by RENALDO DORSETT
Now firmly established as a dynasty in the Atlantic Football League, the Holland College Hurricanes captured their second consecutive league title and the third in four years.
With 10 Bahamian players on their roster, the Hurricanes captured the 2014 Moosehead Cup with a 31-15 win over the the University of New Brunswick Seawolves on Saturday at the UPEI Alumni games Place on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Nine Bahamian players are currently on the Hurricanes roster.
The group includes returning stars – linebacker Cardell Rolle, wide receivers Eugene McMinns and Xavier Hanna, defensive lineman Dale Knowles and Revello Williamson, defensive back Arrien MacDonald, along with newcomers running back Jamal Storr, defensive lineman D’aiquin Wilmore and offensive lineman Shelton Williams.
The Hurricanes completed a perfect season with an 8-0 record.
The Hurricanes were behind 15-3 at halftime but responded with 28 unanswered points in the second half.
Rolle, the team’s defensive captain, said the team showed great resilience in recovering from their first taste of adversity since a preseason loss to NCAA Division III Maine Maritime Academy.
“I felt like we had a great game. I feel as though everybody came with the mindset that we were going to put our all on the field. The first half have we were just getting adjusted to what they were bringing to the table but in the second half we rallied up and put together a game plan to shut down their offense. Everybody did their part individually and as a team,” Rolle said, “Its just a great feeling to win two championships back to back and hopefully it continues.”
Holland College dominated the AFL 2014, scoring a league 293 points while surrendering a league-low 131 points.
In two previous matchups with the Seawolves this season, the Hurricanes won by a 23- point average margin of victory.
In the season opener, the Hurricanes made an early statement with a 36-13 win on the road.
In the second matchup, the they protected home-field with a 40-17 win.
Williamson, said it was a different experience than his first season when the team entered the playoffs as underdogs.
“The feeling is 10 times better this year. Being two time champions and going undefeated is just astounding,” he said, “Every game we continued on going undefeated added more and more pressure but we followed our motto ‘One team, one goal’ and that message took us through to the end.”
Bahamians have been an integral part of the Holland football club since its inception in 2010.
The staff routinely hosts scouting combines in the Bahamas to recruit prospective players to the program and it has paid major dividends in the last five years.
In 2011, the Hurricanes won their first AFL title when they defeated the UNB Red Bombers 28-0.
Demetrius Ferguson sparked the Hurricanes and was named the MVP of the game when he scored touchdowns on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
The UNB Red Bombers won the AFL title 14-7 in 2012, preventing the Hurricanes from claiming back-to-back titles.
In 2013, the Hurricanes reclaimed the title after a disappointing regular season where they finished at 1-4-1, but ended the year with a tie before their consecutive wins in the playoffs.
They went on to take the 2013 title with a with a 20-12 win over the the Seawolves.
The championship title was an even more impressive feat for the Hurricanes after they dropped both regular season matchups against the Seawolves by a combined margin of 11 points.