The John F. Ross football Royals are looking to boldly go where only one Guelph team has gone before.
With a win on Saturday against London’s Mother Teresa Spartans, the Royals will earn themselves a spot in the Western Bowl at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
This past Tuesday, four days after the Royals topped GCVI 13-7 to take the District 10 title, they travelled to Port Elgin and earned a 7-4 win over Saugeen to take the CWOSSA championship and put them in the Western Bowl semifinal at home.
On Wednesday night, Ross coach Rick Milne was going to review tape of the win over Saugeen and put out calls to Western coach Greg Marshall and his pal Dennis McPhee, coach of the Waterloo Warriors, to see what their scouting crew might know about the Spartans.
In Tuesday’s win, the Royals’ lone touchdown came on a pass from Alec Wilson to Jake Frimeth, just like their lone major in the District 10 final.
Tuesday’s TD came with less than 20 seconds left in the first half and the Royals trailing 4-0. Because the team was out of time-outs, Wilson called the play himself and – badabing badaboom – they took a 7-4 lead into the halftime break and it would last until the final whistle.
Despite just the one TD, Milne said it was “One of our best offensive outputs,” adding that a lot of big plays were called back by what he found to be somewhat head-scratching holding calls.
On the other side of the ball, Milne said the Royals’ D is getting the job done as they’ve now given up just one TD in the two championship games.
“Our defense is bend but don’t break,” said Milne.
In Frimeth, who is rather slight in size – the spring roster for the Guelph Bears lists him at 135 pounds – the Royals have a highly versatile player who will be “much coveted” when his Ross days are done, said Milne.
Only in Grade 10, Frimeth was last year’s District 10 rookie of the year.
A smart and quick player, Milne says of Frimeth: “He can play anything. He could walk in and be our quarterback.”
Milne recalls Frimeth, who is the son of University of Guelph Gryphons special teams coach Jack Frimeth, back when Jake was around five years old.
Jack was an assistant coach at McMaster at the time and Jake would accompany dad when he was watching local high school football.
“He (Jake) would have the Ross helmet on and he’d be banging into the walls. It was neat,” Milne laughs. “I was asking, ‘When is he going to be in Grade 9?’”
The Spartans earned their spot in Saturday’s game by beating the East Elgin Eagles 30-7.
Kick-off Saturday at John F. Ross CVI is at 1 p. m.
The winner moves on to play in the Western Bowl at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday Nov. 25.
GCVI is the first and only Guelph team to make the Western Bowl as they got there in 2006 and lost 40-7 to St. Thomas Aquinas of London.
THE BIG GAME
Mother Teresa Spartans (London) at John F. Ross Royals (Guelph) Saturday Nov. 21, 1 p. m.