outlast Tigers to win first-ever All Saints Bowl
By Fred Sherwin
St. Peter Knights downed the St. Matthew Tigers 29-20
in front of more than 1,200 fans at Millennium Park Friday
night in the first ever All Saints Bowl.
what is sure to become an annual tradition, the Knights
outlasted the Tigers in an enthralling game that had a
little bit of everything: exciting plays, untimely penalties,
and consequential miscues.
Peter running back Quinn Nadon-Stencill finds
some open space against the St. Matthew Tigers
in the inaugural All Saints Bowl on Friday
night. The Grade 12 senior finished the game
with 86 yards and two touchdowns. Photo courtesy
of Stephanie Scott
a foreshadowing of the excitement in store, the Tigers
scored on their very first play from scrimmage when Calgary
transfer Ted Kabongo bolted through the Knights defence
on his way to a 57-yard touchdown run.
Pete's responded with a more deliberate 52-yard touchdown
drive that included a pair of passes from quarterback
Alex Lawrie to Roberto Jimenez and Connor MacDonald that
was capped by a six-yard touchdown run by Quinn Nadon-Stencill.
the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers made their first of several
damaging miscues when the snap from centre went high over
quarterback Xavier Gervais' head resulting in a turnover
and giving the Knights possession of the ball on the 36-yard
for St. Matt's, the miscue only resulted in a single point
for the Knights when Sasha Dierykx's 23-yard field goal
attempt went wide right and out the back of the end zone.
St. Matt's failed to pick up a first down on their next
possession they were forced to punt the ball from their
own 34. A poor kick and an excellent run back would give
the Knights excellent field position on the Tigers' 38.
28-yard run by Nadon-Stencill and a seven-yard pass from
Lawrie to MacDonald would set up a highlight reel touchdown
pass from Lawrie to Jimenez at the back of the Tigers
end zone to bring the opening quarter to a close.
the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers lined up on the Knights'
54-yard line and Gervais went to work completing passes
of seven and 46 yards to the speedy Willy-Pierre Dimbongi
who was forced out of bounds at the one-yard line.
inability to get into the end zone would prove fateful
two plays later when another high snap resulted in another
turnover, but more importantly resulted in an ankle injury
to Gervias, forcing him to the sideline for the rest of
Knights threatened to score on the ensuing series, but
they were thwarted when Katley Joseph stripped Kobe Armstrong
of the ball in the end zone and ran it out to the 43-yard
score remained 15-7 in favour of St. Pete's until a high
snap on an attempted punt by the Knights gave the Tigers
a first down on the eight-yard line. Two plays later Kabongo
scored on a four-yard run that ended with him being upended
by Knights defensive back Kirk Jean-Baptiste. Kabongo
did a complete somersault in the air, but still had the
presence of mind to hit the pylon before hitting the ground
to register the touchdown.
Peter Knights quarterback Alex Lawrie is tackled
high and taken out of bounds during third
quarter action against the St. Matt Tigers
on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Scott
Knights had a chance to add to their lead before the end
of the second quarter after Matt Byrne recovered a fumble
on the Tigers' 34 yard line, but Dierykx's 27-yard field
goal attempt was block.
opening half of the game was a far cry from the first
meeting between the two teams when the Tigers jumped out
to a 21-0 lead on Sept. 23 and then held on for dear life
as the Knights mounted a ferocious second half comeback
which ultimately came up a touchdown short as St. Matt's
walked away with the 28-21 win.
poor exchanges between the centre and the Tigers quarterback
continued to plague the team in the the second half, most
glaringly towards the end of the third quarter when back
to back high snaps resulted in a loss of 37 yards. Facing
a third down and 35, the Tigers had no choice but to punt
the ball from deep in their own end, resulting in the
Knights getting the ball back on the Tigers 15-yard line.
plays later, Lawrie scored on a quarterback keeper from
the one yard line to extend the Knights lead to 22-14.
but not out, the Tigers tried to mount a comeback, first
on a 43-yard run by Kian Williams, and then on an apparent
35-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Mufuta that was called
back for an illegal block.
24-yard run by Williams would give the Tigers a first
down on the 10 and ultimately an 11-yard touchdown run
by Kabongo on third and 11, but that too was called back
for a holding penalty, forcing the St. Matt's to attempt
a 28-yard field goal that was blocked, leaving the Tigers
the remainder of the fourth quarter played out, time,
or the lack thereof, became an increasing enemy of the
Tigers as they searched for another touchdown to bring
them within reach of a possible tie on a two-point conversion.
opportunity would come with less than two minutes to go
when another strong run by Kabongo brought them down to
the Knights two-yard line.
Pete's stuffed the Tigers on the first down play, but
St. Matt's scored on the next play on a five-yard run
by Mufuta, but then the Tigers, who have often been their
own worst enemies in the past, were flagged for objectionable
conduct for celebrating the touchdown in a manner that
didn't sit well with the referees. As a result, instead
of attempting a two-point convert from the five they had
to set up on the 25. The ensuing attempted pass from Tigers
replacement quarterback Jamal Mavinga was broken up in
the end zone by Kobe Armstrong who played the entire game
on both sides of the ball.
44.4 seconds left in the game the Tigers still had a trick
up their sleeve, attempting an onside kick that was successfully
recovered by Eliya Enyeka only to be nullified when one
of the St. Matt's players was flagged for going offside.
the second onside kick didn't go the required 10 yards,
the Knights gained possession of the ball on the Tigers
49-yard line with 35.7 seconds left.
than take a knee and run out the clock, the Knights had
National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association
rules, ties in the final standings are settled by point
differential. Since the Tigers beat the Knights by seven
points in their first game, the Knights needed to win
by at least eight points to have a chance at finishing
the regular season in first place. But to do that the
Knights needed to score another touchdown.
handing the ball off to Nadon-Stencill for a short run,
Lawrie hooked up with Arm-strong for a 47-yard completion
that took the Knights down to the six-yard line. Nadon-Stencill
ran the ball in two plays later to extend the Knights
lead to eight points and Dierykx added the all important
extra point for the nine-point win.
finished the game with 86 yards and two touchdowns on
16 carries. He also caught the ball twice for 24 yards
and was named as the Knights MVP. Lawrie also had a strong
game passing the ball 11 times for 174 yards and a touchdown
and he ran one in for a major.
Kabongo was named as the Tigers' most valuable player
of the game based on his 115-yard running performance
and two touchdowns.
the game Knights head coach Jim Mick said their game plan
was to try and contain the Tigers superior athleticism
by playing disciplined defence and limiting the number
of big plays.
have athletes and you're not going to contain them forever.
You just have to eliminate the big plays," said Mick,
who has five Grade 10s starting on defence.
Tigers had six plays over 30 yards in the game, two of
which went for touchdowns. One set up one of the touchdowns.
One was called back on a penalty and two were followed
up by series ending miscues.
loss and the role the referees played in it was a a bitter
pill for the Tigers to swallow, but they were already
looking forward to a possible rematch in the city championship
game before the two teams lined up to shake hands.
you in the next one St. Pete's. See you in the next one,"
one Tiger shouted to no one in particular. And if the
first two encounters between these two teams are any indication
of how a rubber match might play out with all the marbles
on the line, the next one may just be the best one.
of the St. Peter Knights collect the shiny
new All Saints Bowl from the game's sponsor,
Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais, after beating
the St. Matthew Tigers 29-20. Fred Sherwin/Photo
11:30 a.m., Oct. 15)
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