Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Nov. 17


 

Team of the Month

Posted Oct. 25

Posted Sept. 21

Posted July 20

survey solution

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



High School Football
Knights outlast Tigers to win first-ever All Saints Bowl
By Fred Sherwin
OrleansOnline,ca

The 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.

In 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.

St. 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

In 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.

St. 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.

After 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 line.

Fortunately 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.

When 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.

An 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.

After 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.

Dimbongi's 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 the game.

The 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 line.

The 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.

St. 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

The 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.

The 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

Five plays later, Lawrie scored on a quarterback keeper from the one yard line to extend the Knights lead to 22-14.

Down 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.

A 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 empty-handed.

As 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.

Their 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.

St. 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.

With 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.

When 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.

Rather than take a knee and run out the clock, the Knights had other plans.

Under 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.

After 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.

Nadon-Stencill 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.

Ted Kabongo was named as the Tigers' most valuable player of the game based on his 115-yard running performance and two touchdowns.

After 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.

"They 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.

The 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.

The 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.

"See 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.

Members 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

(Posted 11:30 a.m., Oct. 15)

 

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