Photo courtesy of AllSportMedia.ca
The 2023 Canadian Bowl is set for Saturday November 11th when the Westshore Rebels host the Saskatoon Hilltops for the national crown.
In fact, this is the third time these two franchises will meet in the CJFL title game with the Hilltops winning the previous two. In 2003 they blasted the then Victoria Rebels 59-0 and then went to Westshore in 2016 and beat them 37-25.
It was a cool and wet day in 2016 that saw rain on and off throughout the game which didn’t seem to bother these teams who both possessed potent running attacks. The Hilltops were led by Logan Fischer who was named Offensive Player of the Game rushing 28 times for 202 yards. When not carrying the ball, he leaked out of the backfield for a pair of touchdown receptions.
Throughout the season Rebels running back Jamel Lyles was outstanding and was named the CJFL Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year. In the Canadian Bowl he gained 141 tough yards on 16 carries against a very good, fast and physical Hilltops defence.
Quarterback Jared Andreychuk was a Hilltops star all season and into the national final finishing his last junior football season 9-0 and won his fourth Canadian Bowl. He completed 10 passes that game, three of them for touchdowns and collected 220 yards.
The game changed in the third quarter following a Rebels touchdown for the lead, rookie Josh Ewanchyna returned the ensuing kick-off 105-yards all the way to the house, tying a Canadian Bowl record for longest kick-off return for a touchdown and gave the Hilltops the lead for good.
Defensively the Hilltops would bend, but not break led by Player of the Game linebacker Cody Peters who collected a total of 11 tackles. Lineman Blake Hermann added six tackles and a sack and Jared Giddings returned an interception 53-yards, setting up his team’s offence in great field position.
That Hilltops win in 2016 was the franchise’s 19th Canadian Bowl championship and was their second three-peat since 2010. After that win in Westshore the Toppers went on to win in 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well, winning six titles in a row.
Their last championship was that 2019 season, while the Rebels are still looking for their first national title.
The 2023 Canadian Bowl kicks off at 3:00pm in Westshore, BC on Saturday November 11th.