Huronia Stallions varsity football team improves to 5-1; earns first-round playoff bye
Members of the Huronia Stallions varsity football team are shown with alumni and lifetime achievement award winners. SUBMITTED
The Huronia Stallions varsity football team improved to 5-1 on the season with a 29-14 victory over their rivals from Sudbury.
The Stallions faced an 11-0 deficit after conceding two safeties and yielding a touchdown.
The Stallions scored a touchdown with under one minute to go in the first half to end a rocky opening half on a high note.
The game saw both teams commit several costly turnovers before the Stallions took control.
Head coach Martino DiSabatino said after the game that the key to the victory was the team coming away with points on two successful field-goal attempts by kicker Michael Tomcyzk when the game could have went either way.
With the score at 22-14, the Stallions iced the victory on a spectacular 70-yard touchdown catch and run by wide receiver Brandon Longstreet.
After the game, Longstreet described his emotions after scoring the game-clinching touchdown in the team’s 25th-anniversary celebration game.
“It’s pretty surreal,” he said. “After it felt a little dreamy.”
Longstreet also described the team’s slow start early in the game.
“You know, we did a little bit of daydreaming, but then we got our stuff together and pulled out a really big ‘W’ going into the postseason,” Longstreet said.
Quarterback Justin Winn, who finished 3-for-3 for 102 yards passing, connected on the touchdown pass to Longstreet and also threw another score to receiver Cameron Hoekstra, who finished with three receptions for 52 yards.
Quarterback Brandon Hyrncek also threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaylen Cooper.
Justin Janicki was the team’s leading rusher with seven carries for 78 yards.
On defence, free safety Christian Hutter-Coppin had four tackles and an interception. Mitchell Stadynk and Jack Malo also had interceptions.
Derek Addy and Justin Defaria had quarterback sacks to round out the defensive highlights.
The Stallions have earned a first-round bye in the playoffs and will host a playoff game in two weeks.
The Huronia Stallions junior varsity team defeated Sudbury, 52-26, to finish the regular season with a 4-2 record.
The Stallions built a 14-7 lead in the first quarter and then broke the game open in the second as they took a 35-14 lead.
The Stallions offence was led by fullback Michael Cassano, who had three touchdowns in a gritty performance.
Running backs Matt Koufis and Preston Howard also played well with Koufis also scoring a touchdown.
Quarterback Daniel Hawthorne demonstrated continued growth with another strong game, which saw him throw three touchdown passes to add to the five that he threw the week before.
Receiver Will McCullouch caught two touchdowns and also booted a field goal.
Fellow receiver Brayden Harkness caught the other touchdown pass.
Young receiver Lucas Janicki is also coming along with strong performances as the season progresses.
Defensively, Lucas Smith had several key tackles and defensive back Liam McCarthy had an impact game.
Linebacker Jonah Leichner continues to impress the coaching staff with his hard work and enthusiasm for the game.
The Stallions will open the playoffs by hosting the 0-5-1 Vaughan Rebels on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Barrie Community Sports Complex in Midhurst.
The Stallions defeated Vaughan, 45-12, early in the season.
The Huronia Stallions bantam football team lost its regular-season finale, 33-0, to the North Halton Crimson Tide to fall to 2-4 on the season.
The Stallions did earn a home playoff game this Sunday at 1 p.m. against the 0-6 Toronto Jr. Argos at the Barrie Community Sports Complex in Midhurst.
The Stallions defeated Toronto, 27-0, earlier in the season.
Jason Romisher is the media and recruiting co-ordinator for the Huronia Stallions.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
The Huronia Stallions have honoured six recipients with lifetime achievement awards.
Rocco DiSabitino: coach (5 years), support staff (20 years)
Jason Romisher: player (3 years), coach (12 years), media relations (7 years)
Chris Forde: player (1 year), coach (13 years to present)
Greg Van Bolderen: player (5 years), coach (8 years)
Jeff Hale: coach (16 years to present)
Barrie Community Sports Complex: (1999 to present)