The Kelowna Junior Sun came close, but, in the end, had to settle for a final-four finish.
At Edmonton, Montreal Flight School soared to victory at the CFL NFL youth flag football championship on Friday, winning the U12 division with a 30-0 victory over the Hamilton Hammer. En route to winning the one-day, 10-team tournament, Montreal defeated Kelowna 22-12 in semifinal action.
As national champions, Montreal will now represent Canada with an expenses-paid trip at the NFL flag football championship in Orlando, Fla., in late January.
Overall, Kelowna suffered only one loss in five games, that being the semifinal setback to Montreal. In their four round-robin games, the Junior Sun started with two ties, drawing even with Edmonton 20-20 and Ottawa 19-19, before rolling off two wins, beating Toronto 28-0 and Winnipeg 24-13.
The tournament was divided into two pools of five: Division A (Edmonton, B.C., Ottawa, Winnipeg and Toronto) and Division B (Montreal, Hamilton, Halifax, Saskatchewan and Calgary). The top two teams from each pool advanced to the playoffs.
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In Division A, Edmonton (3-0-1) took first with seven points with Kelowna (2-0-2) placing second with six. In Division B, Montreal (4-0-0) was first with eight points with Hamilton (2-1-1) in second with five.
In cross-over playoff action, Hamilton edged Edmonton 20-19 while Montreal beat Kelowna 22-19.
Of the final four teams, Montreal had the best points differential at plus-70 (98 points for, 28 points against). Edmonton was second at plus-69 (115 for, 46 against) with Kelowna third at plus-39 (91 for, 52 against). Hamilton was fourth at plus-4 (79 for, 75 against).
Against Montreal, Kelowna trailed 8-6 at halftime. In the second half, the Junior Sun started with the ball and drove to the five-yard line, but couldn’t punch it across and suffered a turnover on downs. Montreal then scored and added a two-point conversion to go ahead 16-6. The Quebec reps added another major to round out the scoring.
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Though the tournament is over, the Junior Sun, plus parents and siblings, will be staying in Edmonton to watch Sunday’s Grey Cup.
Other teams competing were the Calgary Cobras; the Saskatchewan Bomb Squad; the Winnipeg Tuesday Night Tykes and the Halifax Titans.