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Titans capture OFSAA Golden Horseshoe Bowl title

By Larry Moko

A dynamic 1-2 punch along the ground powered the Bishop Tonnos Titans to the 2022 OFSAA Golden Horseshoe Bowl championship.

Playing at Alumni Stadium in Guelph on Tuesday, running backs Isaiah Shields and Elliot Blake combined for big chunks of yardage at key times to lead Tonnos to a 30-3 victory over the A. N. Myer Marauders of Niagara Falls.

It was the first Bowl appearance in Tonnos’ school history.

Shields carried 20 times for 231 yards while Blake scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards on eight attempts. He also returned three punts for 53 yards and made brilliant sideline reception for another 29 yards.

“From the beginning of the year we felt strongly that we had the best 1-2 punch in the league,” Tonnos coach Mark Marini said. “Those kids have proved it time and time again.

“What can I say, you give the ball to either Isaiah or Elliot and they make things happen. They’re incredible athletes and they play with heart every single down. Of course, though, nobody has a good run game without a good line.”

In regard to the Titans effective rushing attack, Blake said: “It’s all the offensive line. They make the holes, we just run through them. It’s not that hard for us. The O-line was dominant.”

Shields and Blake also saw regular action as defensive backs along with Tassone, Taylor and Mark Yeudall.

Tonnos – winners of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic league – got the only points of the first quarter on a 16-yard field goal by Francesco Romano. That came after a drive which saw quarterback Ryan Begadon connect for three receptions with receivers Jackson Taylor and Nicholas Galli.

The SOSSA champions from Myer replied early in the second quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Aiden Hunt.

The Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference champions then took the lead to stay when Begadon rolled out and connected with Luca Tassone for a 1-yard TD toss.

And with 0.5 seconds left in the half, linebacker Romano kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 13-3.

“It’s satisfying that we were able to play a better second half,” Marini said. “In the first half we felt we left points off the board. We didn’t want to make that same mistake because with one quick score they could have got back in the game. We challenged the players to come out and execute better. Good teams play full games.”

In the third quarter, Blake took a pitch-out and sped outside to score on a 24-yard run. In addition, he found the end zone on a pitch-out from one yard in the fourth quarter.

Romano also contributed three converts and a 19-yard field goal to the total.

Defensively for the Titans, linebacker Brody Corbett intercepted a pass and back-to-back sacks were recorded by linebacker Eric Medeiros and lineman Giuliano Pasquale.

“I always believe the game is won and lost on the line,” the Tonnos coach said. “It took a huge effort by all of our linemen to shut down their running game. That forced them to pass the ball. We knew once they were able to do that our DBs would mop it up in the end.”

The Bowl victory follows on the heels of St. Thomas More’s record of seven titles from 2006 to 2019 – including five straight from 2015-19.

“We’ve got three Grade 11s on both sides of our line,” Marini said. “We were worried about a lack of experience and depth at the beginning of the year but those kids were tough. They played hard all year.

“It’s been great. Once you develop trust in each other, anything is possible.”





Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham