Junior Boys Football
Jr. Knights dodge bullet against game St. Matt’s team
The St. Peter Knights junior boys football team improved their record to 5-0 on Friday, but not before the St. Matt’s Tigers gave them their biggest scare of the season late in the game.
Playing in a steady downpour, the Knights built up a 5-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter by Ryan Begin and a safety early in the second quarter.
The Knights’ defence was especially sharp in the first half in not allowing the Tigers to pick up a single first down.
The Tigers defence were no slouches either. After allowing three first downs on the opening drive that led to the field goal, they only allowed one first down the rest of the half.
The game was shaping up to be a titanic defensive struggle and then the Tigers struck out of nowhere. After the Knights went three and out to start the second half, the Tigers managed to rip off two long runs included a 43 yard dash down the sideline by Steve Fullum to get them inside the 20 yard line.
J.P. Hamelin then ran the ball down to the two yard line, before big Xavier McNeil bulled over the goal line to give the Tigers a 7-5 lead following the extra point.
The two teams then exchanged the next six possessions as neither side was able to get a first down.
Then the Tigers made a crucial mistake, fumbling the ball away on second down near midfield. Shane Patrick was Johnny on the spot for the Knights making the fumble recovery on the Tigers’ 53 yard line which is where St. Pete’s offence went to work.
On the first play from scrimmage, Jamarr King picked up 20 tough yards. Connor Devine then scrambled for eight before King made back to back carries of 15 and 14 yards, the later of which found him in the end zone to give St. Pete’s a four point lead at 11-7.
With time running out, the Tigers gathered themselves to make one last ditch effort to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Faced with second down in Knights territory, the Tigers dug into their bag of tricks and came up with a slotback option play from Steve Fullum to Nick Rozman that covered 50 yards to give St. Matt’s a first down on the Knights’ 25-yard line.
Another pass from quarterback McAuley Banning to Rozman would move them down to the six yard line.
The game then came down to one last play. As Banning stepped back into the pocket, the Tigers offensive linemen did their best to keep the Knights at bay.
After spotting his intended receiver, Banning drew the ball back and launched it only to see it batted out of midair by Knights' middle linebacker Nick Lecour. It was a spectacular defensive play which preserved the win for the Knights and dropped the hard luck Tigers to 2-3.
It was the third tough loss for St. Matt’s who played their proverbial hearts out. Both of their earlier losses to Ashbury and St. Mark’s came on the final play of the game.
Head coach Al Rozman was hoping to do the same against St. Peter, and although there were unable to pull it off, they still earned themselves a great deal of respect in very nearly handing the best junior team in the city their first loss of the season.
“This game was all about respect. I feel really good for the boys. They played one heck of a game,” said Rozman.
Both teams have one game left before the playoffs begin. As things stand now, St. Pete’s and St. Mark’s will both get a first round bye for winning their divisions while St. Matt’s will earn a first round date with Ashbury. Should they win they will get a rematch with St.Pete’s in the semi-finals.
(Updated 9:30 a.m.,
the ensuing power play, the Barons scored a pair of goals in one minute
and 12 seconds to take a commanding three goal lead.
Russell would get one more back in the third, but by then it as too
little, too late.
Goffs second goal of the game with 1:40 left in regulation,
would seal the deal for the Barons and seal the fate of the Russell
must now prepare for the Tournament of Champions which will take place
next week in Carleton Place. The tournament pits the various champions
from leagues throughout the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario against
each other in a tournament format.
record in tournament play this year is fairly impressive. Of the three
tournaments they played in they made it to the finals all three times,
including a tournament in Gananoque which they won.
most heart-breaking loss came in the final of the regional Silver
Stick Tournament which they lost in overtime.
of the young men on the team have been playing together since novice,
while others havent played together since novice because of
the age difference.
10:30 p.m., March 28)
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