From 0-3 to East Final, Grenadiers look to complete turnaround with trip to finals
It wasn’t the start they were hoping for. Three straight losses to start the season is hard for anyone to overcome, but the Kingston Grenadiers Varsity football team was able to win three of its last four games and turn that into a spot in the playoffs.
After a 25-11 first-round playoff win against the Ottawa Sooners, the Grenadiers are now a win away from the Ontario Provincial Football League finals.
“A couple of people might have had their doubts, but that’s fine, that’s understandable,” Coach Nate Hobbs said. “We were a 0 and 3 team, but we were able to come together as a group and it was because of that belief, that confidence in each other that we were able to do it.”
“I had a lot of hope, a lot of faith in our team going this far,” quarterback Ben Maracle added.
Maracle was the driving force behind their first-round win last weekend, throwing for three touchdowns in the win.
“Once you get into the motions of the game, you really just keep on going,” he said. “Nothing can really stop you — you just keep moving.”
While the offence certainly helped them get to the East Final, the defence played a role as well. In fact, some defensive players, like Tyler McCarthy, argue they’ve been solid throughout the entire season.
“At the beginning of the year, the offence wasn’t producing as much as it should have,” McCarthy said. “But the defence was holding their own. Now that the offence has started going, the defence is even more motivated now.”
Still, with their season on the line, this could be the last time the roster plays together. Coach Hobbs knows how important an opportunity this is. He’s the starting quarterback for Queen’s University, and in his four years as a Gael, he’s never once played for a championship.
“This is an opportunity that doesn’t come often,” Hobbs said. “I haven’t been to a championship game in six years… it’s definitely a rare opportunity, one you don’t want to let pass as a player or a coach.”
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