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TVRA junior football final

   Stamps win all-Elgin County battle


       Parkside defeats East Elgin, 25-6, in the TVRA junior football final 


             Thursday, November 16, 2017


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By Rob J. Ross

AYLMER, ON. - It is sweet redemption over a local rival.

Zachary Copeland, Camerin Zimmer and Nathan Uytterlinde, scored touchdowns, as the Parkside Stampeders defeated the East Elgin Eagles, 25-6, in the Thames Valley Regional Athletics junior football final, at East Elgin secondary school.

The win avenges the Stampeders' only blemish on their 7-1 overall record, a 20-15 loss, in their season opener, here at East Elgin, September 28.

That result lingered in the minds of the players, providing motivation heading in to the final.

"When we played them (Eagles) it was our first game of the season, so we knew we had to prepare for this game," said Copeland, Parkside’s quarterback, who scored the opening TD just two minutes in to the game. "We had a different attitude coming into this game."

Parkside jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, an advantage held at half-time, with Zimmer finding the end zone, six minutes after Copeland.

"It feels great taking them out on their home field," Zimmer said. "We like scoring early. We were really happy after scoring that quick touchdown."

Uytterlinde added his major in the third quarter and Rudy Bukich kicked a fourth quarter field goal, along with making two of the three point after touchdown attempts. The Stampeder defence forced the Eagles to surrender a two-point safety.

"Having two Elgin schools, like the old rivalries of the past, made for an awesome feeling. It was a great battle today." Parkside coach Scott Chesney said. "For me, the defensive stand when we stopped them on the five yard line was huge for us."

East Elgin marched into the Stampeders' red zone in the second quarter, but Parkside put up a wall and forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs, preserving their 14-0 lead.

Even up 20-0, after three quarters, the Stampeders weren’t about to feel comfortable. They knew first hand how sudden a team can turn the tide.

During the semi-finals, Parkside trailed London Oakridge, 13-0, entering the fourth quarter, before scoring three consecutive touchdowns in a 21-13 win.

"Having been on the other side of the coin last week, we told the guys, it's a full game, four quarters," said Chesney.  "We're up and emotions are high but we have to keep fighting hard."

Ethan Wall put the Eagles on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.

A year ago the Stampeders won the B flight final, edging the Medway Cowboys, 9-6, but the returning players wanted part of the top flight action.

"We knew last year we wanted to go to A, and winning the championship makes it even that more sweeter," said Copeland. "It's hard to say (one team strength), because we are strong in a lot of areas. Sometimes when our offence didn't have a good game, our defence made up for it and vice versa. Everyone contributes equally so all of our roles are important."

Parkside advances to play London CCH, in the WOSSAA junior championship, 4 p.m., on November 23, at TD Stadium.

CCH edged London STA, in the District final.