By Darryl G. Smart
The smile said it all on Cam Pearson’s face.
“We did it,” Pearson said. “We finally made it to the final. This is huge for us. It’s history. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”
Pearson’s 35-yard rushing touchdown and Taye Lovell’s interception for a major was the difference, as the Holy Trinity Titans ran away with a 13-0 victory over the Pauline Johnson Collegiate Thunderbirds in one of two rain- and mud-soaked Athletic Association of Brant Haldimand Norfolk Non-CWOSSA football semifinals Friday.
“It was a great time for my first touchdown of the season, that’s for sure,” Pearson said. “After the first one got called back we all just tried to not worry about it.”
Prior to Pearson’s game-winning touchdown, he had just run the ball in for what he and his teammates thought was the game’s first points, a 25-yard run up the middle. But that touchdown was called back because of a penalty behind the play, forcing Pearson to do it all again.
“Our team played so hard today. We’ve been building for this since the start of the season,” Pearson said. “You can’t say enough about the defence today. They really stepped it up to a whole other level. It’s great to be able to celebrate this, especially because of the history. But we have more work to do. We aren’t done yet.”
Titans coach Matt Martinow, like the players, is overjoyed by the victory. But he likes the fact that they are already focusing on the final.
“This group is a focused bunch of football players,” Martinow said. “Right from the start, they’ve come and put in a lot of hard work. We’re happy for them.
“To be the first team in the school’s history to make it this far is a huge accomplishment,” he said. “There have been some grinding years. Sometimes in order to reach the top of the mountain, you have to be at the base of it first and develop things.”
The Titans, who were 3-1 during the regular season and the second seed, will take on the top-seeded Delhi Raiders, who were also 3-1. The Raiders punched their ticket to the final after pounding their way to a 28-0 win over the Waterford Wolves at home.
The Raiders used their relentless running attack, combined with some timely throws to keep the Wolves guessing. Mason Kreller scored the first touchdown of the day thanks to an Adam Leatherland pass. Leatherland then called his own number to run one in before Tre Hodder added to the lead with rushing touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
The championship game takes place Saturday at Delhi District Secondary School at 1pm.