Riders win JV provincial championship

HAMILTON – The Ottawa Myers Riders are the provincial Junior Varsity football champions. The Riders pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to beat the Etobicoke Eagles 55-32 at McMaster University August 5th in Hamilton.

“I was nervous at the start of the game,” said Brody Fairbairn, Morrisburg resident and a quarterback with the team. “But I was fine after the first play of the game.”

The Riders led 7-6 over the Eagles at the end of the first quarter of the game, giving up the lead in the second. Etobicoke led 26-21 at halftime.

“We just had to step it up both ways, on offense and defense,” said Fairbairn. “The Eagles running game was big and fast. Their running back was a challenge.”

Ottawa battled back into the lead in the third quarter. Fairbairn set up two touchdowns, and the Riders’ placekicker went one-for-two on field goals. This put the Riders into the lead 34-26 heading into the fourth quarter.

Anchored by Fairbairn in the fourth quarter, Ottawa scored three touchdowns and went three-for-three on field goals, winning the championship game 55-32.

This is the third year in a row the Riders have won the provincial Junior Varsity championship.

“It’s really exciting,” Fairbairn said. “It’s still hard to believe we won.”

This is Fairbairn’s first championship win. He is looking forward to returning next year to play under Riders’ Junior Varisty head coach Ntare Bainomugisha.

“Coach Ntare is awesome,” he said. “We’re always learning with him. He teaches you not just the next step you need now, but next steps in the game to help you long term.”