Daniel Poirier is not a prototypical university quarterback. At about 5-10, he's a good three to four inches below the standard that coaches look for at the post-secondary level.
To Sudbury Gladiators' head coach Brent Richer and the remainder of Poirier's teammates, all of this matters very little. The guy wins football games, plain and simple.
Poirier improved his record as a starter in the Ontario Football Conference (OFC) to 16-4-1, closing out an 8-0 summer of 2012 regular season schedule with a 38-31 victory, on the road, over the Huronia Stallions.
"Dan was the story," Richer said Sunday evening after his graduating pivot threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in Barrie. "I wish there was just one word to describe him, but there isn't. He's such a competitor. He wants to win so badly, and he just will not give up."
Of course, that description could also cover off the entirety of the Gladiators roster this summer as the team, once again, battled back against Huronia to claim victory.
Trailing 13-0 early in the second quarter, the visitors from Sudbury went to work, getting a 32-yard field goal from Travis Perrin before Poirier found Rob Staszak for a 50-yard pass and run that closed the gap to 13-10.
The Gladiators took the lead before the end of the first half when Zach Roque darted 55 yards to paydirt, offsetting a Stallions rouge as the northern lads held a 17-14 advantage.
After Huronia reclaimed the lead, 21-17, Poirier called his own number from the five. The seesaw pattern continued as Huronia countered, moving ahead 29-24, before Poirier found Justin Duff through the middle for his second TD pass of the game.
When Poirier ran in from the seven with just 1:19 remaining, a 38-29 lead appeared safe. But the Gladiators needed interceptions from both Josiah Walt and Eric Donaldson, sandwiched around a Huronia safety touch, to pull this one out of the fire.
"It was very similar to our first win against Huronia," Richer said. "We were behind early and we made in-game adjustments. I think this was more impressive because we were on the road and the fashion in which we did it."
First place in the Northern Division was already guaranteed entering the game, with Sudbury slated to welcome the Nipissing Wild to the James Jerome Sports Complex on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Posted by Laurel Myers