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NCAFA Minor Football
Mews Peewee Bengals end season on a winning note
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Mews Orleans Bengals captains Justin Ryan, Bernie Murdock and accept the Sullivan Trophy after winning the peewee C-Cup championship on Wednesday. Photo supplied

It's been a tough year for the Mews Orleans Bengals peewee football team. Injuries and illness wrecked havoc on the team's defensive corps and the offensive line went through a number of changes as well.

After finishing in fifth place in the East Division with a record of 2-6, the banged up Bengals sought to salvage their season by knocking off the North Gloucester Giants 34-24 in the C-Cup semi-finals and earning a berth in the C-Cup championship game in the process.

Their opponents in the final were the Bel-Air Lions who were 4-4 in the extremely competitive West Division.

Besides the injuries and the flu-bug, the Bengals also had to contend with history. None of the players on the team head ever won a post-season game at Minto Field, dating back to their second year at tyke.

Bengals head coach Dennis Prouse knew coming into the game that his team would have to play at their very best if they wanted to win/

"We knew going in that it was going to be a dog fight. We had four or five kids that were battling the flu, including Josh Rector who was so sick we had to keep out of the game a couple of times," says Prouse.

The tone of the game was set in the opening quarter with the two teams each scoring a pair of touchdowns. By half-time the score was tied 22-22.

"It was one of those games that you figured whoever had the ball last would win the game," says Prouse. "But the funny is it was our defence that won the game for us."

The Bengals were actually trailing 41-37 late in the game when Rector made a diving catch for his second touchdown of the game. Moments earlier he had to search out an isolated area away from the bench to be physically ill.

"He was incredible. To be physically ill and come back into the game and make score the winning touchdown, that's how legends are made. That was insane," says Prouse.

Despite Rector's late game heroics, there was still enough time left on the clock for the Lions to put together a last minute drive. They got as far as the Bengals' 15-yard line, before the Orleans defensive unit finally stiffened and stopped stopped them on a third down and two to cement the win.

"It's funny. I was on the sideline thinking if they're going to score let them score quick so we'll have a chance to respond, but as it turned out we didn't have to because our defensive guys did the job. They were fantastic," says Prouse.

Besides Rector's two touchdowns. Justin Ryan and Rashari Sommerville-Henry also scored for the Bengals, while pivot Michael O'Conner scored on a quarterback keeper and threw both touchdown passes to Rector. Jacob Fox and Quinton Soares also made several key catches on offense.

The Bengals' sixth touchdown was scored by Bernie /.Murdock who recovered a fumble in the third quarter and returned it 60 yards.

"If there was ever a group of kids who deserved to win their last game of the year it's these kids. They played through so much adversity and never got down on themselves or each other. I'm so proud of them," says Prouse.

While the Bengals peewee squad ended their season on a winning note, the club's mosquito team was not quite as fortunate.

After pulling off an exciting double overtime win over the West Carleton Wolverines n the semifinals, the mosquito squad was unable to match-up against the North Gloucester Giants in the C-Cup championship. The end result was a 44-8 win for the Giants with Kundera Provost-Yombo scoring the Bengals lone touchdown.

Despite the losing their final game, mosquito head coach Jason Purcell said the team could still hold their heads high for simply making it to the C-Cup championship.

"The semi-final game was our championship. No one expected us to win that game. We hadn't won a game all season and Bel-Air was 3-5, so to beat them in overtime and make it to the championship was a huge accomplishment," says Prouse.

The Mews Orleans Bengals still have two teams vying for post season hardware. The Mew Orleans Dukes are playing the Canterbury Mustangs for the midget championship on Friday night and the bantam Bengals will take in the Kanata Knights in the A-Cup championship on Sunday.

The Mews Orleans Bengals pose with the Sullivan Trophy after downing the
Bel-Air Lions 43-41 in the NCAFA C-Cup Championship on Wednesday. Photo supplied

(Posted 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29)


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