The Ottawa Sooners have taken down the top ranked team in Canada. They defeated the previously unbeaten Hamilton Hurricanes 31-28 Saturday night (Sept 14) at Keith Harris Stadium. The Sooners entered the season with 70 per cent rookies on their roster but are now rounding into form. They've now won 2 games in a row, launching themselves back into the OFC playoff picture in the Canadian Junior Football League.
Ottawa was down by 4 points and faced a 3rd and 5 from the Hamilton 30 in the dying seconds. The Sooners surprised the Hamilton defence with a running play and Matt Mondoux rumbled all the way to the end zone for the winning score.
"I figured they would be expecting pass," said Sooners' coach Matt Murfitt. "Our O-Line had been blocking the run well all night, so we ran a running play that we handled perfectly up front. We got another tremendous block downfield from WR Tyrone Pierre and that sprung Matt for the TD."
Mondoux had a big night on the ground with 21 carries for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns. QB Graham Kelly led the offence, completing 14 of 25 passes for 300 yards. Pierre was his top receiver on the night, hauling in 7 passes for 95 yards and 1 score. 5 different receivers had at least 60 receiving yards. This was a far cry from opening night when the young Sooners managed just 2 receptions for 46 yards in the entire game.
"I think the players are now coming together," said Murfitt. "They're finally realizing what they can do if they keep working hard and preparing for opponents one at a time. We beat a really good football team tonight."
Through 5 weeks, the Sooners are following the same script as last season - 0 and 3 start, followed by two straight wins. Last year's campaign ended with 5 straight wins and a playoff spot. The Sooners will now face the winless GTA Bears next Saturday in Brampton.