Volume 12 Week 5

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NCAFA Football
Peewee Panthers steamroll Myers Riders, set up showdown with North Gloucester Giants
By Fred Sherwin
OrleansOnline.ca

Cumberland running back Fabrice Mukendi ran for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Panthers 40-7 win over the Myers Riders on Sunday. File photo

The Cumberland Panthers peewee team remains undefeated after downing the Myers Riders 40-7 on Sunday in a game that saw them make up for a slow start by scoring 40 unanswered points.

The Panthers were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season partly because of the Riders decision to put their all-star running back, Antonio Corsi, out in the flat as a wide receiver, and partly because of an illegal block that nullified a 125-yard missed field goal return by Fabrice Mukendi.

The Riders made good use of Corsi's superior height and size, moving the ball through the air in a series of lob passes, culminating in a 35-yard touchdown reception that gave them an early 7-0 lead.

After successfully pulling off an onside kick, the Riders moved the ball inside the Panthers' 25-yard line to set up a field goal attempt which went wide left and into the hands of Mukendi who corraled the ball at the back of the end zone and returned it 125-yards in an electrifying run that was brought back to the point of the aforementioned infraction at the one yard line.

The Panthers were able to move the ball to their 50-yard line before they were forced to turn it over on downs.

The Riders didn't fare much better, handing the ball back to the Panthers on the 38 after only three plays.

A pair of incompletions left the Panthers facing a third and 10 which Mukendi erased with a 24-yard run. A 26-yard pass from Christian Veilleux to Maxme Dery then set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Mukendi, which the Panthers capped with a two-point convert run by Veilleux to take an 8-7 lead midway through the second quarter. From there it was all Panthers.

A successful onside kick set up a 23-yard drive capped by a nine-yard run by Veilleux. A two-point convert run by Jonathan Aoude would give the Panthers a 16-7 lead at the half.

Cumberland would add a pair of third quarter touchdowns by Aoude and Markaedyn Nelson, the latter coming on a 39-yard punt return. A fifth touchdown by Mukendi in the fourth quarter would make the final score 40-7.

Taping it all from sideline was North Gloucester Giants head coach Moe Salehe who was reciprocating Panthers head coach Jeff Koradi taping the Giants 60-0 win over the Gloucester South Raiders the day before.

The Panthers and the Giants will square off this Saturday in a game with first place implications on the line. A win by either team would put them at the top of the East Conference standings.

The 6-0 Panthers have averaged 52 points per game on offence while giving up just three touchdowns. The Giants, on the other hand, have averaged 49 points per game on offence in their five wins and have also given up just three touchdowns.

A number of the players on both teams played together on the Panthers' bantam varsity team that made it to the Ontario Varsity League conference championship in August so they are very familiar with each other making Saturday's showdown a potential knock em' down, drag em' out affair.

(Posted 3 p.m., Sept. 25)

 

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