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Fighting Owls – CHAMPIONS (Posted On: Tuesday, November 11, 2008)

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The Collingwood Collegiate Senior Fighting Owls Football club played the Eastview Secondary School Wildcats in the GBSSA Championship game in Barrie. The CCI Fighting Owls had been regarded as the “Underdogs” in this match by much of the league, but the Fighting Owls were the only team to defeat the Eastview Wildcats during the regular season. With about 500 Fighting Owls supporters at the Eastview Secondary School to watch the match, the Fighting Owls were lead onto the football field by Team Captain and Quarterback Jamie Cook to battle the Wildcats of Eastview for the GBSSA Championship.

The Sr. Fighting Owls received the opening kick-off to Jon Maecker who returned the ball 25yds before it was moved backwards for a holding violation on the CCI team. CCI Offence took to the field and on CCI’s first play; they threw an interception to the Wildcat secondary, putting the Fighting Owls Defense on the field. The Wildcats ball carrier avoided numerous Owl Defenders and ran into the CCI end zone to put the Wildcats ahead 7 points in the first minutes of the match.

The Owls second possession also ended in an interception, the Wildcat player was ran down and tackled by O-lineman Dan Manchisi. CCI Defense then returned to the field and denied the Wildcats, forcing them to attempt a Field goal, which was kicked wide and Safety Eli Cook ran the ball from the CCI end zone to deny the Wildcats the single point and putting the Fighting Owls offence on the field at the 11yd line. Under the leadership of QB Jamie Cook the Fighting Owls moved the football into the Wildcats end of the field before having to punt the ball back to the Wildcats. The Wildcat returner was caught and tackled on the Wildcat 2yd line by the lightning speed of Fighting Owls WR Ryan Ferguson (68yds rec). The Wildcats offence continued to stall and punted the ball back to the Owls, a short punt fielded and returned by Defensive Back Michael Bruce put CCI in control of the football on the Wildcat 17yd line. QB Jamie Cook (14/26 passes 179yds, 1 TD, 1 int) threw a 17yd pass to RB Josh Reason (25yds rec / 116yds rushing, 1 TD, 1 Int pass) for CCI’s first score of the day.  Evening the score 7 – 7 at the end of the first quarter.

The Eastview Squad didn’t give up but the CCI Linebacker core of John Syriani, Haris Sljivo, Brandon Kempster, Taylor Fraser and the Defensive backs Michael Bruce, Darcy Gogan, Steve Maxwell, Eli Cooke and Cale Meesters played some of the season’s best football only allowing the Wildcats to score a FG late in the 2nd Quarter to put them ahead of the Fighting Owls 10-7. The Fighting Owls answered back before the end of the half and Josh McDuffie (85yds rec, 2 x FG, 2 single pts) kicked a FG of his own to put the game in a dead heat at the end of the half.

In the Second half the Wildcats started possession on their 17yd line, strong CCI Defense and an untimely penalty on the Wildcat’s O-line caused them to kick the ball back to CCI. The Fighting Owls took possession of the football in the Wildcat end. Two incomplete passes by QB Jamie Cook brought on the Fighting Owls Punt team, the ball was kicked deep into the Wildcats end zone and the Wildcat returner was tackled inside of the end zone by the Owls Ryan Ferguson to score the single point to put the CCI Fighting Owls ahead for the first time in the game.  Eastview players took 2 ‘un-sportsmen like’ penalties, so instead of taking the ball on their 20yd line they took the ball on the 5yd line. Key tackles by Owls players Defensive Lineman Chris Parrish and Defensive Back Darcy Gogan forced the Wildcats to punt the ball back to the Fighting Owls.  CCI Quarterback Jamie Cook completed 2 passes to WR Cale Meesters and Josh McDuffie before the Wildcats stopped the CCI Offence.

The CCI Field Goal Unit was brought in and scored a 35yd FG to put the Fighting Owls ahead 14 – 10 at the end of the third quarter.

 That ended the scoring for the match; CCI Defense denied the Eastview Offence during the second half of the game. The Owls went into their “Prevent” defense in the last 4 minutes of the game and denied the Eastview Offence from completing a single pass.

This team of “Fighting Owls” has earned the right to be called CHAMPIONS. “This is the first time since 1932 that the CCI Senior Football Team has earned the title GBSSA Champions. Each player on this team has contributed to bring the team to this place, we want to thank each and every one of them” said Coach Wayne Hunwicks, who himself was inducted into the Builder Category in the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame this year for his 40 years of dedication to the CCI Football program.

The Fighting Owls season isn’t over yet, they now move on to the Metro Bowl playoffs on Nov 21/08 and a win there will put them in the OFSSA Championships at the Roger’s Center on Dec 03/08. CCI Offensive Coordinator Dave Butler said “Our team gets better every game, we will continue to practice and prepare ourselves for the Metro Bowl on November 21st. The players on this team can be truly proud of their accomplishments, they are CHAMPIONS.”

Your Senior Fighting Owls Football Club would like to take this time to thank the community for its support over this season.

by Alumni secretary Trevor McKean

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