Beefeaters cut up in CJFL final
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
For the London Beefeaters a 51-7 stomping at the hands of the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Josten's Cup on Sunday (Oct. 28) ends the team’s best season in 37-years in the Canadian Junior Football League on a sour note.
“I know that we can play them better than we did. It doesn’t really matter right now. It hurts to lose,” said Beefeaters head coach John Vouvalidis from Saskatchewan after a game where temperatures went as low -14 with the wind chill.
London has comeback in three games this season when down at halftime, but this time the Beefeaters dug themselves too big a hole to get out of after giving up five turnovers—three interceptions and a pair of fumbles— in just two quarters to trail 42-0.
The only points for London came in the third quarter on a 37-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Chuck Wall to Riley McMurray on a fake field goal.
To say the Beefeaters had an uphill battle against the three-time CJFL champions is maybe a bit of an understatement after the beat down. It was David vs. Goliath, Rocky Balboa against Ivan Drago, but this time the underdog couldn’t pull it off.
“It was like the perfect storm. We had a really bad start to the game and there was a big hole we couldn’t climb out of,” Vouvalidis said.
Although, the Beefeaters are probably coming out of the game with a bruised ego, they have plenty to hold their head high about. They lost only one game in the Ontario Football Conference (OFC), put seven players on the all-star roster and capped it all off with their first-ever provincial championship. It just might take some time to remember all that.
“They’re outstanding young men, honestly, with great character, they never gave up all year and I said, ‘Two weeks from now we’ll look back and see all the things we did,” the first-year Beefeaters’ coach said. “Right now it hurts and there were a lot of tears in people’s eyes. It was tough. It was really tough.”
Like any good bench boss—especially one that was named OFC coach of the year— Vouvalidis is already looking to the future, one where his team gets further than the CJFL semifinal.
“I think we kind of know right now what we need to do and what we have to do to get better,” he said. “We got to raise some money to give us some more resources, we got to recruit more actively and from a coaching perspective we need to take care and pay attention all the detail and all the little fine details to make us better.”
An Ontario team hasn’t won the CJFL Canada Bowl title since the Windsor AKO Fratmen did it in 1999.
The Hilltops will be looking to capture their third straight national title when they take on the British Columbia Football Conference champs Langley Rams on Nov. 10 in Langley, B.C.
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