Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Dec. 14


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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


NCAFA Football
Panthers cap undefeated season with A-Cup win
By Fred Sherwin
The Orleans Star

The U14 Cumberland Panthers are NCAFA peewee champions after downing the Bell Warriors 28-7 in the league’s A-Cup final on Sunday, cementing an undefeated season and earning a berth in the Ontario/Quebec Inter-provincial Bowl Series this Saturday.

The Panthers were once again led by all-star running back Khalid Campbell who rushed for 196 yards and all four of his team’s touchdowns on 23 carries to earn MVP honours for the third straight play-off game. His touchdown runs covered 49, 33, 7 and 14 yards.

Members of the Cumberland Panthers pose with the championship trophy after winning the NCAFA A-Cup bantam final on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Warriors got off to an impressive start against the Panthers. They moved the ball 65 yards in 10 plays on the opening drive of the game that culminated in an eight-yard touchdown throw from Teo Latendresse to Caleb Munro, little did they know it would be the first and last points they would score the entire game.

Cumberland’s response was emphatic. After the ensuing kick off, the Panthers set up shop on their own 45-yard line and moved the ball 65 yards in just four plays, the last two of which were runs of 15 and 49 yards by Campbell.

Despite the dramatic opening, the first half was very much a defensive affair with neither team able to build on their initial success.

In a bid to shake things up, the Warriors opened the second half with a successful onside kick that gave them a first down near midfield. They were unable to capitalize on the excellent field position, however, and had to punt the ball away after Sam Whiting sacked Latondresse for an eight-yard loss.

The Panthers offence finally got back on track late in the third quarter when they were able to move the ball 70 yards on seven plays led by – you guessed it – Khaild Campbell The elusive running back carried the ball six times during the drive, including runs of 17, 14 and 33 yards. The latter of which was for the go ahead touchdown.

An interception by Hugo Djeumeni on the opening play of the Warriors next series would set up another Panthers touchdown by Campbell. A two-point convert throw from Jackson Plante to Cordel Epale extended the Panthers lead to 22-7.

The final nail in the Warriors’ come-back hopes was hammered home by he Panthers in the fourth quarter when they made Bell pay for attempting a fake punt on their own 17-yard line. A three-yard loss on the play gave Cumberland a first down on the 14. Three plays later Campbell waltzed across the goal line to make the final score 28-7 in favour of the Panthers.

After the game, Panthers head coach Julian DeSilva credited the win to their determination to stick to their original game plan in the second half despite a disappointing first half.

“We knew once we got going we could seal the deal,” said DeSilva. “Our defence stepped up huge and played a heck of a game.”

The Inter-provincial Bowl Series will take place this Friday, Dec. 14 at the Stade Hébert in Montréal..

(Posted Nov. 6, 2018.)


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