CANNING – It will be a repeat of last year’s Division 2 football final next weekend in Cambridge.
Northeast Kings secured its spot in the championships with a 37-6 semifinal win over Avon View Nov. 6 in Canning, putting the Titans on a collision course with the only team they have been unable to defeat this year: the Central Kings Gators.
Central Kings finished the regular season undefeated, while NKEC lost twice, both at the hands of CK in the first and third games of the year. But it was NKEC that emerged victorious when the two teams faced off in the championship last fall.
NKEC head coach Reg Ogilvie said he was “relieved” with the semifinal win.
“We had a mission when we started: our job was to get them to the finals, and what they do when they get there is up to them,” he said. “Our mission is complete. They know what to do now, it’s up to them.”
See a slideshow from the NKEC vs Avon View game here.
But, he warns, it will be a very different Titans team that heads to the swamp next weekend.
“It’s going to be a really good game – they’ve got a really good team, good coaches, and it’s going to be some good football for sure,” he said. “It’ll be the best game of the playoff of any division. But if we play Titans football, we’ll win it.”
The semifinal win was a great team effort, added Griffin Abbott.
“Our quarterback, Jordan (Simon), has really stepped up,” Abbott said. “He gave us some big throws when we needed it and that’s how we won.”
This week, he said, will be time for some intense practice as NKEC eyes the championship.
“We know what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to play the full four quarters, we can’t let off at any time or CK will take advantage of it, they’re that good,” he said. “But I know we’ve got a better team. I’m not worried about it.”
Kelvin Upshaw said the win over Avon View was great preparation for the final.
“I’m very thrilled, I’m ready to go back to the championship with the team and if it wasn’t for our team we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Hopefully, we’ll get that championship back,” Upshaw said.
“Today’s team wasn’t tough at all when you have a great team like ours – we’re bonded, we’re more than friends, we’re family. You can’t ask for much more than that, but I’m looking forward to the championship. I hope we see a shut out, I hope we see a win. I hope the boys come together and play like I know we can.”
For Avon View, it was a disappointing loss as their year ended a week earlier than they had hoped. Coach Gordon Chase said injuries left the Windsor team in a bad position.
“We lost a couple key players – one during the week at practice, and the other in the first play of the game,” he said. “I can’t explain how proud I am of (this team), they played back after losing our two main guys. They’re some great kids.”
Interest in Avon View football has been high this year, giving the Windsor team one of the biggest benches in the league. That spells good things about the future of the program, Chase added.
“We had 40 players, 11 graduating players, so next year we’ve got a good base to start from. We’ve got some Grade 10s and 11s – even some Grade 9 linemen – who have stepped up in the last few weeks into a good role,” he said.