BT football headed to GHAC championship

BT football headed to GHAC championship
Posted on 11/16/2023
SJB football player

By Larry Moko

Quarterback Ryan Begadon passed for four touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Bishop Tonnos Titans to victory in a Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference high school football semifinal.

Bishop Tonnos topped the visiting Nelson Lords of Burlington, 52-18.

That outcome sets up a GHAC title game Tuesday between BT and the Halton Catholic champion Corpus Christi Longhorns. Corpus Christi also earned its berth Wednesday with a 41-23 semifinal decision over the St. John Henry Newman Cardinals.

Bishop Tonnos – two-time defending champion of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic league -- took a 28-10 into the halftime break and stretched its undefeated streak this season to nine games.

“We plan every game as if we can pass or run,” Titans coach Anthony Tassone said. “We have weapons both throwing or running. Today, (Nelson) crowded the box a little and weren’t allowing those creases to exist. So that was fine, we thought we’ll just go over the top.”

Begadon completed 13 of 21 passes for 321 yards. And in net offence, according to statistician John Metcalfe, Bishop Tonnos out-gained previously undefeated Nelson, 577-357.

“Ryan is excellent,” Tassone said. “He can manage a game better than most people in the province.”

Jackson Taylor gathered in two of those long scoring strikes from Begadon. The first covered 24 yards and the second went for 88 yards. In total, he made seven receptions for 194 yards.

In addition, while playing defensive back, Taylor made a key interception and return on Nelson’s first possession of the second half.

Running back Elliot Blake also accounted for two Bishop Tonnos touchdowns. He took an 18-yard pass into the end zone after opening the scoring with a two-yard run. He finished with 118 yards on 12 carries.

Another TD through the air was hauled in by fullback/defensive end Nathan Channer. After making a sensational one-handed grab while on the run, he raced in from 65 yards to put Bishop Tonnos ahead, 21-10.

“Everyone went crazy on the sideline with that great one-handed catch by Nathan,” Begadon said. “It was electric.

“Jackson had a couple of good ones, too. It all worked out. The receivers made plays.”

Said Channer: Every game Ryan gets better and better. On my touchdown, it was the best throw I could have gotten.”

Channer’s other contributions included kicking for a rouge and knocking down a Nelson pass at the line of scrimmage.

“We played very well,” Channer said. “Everyone was ready today, especially since it’s getting near the end of the season. We obviously want to make it to OFSAA.”

A victory over Corpus Christi would advance Bishop Tonnos to the Golden Horseshoe Bowl in Windsor on Nov. 28. The Titans won their debut OFSAA bowl appearance last year in Guelph.

A trick play set up Begadon’s one-yard touchdown plunge with 11 seconds to play in the first half. Lining up for a field goal, Titans faked the kick and, instead, holder Hudson Taylor tossed a 27-yard pass to Taylor.

Francesco Romano kicked a 23-yard field goal plus five converts.

Bishop Tonnos capped the scoring on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Simon Blake.

Nelson, 10-0 entering the contest, got touchdowns by Matti Manninen (a one-yard run) and Michael Kerr (a nine-yard reception from quarterback Zach Islip, who completed 26 of 39 for 287 yards).

Nelson’s other points came by way of Marcus Reypa’s 38-yard field goal and conversion plus a conceded safety touch.

Bishop Tonnos faced Corpus Christi in a GHAC semifinal last year, winning 22-20.

“They’re a great team,” Begadon said of the Longhorns. “It was a really close game when we played them last year. We had to fight hard. Everyone will have to play their best.”

At the recent Tier II senior championship football final, the St. Jean de Brébeuf Braves defeated the St. Mary Crusaders, 15-7.

BT and Nelson football gameBT and Nelson football gameBT and Nelson football gameBT and Nelson football gameBT and Nelson football gamePhotos by Richard Andoga