Undefeated champs: Central Kings bests NKEC 21-0 to win provincial football gold

Jennifer Vardy Little jlittle@kingscountynews.ca
Published on November 13, 2016

CAMBRIDGE - The Central Kings Gators made it a perfect 10 Nov. 13.

After an undefeated season, the Gators faced off against their rivals, the Northeast Kings Titans, winning 21-0 to claim the provincial D-2 football title. Micah McDowell led the offensive charge for CK, getting two of the three touchdowns.

The win was a reversal of last year’s provincial title, when NKEC emerged triumphant, and CK couldn’t be happier about the win.

“This feels amazing. This is my first year, and to go 10-and-oh is amazing. I’m pretty excited,” said Grade 10 offensive lineman Wesley Eddy.

The key to this year’s success, he said, is simple.

“We just played strong, kept it clean and didn’t do anything stupid.”

For Grade 12 student Tyler Lloyd, it felt “awesome” to go out on a good note. He had a feeling that the Central Kings team could pull off a win at the championship, right from the start of the season.

“We all bonded together so that definitely helps,” he said. “We started off the year with a really strong team and I knew we had the chance to do something special, it was just a matter of going through with it. It’s overwhelming, it’s awesome.”

CK head coach Larry Priestnall had high praise for his players and fellow coaches.

“I can’t be more proud of them,” said Priestnall. “Connor Ross is a hell of a running back – hopefully next year, he’ll go on to CIS. St. FX is looking at him and I know Coach (Jeff) Cummings was here (from Acadia). Our whole offensive line played terrific all season.”

Central Kings will lose 13 members of the team to graduation – pretty much most of the defensive line, said Priestnall, which is “a huge loss,” but they aren’t alone. NKEC’s team will also be nearly slashed in half due to 11 graduating players.

For NKEC coach Reg Ogilvie, the result was a disappointing end to a strong season. NKEC ended the season 7-3 – and all three losses were at the hands of Central Kings.

“We had seven changes inside the 10 and we couldn’t get it in,” Ogilvie said. “That was it, right there. They had one opportunity to put it in all game.”

NKEC came out strong in the first quarter and had several opportunities to score, but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. If they had, Ogilvie said, there might have been a different result.

“The kids played hard. They were just better than we did today,” he added.

Kier Frank-Rogers, who will graduate from NKEC this spring, had been hoping for a Titans win, but had high praise for his teammates and the Central Kings team.

“It’s been a great year, we had a good season. It was a rough start but we got it back and I’m glad to see that we’re back at CK for a third year in a row. Congrats to them – we played a good game but they came out with the win on their home field,” he said. “We had a strong defense, there were just a couple breaks and they got through. It is what it is.”