Hurricanes Football Club takes AFL championship

Nov 20
, 2011

Charlottetown, PE - Under a steel-grey November sky the Holland College Hurricanes celebrated their Atlantic Football League championship victory over the UNB Red Bombers. The 28-0 win on Saturday afternoon, in front of 2,800 fans at MacAdam Field, earned the Hurricanes their first-ever Moosehead Cup and the first regional championship for any PEI football team since the St. Dunstan's University Saints in 1960.

The Hurricanes scored on their first possession after a Nick Hunsley pass to H-back Leslie Green put the ball on the UNB 30-yard line. Two plays later, lined up in the wildcat formation, the ‘Canes Demetrius Ferguson took the direct snap from center and pierced the line for a 9-yard touchdown. Phillip Lanthier's convert made it 7-0.

Late in the second quarter it was Ferguson again, this time from his safety position, who intercepted a Jeffrey Madsen pass and weaved his way downfield, found another gear at the 15-yard line to beat the final would-be tackler, and strode into the end zone for a 63-yard touchdown. The convert made the score 14-0 for the Hurricanes.

In the final two minutes of the first half, running back Dave Clark ripped off two big runs up the middle to take the ball inside the UNB 5-yard line. Hunsley then rolled out to his right off a play-action left and found slotback Robbie Tufts all alone in the end zone. Holland College took the 21-0 lead into the intermission.

In the second half, it was the Hurricanes' league-leading defense that controlled the game. The Red Bombers did not make it into the red zone the entire afternoon, as they were shut down time and again by the ‘Canes' ferocious play.

Holland College added a final major with 1:44 left to play when Clark bounced in from the 1 yard line, making the score 28-0. The run gave Clark 118 yards rushing on the day, on 18 carries, and an even 1,500 yards rushing in what has been an incredible season for the Charlottetown native.

The offensive player of the game was Demetrius Ferguson, who scored two touchdowns and played offense, defense and special teams during the game. Ryan Adams, the dominating defensive end from Boston, picked up defensive honours for another standout performance.

The Hurricanes will lose a veritable constellation of stars from this season's championship team. It was the final year of eligibility for middle linebacker and team leader Marcus Dunphy. Clark, too, has completed his AFL eligibility and is considering playing options in the CIS or NCAA. Demetrius Ferguson, who came to Holland College following a stellar high school career in both football and track at Greenwich High School in Connecticut, will graduate to the next level, as well. Several other players will also have decisions to make about their football futures, as their individual play and the program's success has attracted attention from university programs around the region and beyond.

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