In the cold, damp conditions Saturday night at Keith Harris Stadium, the Ottawa Sooners have reached the halfway point in the season as the OFC's hottest team. The club improved to 3-1 and took over first place with a 25-16 win over Burlington.
“Our defence played well,” said coach John Buck. “Burlington made some plays but our defensive pressure made it tough on their passing game. Offensively, we made some plays when we needed to but we are still very much a work in progress. The favourite saying in our locker room is 'keep grinding'. Once again, we kept grinding.”
It certainly wasn't a masterpiece as the 2 clubs combined for 14 turnovers on the night, the first of which was costly for Burlington. Defensive lineman Carter Wilson returned a first quarter fumble 32 yards for a touchdown, giving the Sooners a lead they would never surrender. Wilson is just 17 years old and has looked right at home with his more senior teammates, some as many as 7 years older.
It won't go down as the prettiest performance of the season but the end result was magnificent. The Sooners travelled to Hamilton Saturday afternoon and handed the first place Hurricanes their first loss of the season, 9-8. Neither offence could do much on the day, failing to score a single touchdown in the contest.
Defensive back Scott McGarrity was the only man to find the end zone. His second half interception return for a touchdown gave the Sooners a lead they would cling to until the final gun.
Ottawa got off to a good start in a grinding, defensive battle, forcing Hamilton to surrender a first quarter safety. The Hurricanes responded with 2 field goals and a safety of their own before McGarrity's pick-6 put it away.