A Nathan Boucher 88-yard touchdown run got the offence opened late in the second half and the defence did its job intercepting five passes as the North Bay Bantam Bulldogs cruised to a convincing 26-7 win over the Brantford Bisons in OSFL U14 semifinal action at the Steve Omischl Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
Safety Evan Smetana had two of the five interceptions picked off by the Bulldogs secondary.
"This feels amazing, nothing better," said Smetana post-game.
"Our defence started off pretty slow with the throwing game but then we picked it up and once we started getting interceptions it was good."
Gage Campaigne, who made an impact on both sides of the ball; ran for a pair of touchdowns including a 13-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter which put the game out of reach at 26-7.
"It means everything to me, last year we lost to Guelph in the semifinals and this year I can finally say we can get to a championship game in Bantam U14," said Campaigne, who was named OSFL defensive player of the week twice this season.
"I used the tools I was given by all the coaches and I could not have done it without the help of my teammates."
Campaigne also credits the coaching staff for getting them ready for this key playoff win.
"We finished third in the U14 league in defence and we prepared for this, we watched film, we had a great meeting earlier this week and we were ready for them, we came prepared," he said.
Collin Smith, the Bulldogs quarterback was impressed by his club's effort.
"It was just a great game by our defence, five interceptions, on offence our run game was amazing," said Smith.
Linebacker Porter Hermann-McKay, in on offence, added a two-yard rushing touchdown with 3:45 remaining in the second half. Owen Landry added a two-point conversion for the Bulldogs which gave them a 14-0 lead.
Campaigne scored his first touchdown late in the first half; with the missed point after gave the Bulldogs a 20-0 lead.
The Bisons responded with a late first-half drive which resulted in a late touchdown strike with five seconds left in the half which made it 20-7 at halftime.
The Bulldogs win will set up a championship U14 Bantam contest in Windsor next weekend.