A different style of football didn't stop the St. Thomas team from going
undefeated and returning to an under-14 final
Tuesday, November 3rdd, 2020
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - Thanks to a pair of touchdowns from Gage Lincoln, the St. Thomas Hawks are heading to their London Minor Football Association Under-14 flag football division championship.
The Hawks A team held off Cobras B, 27-24, in a divisional semifinal, Sunday, November 1st, at City Wide Fields. The Hawks remain undefeated, following a 7-0 regular season record.
In a back and forth game, the Hawks' Dylan Taylor made a defensive stop on the three yard line on the final play for the victory.
St. Thomas faces Cobras A in the U14 final, Sunday, November 8th, 12:30 p.m. at City Wide Fields.
"I think their (players) resiliency and refusal to fold under pressure has been the most impressive thing this year," Hawks head coach Paul Chapman said. "While we are heading into the championship game undefeated, we have had some close games along the way. A couple of weeks ago we returned an interception for a touchdown on the last play of the game to win by six points."
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, minor football had to be altered, starting with no tackling and only 10 players allowed on the field.
With a five on five format, the field was shrunk to a size of 60 by 25 yards. Games were two 25 minute halves running time, with a five minute halftime.
"I think it's probably been a harder adjustment for us as coaches than it has been for the players but at the end of the day everyone just wants to be back out on the football field," Chapman said. "The league did a good job of making that happen under the circumstances."
Chapman added he feels the players enjoyed this version of the game, "but they definitely miss tackle."
Teams in each age category (U10, U12, U14) were divided onto four team pods and only played the teams within that pod all season.
The Hawks are also in the U10 final, against the Rams, Sunday, at 10:45 a.m. St. Thomas earned a bye to their division final, following an 8-1 regular season.
In the U12 bracket, the Hawks missed the playoffs with a 3-4-1 regular season record. The Hawks did finish the season tying the first place Cobras (5-1-1), 26-26, on November 1st.
The Hawks' second U14 team, lost their divisional semifinal, 27-6, to Cobras A.
A year ago, the Hawks won the peewee title, renamed U14 this season. It was the Hawks' second U14 title in three years.
In 2018, St. Thomas captured the atom (U12) championship.
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