GOTW ON: CFC50 No. 15 UCC clash with No. 17 Lucas in London

The non-conference action continues in Ontario with the CFC50 No. 15 Upper Canada College Blues taking on the No. 17 A.B Lucas Vikings on Friday evening in the Western Kickoff Classic at TD Stadium.

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It’s an early test for both programs going into the regular season with UCC looking to repeat as CISAA champions, while Lucas is hoping they can finally break the door down in London and punch their ticket to the OFSAA Festival. The Blues are also eligible for the CFC50 High School Rankings this season, which adds a little background incentive with both teams on the verge of cracking the top ten.

Likely the biggest change for UCC is the addition of CFC100 quarterback Jade Boucetta, who made the move from Quebec after spending last season at Selwyn House, and also sometime down south at IMG Academy prior. It’s not often you get to add one of the most talented pivots in the country to your program in the offseason, and the Class of 2021 prospect says there’s been no issues adjusting to life in Hogtown,

“The transition has been very easy and exciting so far. We have a great coaching staff with experience and we’re a very smart team. My favourite part so far is playing in a great city like Toronto with guys that truly enjoy playing the game of football.”

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On the opposite side, the Vikings didn’t add a brand new CFC100 to the roster, but they were lucky enough to see CFC100 Erik Andersen return in the trenches. Andersen originally announced his U Sports commitment, but wanted to give the high school circuit one last ride before moving onto the next level, and it all begins again on Friday night with a tough matchup against the Blues,

“Our main focus as a team is always to get better each day.” Andersen explains. “It’s always fun to play a strong team like UCC on a Friday night. It will be a good test for us to see where we are at, and we are all excited to finally get to play a game after working hard all offseason.”

He’ll will be joined in the frontlines by Zach Parmley, and receiver Patrick Murphy should be a favourite target of quarterback Matt Jaquith. On defence they’ll look to Will Adams as a shutdown man in the secondary, while George Sotiriadis and Mike Chann should make some noise in the middle of the defence. They all have ample experience playing in the rugged London region, and Andersen says they can’t wait to get the bad taste out of their mouths after bowing out in the city finals to CFC50 No. 5 Catholic Central last year,

“We have a great group of guys again this season and we have lots of talent. We are all really excited and are going to come out really hard after such a long offseason. As for my personal goals this season, I am just looking to do whatever is needed in order to help the team succeed at the end of the day.”

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The Blues understand what they’ll be up against, but there’s no lack of confidence beaming from the current CISAA champions. Their league is notorious for being one of the toughest in the country due to out-of-province transfers such as Boucetta, who’s already receiving interest from UConn, Troy, Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia to give you an idea of his potential. Last season UCC finished with a 6-2 record and a 31-0 triumph in the finals against CFC50 No. 42 St. Andrew’s College, thanks in large part to the play of Nico Kwemo. The versatile athlete should become one of Boucetta’s main threats on offence, and also one of the Blues’ best players on defence as well,

“UCCs main style of football is just excursion and discipline.” Kwemo says. “It’s usually in that area we tend to surpass other teams and if not already gain the upper hand. My main goal for this season is simply put to ball out. There shouldn’t be any reason why I don’t play my best football this year.”

As an overall unit, they may not be intimidating to look at, but Boucetta is confident they can pull off the double if they stay mentally engaged from start to finish in 2019,

“My goal for the season is to win the CISAA championship to make it back to back. I truly believe that this is possible as we are a tight knit team with coaches and players that love the game of football,

“At UCC we’re not the largest football team you’ll see, but individually everyone is extremely smart and knows what they’re doing. We have a very strong receiver corps and our running back is one of the top guys in the league. We pass the ball very well and can run the ball to get those first downs when necessary. At the end of the day, we will beat teams with our mental ability rather than physical ability.”

Kickoff is set for 5:30pm on Friday night at Western University’s TD Stadium.

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