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Latest title cements Hilltops’ dynasty status

Saskatoon Hilltops quarterback Jared Andreychuk drops back to pass during the 2015 Canadian Bowl. File / Global News

SASKATOON – To paraphrase LL Cool J, don’t call it a comeback – they’ve been here for years. The Saskatoon Hilltops are Canadian champs for the 18th time thanks to a 38-24 victory over the Okanagan Sun on Saturday.

In adding to their lengthy championship resume, the Hilltops also achieved a program first by winning five titles in six seasons.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Hilltops win 18th national championship

“Starting with the coaches and the parents, you know they give us the support and the leadership and then it brings it down to us and we’ve just got to make a play with it. We’re having a lot of fun,” said quarterback Jared Andreychuk, who completed 18 of 23 passes for 369 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the victory.

“I just get to coach great kids,” said head coach Tom Sargeant. “I’m proud to be here, lucky to be here and it’s a blessing to coach these guys and work with the coaches I coach with.”

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The Sun proved to be the toughest opponent Saskatoon faced all season, but the Hilltops proved to be the better team in the second half. Down 20-17 after defensive player of the game Layne Hull blocked a punt and returned it for an Okanagan touchdown late in the second quarter, the Hilltops came out of the locker room with renewed resolve. They went on to outscore the Sun 21-4 over the final thirty minutes.

“That’s kind of how the season has gone. We come out stronger in the second half,” said fifth-year defensive lineman Blake Adams, who had two sacks on the day. “We’re conditioned for it and that’s how we play.”

Success is nothing new to the Hilltops but even their most experienced players have trouble explaining their recent dominance.

“You could never picture having four rings in five years. It’s ridiculous,” said Matt Kozun, another fifth-year defensive lineman set to graduate from the team. “There’s no other program that you can come to and do that and it’s unbelievable.”

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