Panthers meet their match in battle of the unbeatens
By Fred Sherwin
Panthers running back Jaylen King gets tackled by a Kanata Stallion defender
during first half action in their game on Friday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Panthers quest for the NCAFA peewee championship hit a major speed bump
on Friday night as they fell 21-6 to the Kanata Stallions.
In a game that
featured the league's only two unbeaten teams, the Stallions were bigger,
faster and mentally better prepared to play in a match-up of that magnitude.
They also took
better care of the ball. The usually sure-handed Panthers had six turnovers.
actually took a
6-0 lead early in the second quarter, but it was short-lived as the Stallions
ran the ensuing kick-off back 85 yards and then added the convert to go
They scored again
early in the third quarter on a 70-yard drive that took 10 plays, culminating
in a four yard run up the middle by Jake Nicholson.
The long drive
seemed to take all the steam out of the Panthers both literally and figuratively.
The defence had been on the field an inordinate amount of time and they
were beginning to show signs of fatigue.
On the other
side of the ball, the Panthers' usually explosive offense was being shutdown
by Kanata's defence. Except for Tyrone Pierre's long run that set up their
one and only touchdown of the game, the Panthers had scant few plays that
went over 10 yards. The few times they did manage to pick up some decent
yardage, they ended up turning the ball over.
meanwhile, continued to grind it out, adding an insurance touchdown in the
fourth quarter to make the final score 20-6.
head coach Chirs Molinski tried to put a positive spin on the loss.
time we won a championship, we lost a game during the regular season and
every time we went in undefeated we lost in the playoffs," said Molinski.
"So you know what? This is a little bit of humble pie for this teram,
which isn't a bad thing. We knew it wasn't going to be a cake walk. We just
have to make some adjustments and get better. That's what good teams do."
Because of a
quirk in the schedule, the Panthers play their final game of the regular
season against the Canterbury Mustangs next weekend and then enjoy a bye
before the playoffs begin.
p.m., Sept. 27)
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