdown throws of the game.
But despite being down 35-10 at the half, Gordon was amazed at his clubs resilience in the second half.
“These guys just pulled it together in the 2nd half,” said Gordon of the 2nd half push.
“I didn’t say anything inspirational as I just told them let’s go out with some pride and win the half. A whole bunch of guys stepped up,” added Gordon as his club forced 3 turnovers in the 2nd half and 5 in total in the game along with a recovery on an onside kick.
Rancourt hit his brother Gabriel for a nice 20 yard catch and run touchdown, giving the QB Rancourt his first multiple touchdown pass game of his young OFC career.
Wild running back Nick Weiszhaar also scored an impressive 60 yard touchdown run of his own breaking a pair of tackles in the backfield before finding his blockers.
Gordon says the Stallions final possession in the 4th quarter was key as the Stallions drove down the field and ate up a lot of time which killed the Wild’s chances to tie it up.
The game could have even been closer as kicker Mitch Frederick missed a pair of 2nd half field goals including one that was botched due to a bad snap. However, Frederick did redeem himself hitting a long 42 yarder to aid in the comeback.
While this loss is tough, Gordon says his club is proud of the way they played to end the season and he believes this strong finish will go a long way in helping build a stronger team for 2013.
“I think it will bode really well and what bodes well is the attitude of players when they walked off the field this year,” he said.
“A lot of guys were saying we can do this next year. The kids will be our best recruiters and will talk about how great of a time we had and get them to spread the good word, You should see the comradery on our bus - everyone is with everyone, it doesn’t matter which school they are from.”