The Spartans will face the Kings County Steelers in the Ed Hilton Bowl for the Papa John’s P.E.I. Bantam Tackle League championship at UPEI on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Summerside, which won both head-to-head games versus Kings County, is attempting to win its third straight title and fourth in five seasons.
“The Steelers have a good football team, and are well coached,” said Spartans assistant coach Brian Doucet. “They played well against us in our last meeting, so our guys need come ready to play Spartans’ football.
“Anything can happen when it’s only one game. . . We need to now focus on executing one play at a time.”
In the semifinals, Summerside (7-0) defeated Cumberland County 50-0, and the Steelers (4-3) beat Cornwall 20-6.
Summerside scored a league-high 370 points, and will for a continued balanced attack. The Spartans can pass the ball with quarterback Charlie DesRoches and a talented group of receivers – Cameron Wall, Spencer Haakman, Charlie Turner and Kyle Cameron.
The Spartans can attack inside with a power running game led by fullbacks Brandon Gaudet and Ethan Beaulieu, or run outside with the quick and powerful Caleb Dawson.
“Whatever the defence gives us, we will take it,” commented offensive co-ordinator Paul Power. “If they want to shut down the outside running game, we will run inside. If they want to try and shut down the run, we will throw it.”
The offensive line of Luke Trainor, Andrew Gunning and Justin Larsen has been very consistent all season.
Summerside’s defence, led by the veteran linebacking core of Beaulieu, Dakota Fear, Dexter Stewart, Sahib Singh and Finn Turner, along with rookie Braeden Lawless, has only allowed 18 points all season.
“Like I said before, this is our most complete defensive unit in the six years of our program,” said Spartans defensive co-ordinator Jeff MacDonald. “They play great as one unit, and they understand our schemes and responsibilities.”
On the defensive line, ends Kolby Waugh and Alex McGrath can rush the quarterback or run down opposing running backs while big, veteran defensive tackles Kyle Wilson and Ryan Murphy will slow down any inside running game.
Special teams have all played very well this season, especially kicker and punter Dawson. He has converted 85 per cent of his converts and is averaging 45 yards on kickoffs.
The kickoff unit is very disciplined in their coverage and tackles very well. The kick return unit had only 10 kickoffs during this season, but is very dangerous with two return touchdowns.
“Special teams can win or lose a game, so we need another great game from these units,” concluded Doucet.