By Matt Conrad and David Cox
You could feel it in the city and the province, Professional Football was back in Nova Scotia!
On July 24th Touchdown Atlantic was held in Wolfville at Acadia University. This was a long-awaited game as it was supposed to happen July 25, 2020, however the COVID-19 pandemic put that on pause.
Two years later, the province was ready to make it better than ever!
The two teams showed up in Halifax the week of the game to enjoy the city and prepare for a game that would have them on neutral grown. The players seemed to truly enjoy their time here. A couple of players even got to go out on a lobster fishing trip.
Leading up to the game everyone knew this would be a hard-fought game. Teams want to win each week but when you get a chance to play in front of a new crowd of fans, it always adds to the pressure. Nova Scotia was treated to a fantastic game but most of all, there was some serious talent to be seen on the field. Many of these players have NFL experience. Some have bounced back and forth between CFL and NFL.
I do not think there was a bigger talent or star to see than defensive lineman Shane Ray. How often does Nova Scotia get to see a Super Bowl champion play? Not just any Super Bowl. Ray won Super Bowl 50 with one of the top quarterbacks to ever play the game, Peyton Manning.
We caught up with Hénoc Muamba. Muamba has NFL experience as well, but what is interesting about him is he played for St. FX in Antigonish and is the school’s all-time leader in tackles. He said it was nice being back in “Hali” to catch up with some old friends.
Many players felt an annual game in Nova Scotia should become a regular thing. A handful of players could be over-heard saying that it would be nice to have a team here and truly be a coast-to-coast league.
Game day on Saturday and Wolfville was packed! Both teams delivered everything the football fans could have wanted. It was a back-and-forth game that came down to the last minutes.
The first quarter was a defensive with Saskatchewan putting up just four points. The second quarter, however, was an offensive frenzy! Each team scoring on each drive. Toronto putting up 2 TDs and a field goal and Saskatchewan scored a TD and a field goal. The third quarter went back to the defensive focus with Toronto being the only one to put up points. A single field goal. The fourth quarter was filled with excitement. The crowd erupted as the lead kept changing.
Toronto scored a single early in the fourth, but Saskatchewan fired back with a TD and a field goal to take the lead with 5 minutes left in the game. Toronto got the ball back but drove down just enough to score another single in the fourth, making the score 24-22 for Saskatchewan with just over 3 minutes left.
Saskatchewan got the ball back, but unfortunately for Saskatchewan, just 40 seconds later they would throw an interception and Toronto returned it for a 49-yard defensive TD. After a 2-point conversion the game was 30- 24 for Toronto and that would be the final score.
It was another exciting, successful Touchdown Atlantic game!