Vernon's Jim Cotter surveys the ice at the $100

Jacobs sends Morris packing

Brad Jacobs of Ontario scored three in the final end for a 6-5 win over John Morris of Vernon in the $100,000 Boost National quarterfinals

JONATHAN BRAZEAU

Sportsnet

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Hometown hero Brad Jacobs scored three in the final end for a thrilling 6-5 win over John Morris of Vernon in the $100,000 Boost National curling quarterfinals Saturday at the Essar Centre.

Down by two with the hammer in eight, the reigning Olympic champion had a golden opportunity to advance when Team Morris fourth Jim Cotter crashed on a guard with his last. Jacobs was already sitting two and got the final rock of the game in to count three and send the crowd into a frenzy.

“It was nice to end on a high note,” Team Jacobs second E.J. Harnden said. “The way the game was going, there were not very many opportunities to get the crowd into it. I think the biggest thing is we just stayed with it. It wasn’t our best but we made the key shots when it mattered, got a few breaks and fortunately for us we’re off to the semifinals.”

After Jacobs was heavy and chipped off his own guard in three, Morris capitalized with Cotter easing in his last to score a deuce. Morris dodged a bullet as Cotter froze his last and Jacobs looked to unlock it to score three and pull ahead. He attempted an angle raise, but couldn’t get the counter out far enough and only scored one.

Team Morris was forced to draw for a single in five and Cotter covered the pin perfectly to reclaim the two-point advantage. Jacobs had an opportunity for two in the six when Cotter crashed on a guard and went through the rings untouched, but he couldn’t capitalize as his last was light to only count the one already in the house.

Morris tacked another on the board in seven.

Jacobs overcame a shaky start as Morris was in control for most of the match. The 2010 Olympic gold medallist Morris established a 3-1 lead scoring a deuce in the third after Jacobs was heavy and chipped off his own guard.

Morris dodged a bullet in the fourth as Cotter froze his last and Jacobs looked to unlock it to score three and pull ahead. Jacobs attempted an angle raise, but couldn’t get the counter out far enough and only scored one. Team Morris was forced to draw for a single in five and Cotter covered the pin perfectly to reclaim the two-point advantage.

Jacobs had a chance for two in the sixth when Cotter crashed on a guard and went through the rings untouched, but he couldn’t capitalize as his last was light to only count the one already in the house.

Morris added another on the board in seven to set the stage for Jacobs to redeem himself with the comeback end in the eighth. It was a rematch of the 2013 Olympic Trials final where Jacobs topped Morris to represent Canada at the Sochi Winter Games.

Jacobs faced defending champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., who edged Charley Thomas and his Edmonton-based team 4-3 in an extra end in the semifinals later Saturday.

Morris took down Calgary’s Kevin Koe 8-2 in six ends during Draw 12 Friday to advance to the playoffs.

Morris shook off an opening round-robin loss to Toronto’s John Epping to finish the preliminary stage winning three straight games to reach the quarterfinals.

“We had a tough one against Epping,” said Morris, a Calgary firefighter. “We played well and Epping stood on his head. We’ve started playing like we could and put ourselves in a good position.”

Morris has a front end of Rick Sawatsky and Ty Griffith, both of Kelowna.

Ahead by one, Morris capitalized riding the steal train swiping two in the fourth when Koe crashed on his own guard.

“Koe just struggled a bit but it was a pretty well-played game other than that. He missed a few more shots than he usually does and our team was solid,” said Morris.

 

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