Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


Team of the Month

Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

NCAFA Football
Bengal tykes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat
By Fred Sherwin

The captains of the Orleans Bengals tyke team raise the A-Cup championship trophy over their heads after defeating the Myers Riders on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

It took an extraordinary individual effort in the dying seconds of what had been a very tight game for the Orleans Bengals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against the Cornwall Wildcats on Sunday and lay claim to the NCAFA U10 A-Cup championship.

With 1:56 seconds left on the clock, the only thing that separated the two teams was a single point scored late in the fourth quarter by the Wildcats on a 35-yard punt that went through the Bengals’ end zone for the dreaded rouge.

Trailing 15-14, the Bengals placed the ball in the hands of Tristan Johnson who had been kept in check by the Wildcats’ defence for most of the second half including the first two plays of the eventual game-winning drive. But after only gaining seven yards, Johnson managed to reel off a seven yard run on third and three to keep the drive alive.

The next two plays, however, were for losses of two and three yards, setting up a third and 15 with 2.4 seconds left in the game. The Wildcat fans were already celebrating on the sideline when Johnson took the ball from quarterback Humzah Rana skipped through a gap in the line and scampered 46 yards for the game-winning touchdown, touching off a wild celebration among the Bengals’ players and their supporters.

The Bengals opened the scoring with a 58-yard run by Nathaniel Assivero on the their second possession of the game. The Wildcats then tied the score on the last play of the opening stanza when quarterback Nick Connors executed a textbook naked bootleg for a six-yard gain.

The score remained tied until late in the second quarter when Johnson scored his first touchdown of the game on a 39-yard run that was capped by Garcy Riviere’s second extra point kick.

The seven point lead looked like it was going to hold up through the third quarter and most of the fourth until the Wildcats manufactured a game-tying drive that included a pair of passes from Connors to Travis Brisebois for 13 and 28 yards. The final blow was delivered by Noah-Wyatt Campeau on a three-yard run up the middle.

The go-ahead rouge was scored on the Wildcats next possession after they forced the Bengals to turn the ball over on downs.

The single point also meant that the Bengals had to start their final drive of the game on their own 25 yard line which is where Johnson put the team on his back and carried them to victory with a little help from his blockers.

The young quarterback finished the game with 142 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Assivero had an excellent game as well, carrying the ball eight times for 95 yards and a major.

Asked what he saw when he was handed the ball on the final play, Johnson said he saw an opening in the line and just ran through it. From there it was a foot race to the end zone.

“I just ran as fast as I could,’ said the game MVP.

The quarterback sneak, was actually called by Bengals’ offensive coordinator Dany Durand who gave Johnson very simple instructions before the play.

“I told him to take the ball and run straight and that was the end of it,” said Durand.

Bengals’ head coach George Zigoumis summed up the feelings of his coaching staff after the winning drive.

“Proudest moment as a coach. The kids did great and we love them."

The Orleans Bengals reigned victorious in the NCAFA A-Cup championship on Sunday, downing the Cornwall Wildcats 15-14 on the last play. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(Posted 9 p.m., Nov. 9)


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