Category: League News


Photo courtesy of Sam MacBeath
Author: News Desk

Saturday night The Steel City Patriots played host to the embattled and short benched North Bay Bulldogs in Northern Football Conference action. The Pats going into the game were looking to put on a good performance as they welcomed Purolator Courier and their Tackle Hunger program to Nelson stadium on a hot humid night.

The evening got underway as fans entered the stadium and dropped off non-perishable food items at The Purolator display and got comfortable in the stands for the game. Once the game got underway The Pats defence took over and scored 3 pick sixes in the first half on the way to a 47-0 lead over a hard-working but undermanned Bulldogs team.

In the second half The Dogs used some trickery to fool the Pats as they went for the short kickoff and recovered the ball but unfortunately couldn’t pull the trigger and score on the Pats defence. The Patriots used the game as an opportunity to get some of the back-ups into extended playing time and they came through with 15 points on two Tds by the offence and a 27 yd field goal by Adam Pallett to close out the scoring and making the final score 62-0. The score though does not indicate the type of game that was played as the Bulldogs could have gave up in the second half came out and played with everything they had from beginning to end and showed the class they have when they joined the Patriots at center field for a talk and team prayer and then joined the team back at Lotos bar and grill for some post game food and talk before heading home to prepare for this weeks test.

The Patriots now at 4-0 will travel up north to take on The Sault Steelers in Sault Ste Marie this Saturday before enjoying their bye week June 30th.

The Patriots, Bulldogs and their fans helped to takle hunger with 300 lbs of food donated to Purolator for their food drive and will be welcoming them back on July 14th at 6:00pm as they take on The Ottawa sooners at Nelson Stadium.

Source: Sam MacBeath

Late touchdowns lift Steelers

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Author:  Brad Coccimiglio
Photo Credit: Donna Hopper/SooToday

A pair of late touchdowns were ultimately the difference.

A 27-yard touchdown run by Josh Gauthier with 5:14 to go in the fourth quarter lifted the Sault Steelers to a 23-10 Northern Football Conference win over the Sudbury Spartans Saturday night at Rocky DiPietro field.

The major came with the Steelers trailing 10-8 at the time in a game that saw the home side fall behind 10-0 in the opening half.

“It was key,” said Steelers Coach Brandon Lewis. “It was vintage Josh.

Gauthier finished the day with 104 yards rushing on 11 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

The victory improves the Steelers record to 2-2 after a road win last weekend in North Bay.

“Everything you do in your first year is great but when you know the type of competitors we have on our team, it’s possible for us to push the best teams in this league,” Lewis said.

Sudbury opened the scoring on a 13-yard field goal in the opening quarter by Massimo Cimino.

In the final minute of the opening quarter, Sudbury’s Sean Moore caught a two-yard pass to increase the lead to 10-0.

“The first half seemed to be very tough on us, more mentally than anything,” Lewis said. “There were some mistakes and penalties to start the game. That can take a toll. We hung in.”

Steve Hiiemaa would run the ball in from 68 yards out late in the fourth quarter to seal the Steelers win.

Hiiemaa finished the day with 130 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Offensively for the Spartans, Josh Cuomo had 55 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Defensively for the Steelers, Matt Gauthier had six tackles while Dalton Povey had 5.5 tackles. Tom Twentyman had five tackles and Jon Bujold had 4.5.

Erik Conrad and Matt Furlino had six tackles each for the Spartans, who fall to 1-3.

The Steelers return to action on June 23 against the Steel City Patriots. Kickoff at Rocky DiPietro Field is set for 7 p.m.

Gauthier Gallops to Winning Score

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Author and Photo Credits:  Peter Ruicci/Postmedia Network

He’s not the player he once was.

At age 35, Josh Gauthier is no longer the record-setting, championship-winning, nearly-unstoppable running back who once wreaked havoc on Northern Football Conference defences.

But he’s still awfully good.

Gauthier ran 27 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on Saturday, as the Sault Steelers rallied from a 10-0 deficit to defeat the Sudbury Spartans 23-10 at Rocky DiPietro Field.

With the home team trailing 10-8, Gauthier ran a counter, bolting nearly untouched into the Spartans end with 5:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Alanzo Clarke ran in a two-point conversion and the Sault had a 16-10 lead.

Seeing how hard the Spartans were pursuing on power-running plays, Gauthier said he “told Ashton to call a counter,” referring to offensive coordinator Ashton Young. “I took two or three hard steps to the right and the whole defence shifted. You could run a semi through the hole.”

He didn’t need quite that much room, however.

“But once that happened I could use my wheels,” added Gauthier, who had scored earlier on a four-yard run and finished the evening with 104 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“The Gauthier play was the key to the game,” added head coach Brandon Lewis, whose club won its second straight, improving to 2-2 on the season. “It was vintage Josh. He wasn’t going to be stopped by arm tackles. You get him the ball and magic happens. He’s not even in game shape and he’s still a dominant player – absolutely.”

According to Spartans head coach Junior Labrosse, Gauthier’s run was a game-changer.

