Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, March 29


 

Team of the Month

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



High School Football
Tigers rout St. Petes to end 21-year championship drought
By Fred Sherwin
OrleansOnline,ca

The St. Matthew Tigers senior boys football team celebrate after winning the NCSSAA city championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

It's been 21 years since a team from St. Matthew High School last won a senior boys football championship. Over that same period of time, the St. Peter Knights have won the title 12 times, including five times in a row between 2008 and 2012, and the last two championships in 2014 and 2015.

On Saturday, the two-time defending champions and perennial contenders ran into a St. Matt's team that wanted to make some history of their own and they did so in emphatic fashion, handing the Knights one of their worst losses in the program's history.

The Tigers crushed the Knights 42-0, despite racking an almost inconceivable 185 yards in penalties including six objectionable conduct infractions and three unnecessary roughing calls. All of which were negated by the Tigers' best defensive effort of the season and the running prowess of highly recruited Calgary transfer Ted Kubongo and Jonathan Mufuta who scored five of the Tigers' six touchdowns.

The game was over almost before it started thanks to pair of touchdowns by Kubongo -- the first one coming after an ill-timed fumble that was recovered by Octave Nawej, and the second one coming after the Knights failed to score on third and goal from the four.

The Tigers would make the Knights pay for the missed conversion when Kubongo scampered 104 yards after the change of possession for his second major of the game.

The Tigers' third touchdown was scored by Mufuta after a Knights penalty gave St. Matt's a first down on the one.

St. Peter was threatening to score near the end of the first half, when Tigers' defensive back Willy Dimbongi intercepted the ball in the end zone. It would be his first of three interceptions on the day, including two in the end zone.

The Tigers came out of the halftime break looking to add to their lead, but penalties and a turnover would give the Knights the opportunity to finally get on the score board but after stalling on the Tigers' 30 yard line they chose to execute a quick kick that pinned St. Matt's deep in their own end.

Looking to get out of trouble, the Tigers handed the ball off to Kubongo who ripped off another long run, only to have it called back for an illegal block.

After taking a timeout, the Tigers dug into their bag of tricks and had quarterback Xavier Gervais hook up with safety Kately Joseph, who was put in the game as a wide out, for a 62 yard gain. A 15-yard penalty against the Knights was tagged onto the end of the play to give the Tigers a first down on the eight yard line.

Mufuta scored what appeared to be the Tigers' fourth touchdown of the game, but it was called back for an illegal block and unnecessary roughness. Not to worry. After the St. Matts was assessed the 25-yards in penalties, Mufuta simply ran the ball in from the 33 to extend the Tigers lead to 28-0.

The Tigers' fifth touchdown came at the end of a bizarre series of plays that saw them recover their own fumble not once but twice.

Paul Debe fumbled the ball first after picking up 15 yards, only to have it picked up by Kian Williams who carried it another 25 yards into Knights territory. Then on the very next play, Dimbongi, who was doing double-duty on offence, recovered a Kubongo fumble and ran it 40 yards for the major.

The Tigers' final touchdown was scored late in the game by Kubongo after Williams picked off an errant St. Peter pass. Michael Stenta then kicked his sixth extra point of the game to make the final 42-0 in favour of the Tigers.

When the final whistle blew the entire stadium erupted in bedlam as the Tigers and their supporters celebrated the big win.

A big part of the Tigers success this season is Kubongo's running which has attracted the attention of universities across the country including UBC, the University of Calgary, and closer to home, the University of Ottawa.

"I feel blessed. I feel part of history and I'm glad to do it with all these guys. It's amazing," Kubongo said after the big win. "I mean we still have OFSAA, but we did it. We're city champs."

Another reason for the team's success was Dimbongi's play both on offense and defense where he had three interceptions in the championship game and very nearly had four.

"This is so amazing, I can't believe it. It's took a lot of hard work. A lot of people didn't think we could come together as a team and beat a team like St. Petes, but we did it and now we're going to OFSAA baby."

The Tigers now have two weeks to prepare for the OFSAA Metro Bowl which will be played in Hamilton on Nov. 28. Their opponents will be the winner of the Toronto Catholic District Athletic Association championship game between the Chaminade College Gryphons and the Michael Power / St. Joseph High School being played on Nov. 17.

For their part, the Knights played like the champs they are, right up until the final whistle. Several of the St. Peter players have had the honour of representing the NCSSAA in an OFSAA bowl game the last two years, including quarterback Alex Lawrie, running backs Quinn Nadon-Stencill and Brad Pichette, receivers Conor MacDonald and Roberto Jimenez and lineman Chris Bitchoka.

The St. Matthew Tigers senior boys football team celebrate after winning the NCSSAA city championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(Posted 9 p.m., Nov. 13)

 

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