Spears dominate Hawkeyes
Jayden Gurzi-MacDonald put on quite a show for the Niagara Spears Saturday night.
The 16-year-old running back ran for a pair of long touchdowns and collected 162 yards on the ground as the Spears defeated the Oshawa Hawkeyes 34-2 in Ontario Summer Football League playoff action at Kiwanis Field.
“I think we were pretty pumped because we had the home field advantage and we didn’t have the long bus ride. We just came in super fresh and ready to go. We just really wanted to win,” MacDonald said. “I’m super proud of this team. We knew we could do it and we could keep going. I don’t even think we’ve shown our full potential yet.
“I think we believed in ourselves. That’s what best for us because that’s when we show we can compete with good teams.”
MacDonald, who attends Blessed Trinity in Grimsby, ran for touchdowns of 70 and 65 yards as the Spears collected 271 yards overall rushing yards.
“I just saw the seams and I just took it,” he explained when asked about the scoring plays. “I turned on my speed and just worked with what I could and with the space I had.”
Spears head coach Brian Duguay is a big fan of MacDonald.
“He brings a lot of energy. He’s a very good running back and he’s going to do well at the next level,” Duguay said.
MacDonald recently returned from Alberta where he suited up for Team Ontario at the Canada Cup. It’s the second year in a row he competed for his province.
“It was a pretty good experience,” MacDonald said. “You’re playing with the best kids in Canada. It was good to learn and develop playing with high level players.”
Duguay is proud of MacDonald’s achievement.
“It’s good for him. Ok, it’s good for the program but for him personally it’s good. He’s done very well. He’s worked out hard and accomplished his goals,” Duguay said
The Spears hit the ground running and dominated start to finish.
“Very proud. We came out and played really well. We had the game in our direction all game,” Duguay said.
Duguay would have liked to see his charges display more discipline.
“I was happy the way we played. The only thing I wasn’t happy about was our mouths. We have to keep our mouths shut. These are life lessons for these guys. You tell the opposing team that we’re beating them but in life you can’t go around chirping people.”
Despite leading 27-0 at the half, Duguay said he never felt over comfortable.
“It takes the pressure off but I’m always the type of coach that looks at the possibility of them coming back because we get too confident and don’t want to try anymore,” he said.
The Spears advance to the next round at Ottawa.
Spears 34 Hawkeyes 2
BPSN Player of the Game: Spears running back Jayden Gurzi-MacDonald with two rushing touchdowns and 162 yards rushing.
For the Niagara Spears: Jackson Stewart 29-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Johnsen; Stewart 95-yard touchdown pass to Jack Wilson; Stewart 75-yard touchdown pass to Quinn Johnston; Justin Savoie 41 yards rushing, Xavier Zatylny 26 yards rushing; Brodie Bevacqua 4 converts; Jacob Ranger 3 tackles, 4 assisted tackles, Michael Kessy 3 tackles, 2 assisted tackles; Isaac Leder 4 tackles, 2 assisted tackles.
For the Oshawa Hawkeyes: Spears conceded a safety.
Up next: The Spears advance to the next round versus at Ottawa.
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