Panthers end regular season on a high note
By Mike Beasley
At the beginning of this Ontario Provincial Football League
season, Cumberland Panthers Junior Varsity head coach, Jeff
Koradi wanted two things from his players, be prepared to
work hard in practice and compete in every single game.
Panthers kicker and receiver Xavier Gervais
overcame a severelty sprained ankle to kick
a field goal and score a pair of touchdowns
in 19-0 win over the Ottawa Sooners on Sunday.
to Koradi, “The rest would take care of itself.”
Panthers bench boss was 100 per cent correct as he watched
his squad scratch and claw their way to a respectable
5-3 record over the past two months and a spot in the
crew had a rough start with just one win in their first
four games, but they regrouped nicely and went undefeat-ed
the remainder of the season.
picked up their fifth victory at Millennium Sports Park
on Saturday, beating the visiting Guelph Gryphons 54-10.
Ryan Licandro and Xavier Gervais threw two TDs each, while
Gervais scored a third major on the ground. Four different
players were on the receiving end of the touchdown passes
including Kevin Victome who caught his team-leading sixth
touchdown of the season.
thought we played well physically against Guelph, but
we were not that sharp mentally, the bye week really affected
some aspects of our game,” Koradi admitted.
confident we can be better, but I’m happy we ended up
two games over .500, especially the way we started this
season. But you know the saying, ‘It’s not how you start
something but how you finish’.”
win gives Cumberland 14 points and a lock on second place
in the Junior Varsity East Division behind the 7-1 Burlington
Stampeders who captured the regular season crown in that
their five wins, the Panthers finished a game ahead of
the third place Durham Dolphins (4-4).
and Durham will meet in the East Division semi-final at
Millennium Park on Sunday, Jan. 20 .
two teams lined up against each other in Durham on June
2 with the Panthers edging the Dolphins 27-17 for their
first win of the season.
that regular season is over and teams have been eliminated
we'll be getting back to the strength of our league,"
Koradi explained. "We'll be faced with the task of beating
one squad at a time starting with Durham."
paper, the Panthers appear to be the superior team with
234 points for in eight games compared to Durham’s total
offensive production of 179 points.
the defensive side of the ball, Cumberland gave up just
136 points to lead their division during the regular season.
Durham wasn’t far behind, with 158 points against.
Panthers feature a line-up with several explosive players
like Licandro who finished the regular season with close
to 2000 total passing yards and 18 touchdown passes.
back Marvin Simba is a force on the ground for the Panthers,
averaging 5.3 yards per carry and four rushing TDs.
is very dangerous when they utilize their dynamic receiving
corps, led by Victome who seems almost unstoppable at
Gervais (4 TDs), Jonathan Aoude and Connor MacDonald are
three other receivers that Licandro will look to throw
the ball to in the post season.
this week's semi-final game against Durham with the confidence
that we beat them earlier in the season will definitely
help us but it will come down to execution and making
plays at the right time," says Koradi.
Cumberland-Durham kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. at
the Millenium Sports Park. The other semi-final, will
see the number one ranked Burlington Stampeders (7-1)
take on the fourth place Ottawa Sooners (4-4) on July
11:30 a.m., July 18)
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