The North Shore midget AAA Mustangs won a nailbiter against the Sun Youth Hornets Sunday afternoon at Jeanne-Mance Park in Montreal thanks to a last-second touchdown by quarterback Justin McInnis. The convert on the last play of the game gave the Mustangs the win.
"We played four quarters of football and despite being down by points earlier on in the game, we worked hard, we didn't quit and the results show for themselves. A win is a win, even by a point. It was exciting for everybody watching, both benches and the crowd," said Mustangs' head coach Jason Jourdenais.
North Shore took the lead in the first quarter with a field goal. The Hornets quickly took back control of the game in the second quarter. Running back Scott Maleek with two runs totalling 38 yards got his team's first touchdown at 2:27 in the second quarter.
The Hornets scored again on their next possession. Maleek ran the ball from the Mustangs' 37-yard line to the 15-yard line. Due to a Mustangs' 15-yard penalty on the play, the Hornets got in close enough to the goal line so that Jeff Gay was able to punch it in easily on the next play with a little bit more than six minutes to play in the half. The Mustangs conceded a safety on their next possession giving the Hornets a 16-3 lead before half-time.
North Shore would revive in the dying seconds of the half. Throwing from the Hornets' 41-yard line, McInnis relayed it to Herge Malaya at the five-yard line. Ivan Hakizimana would run for the major with 49 seconds left in the half to put the score at 16-10 for Sun Youth after the convert.
The Mustangs' James Wolfe got a touchdown very early in the third quarter giving the Mustangs the lead 17-16. Aliou Zeroy with a 16-yard reception and Maleek with two runs from the Mustangs 31-yard line helped the Hornets take back the lead 24-17 thanks to a two-point convert. With 1:44 left in the third quarter, the Hornets got a single thanks to a 30-yard kick.
The Hornets missed an excellent chance to put the game of reach for the Mustangs with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter. The Hornets had a fourth-and-goal situation from the seven-yard line and opted for another single instead of a field goal. That would prove costly later in the game.
A series of penalties taken by the Hornets allowed the Mustangs to get close enough to score a field goal with a little bit more than four minutes remaining, making the score 26-20. The Mustangs would retake possession at mid-field with enough time for a last rush late in the game. McInnis first ran to the Hornets' 48-yard line. Mayala and Wolfe with two receptions each took the ball to the 11-yard line. McInnis then threw another pass to Wolfe at the two-yard line. On the final play of the game, McInnis dove arms first to the end zone for the major and the crowd and Mustangs bench erupted in cheers as North Shore was tying the game. The one-point convert gave the Mustangs the win 27-26.
"I'm very frustrated. My team handled the end of the game like a bunch of idiots. We told them certain things like 'don't touch the kicker' on a punt, near the end with seven or eight minutes to go. One of our guys went in, tried to block the kick and clipped the kicker. And then we fell on their quarterback, so on their march down the field, we gave them almost 40 yards in penalties," said Hornets' head coach Earl De La Perralle.