“That broke our back,” Labrosse added. “They had Gauthier hidden inside. And he paused with the ball until things opened up.”

“I don’t have that top gear like I used to have,” Gauthier admitted. “I’m so far from being what I used to be. But game smarts is something I’ll always have.”

Meantime, three minutes later, the Steelers sealed the win with another impressive run. Stevan Hiiemaa broke a series of tackles and galloped 68 yards for another touchdown.

That made it 22-10 with 2:03 to go in regulation.

Cam Basham booted his second convert to wrap up the scoring.

Jesse Hill had the other point for the winners, nailing a punt 35 yards for a single just before halftime.

“It was a big character win,” said Steelers head coach Brandon Lewis, whose team plays host to the Steel City Patriots this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Rocky DiPietro Field. “We made some mistakes and took some penalties and the first half was very tough on us. But at halftime we talked about leaving the first half behind us.”

Lewis said he thought his team managed the ball better in the second half. And the Steelers defence “had a heck of a game,” he added.

“We were strong and we hit hard,” said first-year linebacker Tom Twentyman, who finished with five tackles. “We had a lot of guys playing a lot of snaps, but we dug deep and found a way. We’re getting better every week.”

En route to completing 9-of-23 pass attempts for 246 yards, Spartans quarterback Hunter Holub hit Sean Moore with a two-yard scoring strike. Massimo Cimino converted and also booted a 17-yard field goal.

“We played three-quarters of a game,” said Labrosse, whose club fell to 1-3. “We had some mental breakdowns. Our offensive line played its best game so far this season, but penalties killed us.”

Notes: Hiiemaa ran for a game-high 130 yards on 10 carries. Clarke went 2-for-7 passing for 22 yards.

On defence, Matt Gauthier had a team-high six tackles for the Sault. Dalton Povey added 5.5 while Jon Bujold was credited with 4.5 tackles. Ron Kelly had an interception.

Ottawa Invaders become Ottawa Sooners

Over the course of the last few years the Ottawa Invaders struggled organizationally yet have consistently put out a competitive product on the NFC field. In 2017 the club was formally taken over by Ottawa business owner Jeff Lapensee who infused significant resources to make sure Ottawa was well represented in the NFC.

This year Jeff is happy to announce the joining of forces with the Ottawa Sooners who will be contributing coaching, equipment, staffing and financial backing to take the Ottawa NFC club to a higher level organizationally. Jeff Lapensee reported that these contributions from the Ottawa Sooners is the first step towards formally merging the Invaders into the Ottawa Sooners family of football teams. At the NFC 2018 Fall Meeting there will be an application to the NFC for a change of ownership of the Ottawa NFC membership to the Ottawa Sooners.

Jeff Lapensee having played a crucial role in both ensuring Ottawa football players have a place to play NFC football will continue to operate the Ottawa Sooners NFC team administratively.

John Allarie, Owner of the Ottawa Sooners was happy to meet with the NFC Executive and introduce himself as well as ask questions about the NFC. John looks forward to adding to his football program which, with the addition of an NFC team, will provide football for players from Bantam age through to Senior NFC.

As part of this transition Jeff Lapensee and John Allarie gave notice to the NFC Executive that effective immediately the Ottawa Invaders have changed their team name to the Ottawa Sooners. As a result of the Sooners involvement there has been an increase in player excitement for the 2018 NFC season. We look forward to seeing the Sooners play this year.


NCAA Division III @ NFC Coming May 5th, 2018

The NFC in 2018, will be participating in a special pre-season event which will feature a pilot project game featuring NFC All Stars and Select players joining the host Steel City Patriots playing against the NCAA Division 3 Capital University Crusaders of Columbus Ohio.

The NCAA’s Ohio Athletic Conference 2018 rules have been changed to allow OAC teams to play an out of state spring football game every few years. Typically, teams have been traveling to Europe. The costs of taking an entire football team overseas has become very expensive leaving teams like the Crusaders looking for alternatives.

The NFC came to the rescue with thanks to its member club from Hamilton, the Steel City Patriots, offering to operate & host the event. The event is designed to provide an opportunity to NFC’s 2017 All Star players and other select NFC players from across the league to come together and showcase their skills in front of CIS, CFL and NCAA scouts and football fans.

The event promises to be a memorable experience for all participants including the NCAA Capital University Crusaders who will be getting a chance to play on the giant 65 yard wide Canadian football field. The game will feature mostly NCAA rules, including the fair catch. Other rules will be in place to minimize injuries to NFC players in pre-season, including no

blocks below the waist anywhere on the field.

This pilot project could lead to more OAC teams considering the NFC as viable less expensive out of conference game in the future, while still providing the competition experience they are looking for.

The game is slated to be played at Tim Horton’s field in Hamilton on May 5th with kickoff at 8 pm. Players from various NFC clubs have been inquiring about the prospects of playing looking to be part of this memorable event. Interested parties can contact SCP at 905 541-7177 or the NFC at 705 200-4856 for more information.