Against Cornwall Timberwolves at Eric Johnston Field
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Waterwise Spartans will open the P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League playoffs on Friday.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Blake Gallant holds the ball for kicker Seb-Roy Garand of the Summerside Waterwise Spartans during a P.E.I. Bantam Tackle Football League game earlier this season at Eric Johnston Field in Summerside.
The Spartans will host the Cornwall Timberwolves at Eric Johnston Field in a 7 p.m. start.
The first-place Spartans completed the regular season with a perfect 6-0 (won-lost) record, and the fourth-place Timberwolves finished 1-5.
"Every team in the tournament is now 0-0, so what happened in the regular season means nothing on Friday," commented Spartans offensive co-ordinator Paul Power. "Cornwall had a lot of injuries at their skilled positions, and if they get some of those players back on Friday they will be a dangerous team."
Offensively, the Spartans are led by three-year veterans Jayden Reid and Seb Roy-Garand, and second-year running back Cameron Paynter.
"The key all year has been our O-line,” said Power. “They are not huge, but are very athletic and can move in space and give our skilled guys room to run.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Spartans have slowly improved and are fully healthy for the first time this season.
"We had some bad tackling games earlier in the season against Amherst and Charlottetown, and we have worked very hard in practice and it’s really paid off the last couple of weeks," said Spartans assistant defensive co-ordinator Jeff MacDonald.
"Every team in the tournament is now 0-0, so what happened in the regular season means nothing on Friday. Cornwall had a lot of injuries at their skilled positions, and if they get some of those players back on Friday they will be a dangerous team." Spartans offensive co-ordinator Paul Power
Veteran linebackers Matt Tanton and Jansen Gallant lead the defence.
"We really have a lot of depth now on defence as our starters are all back, but that playing time was important for our other players as they got a lot of game experience,” added MacDonald. “That (experience) is huge because you never know when injuries will happen.”
The winner of Friday’s game will face the winner of the semifinal between the Amherst Wolfpack and Charlottetown Privateers on Saturday.
The championship game will be played at UPEI on Saturday, Nov. 9.
"We weren't in the finals last year after being in that game the two previous years, so we are hungry to get back," concluded MacDonald.