Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Dec. 14


 

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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

 

NCAFA Football
Panther tykes successfully defend
A-Cup championship

By Fred Sherwin
The Orleans Star

The Cumberland Panthers proved why they are the most dominant football club in the National Capital Region on Sunday, winning three of the four city titles up for grabs at the National Capital Amateur Football Association A-Cup finals.

The tyke team kicked things off with a 30-22 win over the Cornwall Wildcats. The peewee team then downed the Bell Wolverines 28-7 and the bantam squad topped things off with a 35-0 win over the Warriors bantam team.

A jubilant Cumberland Panthers tyke team celebrates after winning the NCAFA A-Cup championship at Minto Field on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Panther tykes were led to victory by their quarterback Vincent Anderson, who scored three of his team’s four touchdowns and added three converts,

The Panthers (10-1) got off to a strong start against the previously unbeaten Wildcats. They moved the ball 49 yards in eight plays on their opening drive, which included a 17-yard touchdown run by Jordan Gallagher.

Bouyed by their success on offence, the Panther players, many of whom play both sides of the ball in the 7-on-7 format adopted at the tyke level this season, completely shutdown the Wildcats on defence, forcing them to punt the ball on their first two possessions.

After giving up the opening touchdown, the Wildcats were able to tighten things up on defence and the two teams traded possessions until late in the first quarter when the Wildcats exploded for a 38-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 6-6 after missing their convert attempt.

The Panthers answered right back by manufacturing an 11 play, 58 yard drive culminating in a three-yard touchdown run by Anderson who added two points on the convert to give Cumberland a 14-6 lead. They would go up 22-6 on a one-yard touchdown run by Anderson on their next series which was set up by a Sam Baptist fumble recovery on the Wildcats’ 19-yard line.

The Wildcats responded with their second touchdown of the game late in the second quarter to narrow the half-time deficit to 22-14.

The Panthers took control of the game after the break by first forcing the Wildcats to punt the ball just two plays into their opening drive and then putting together another long scoring drive for their fourth touchdown of the game scored by Anderson.

Down 16 points, the Wildcats refused to give up and were eventually rewarded for their tenacity with a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter that covered 47 yards.

The rest of the game was a real nail-biter with the Wildcats needing a converted touchdown to tie the game and force overtime. After failing to pick up a first down on their next two possessions, the Wildcats hopes came down to their final drive of the game which ended prematurely when an errant snap from centre was pounced on by Baptiste for his second fumble recovery of the game.

After the turnover the Panthers simply ran out the clock for a 30-22 win and their second NCAFA championship in as many years under the guidance of head coach Eric Anderson.

“These kids have a lot of heart. They were oversized for the most part. They just did whatever it took to grind it out,” Anderson said after the game. “It’s just amazing how they’ve all progressed during the season. You have 17 kids, nine of whom have never played football before, and some second year kids who stepped into new positions. They just worked really, really hard. They deserve this, they really do.”.

(Posted Nov. 6, 2018.)

 

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