This year's NCAFA A-Cup championships will have a distinctive Cumberland Panthers flavour to them after the east and football club managed to secure berths in three of the four games.
Cumberland Panthers running back Jacob Pranschke proved tough to take down during the A-Cup Tyke semi-final against the Kanata Stallions. Pranschke scored three of his team's seven touchdowns. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
The Panthers' tyke, mosquito and bantam teams all won their semi-final matchups on the weekend. The only team that didn't manage to advance was the peewee team which lost a hard fought see-saw affair against the Nepean Eagles.
All four semi-finals were played at
Millennium Park. In the first game the tyke team jumped out to a 16-0 first quarter lead over the Kanata Stallions thanks to a pair of touchdowns by Jacob Pranschke and
Kanata would eventually get on the scoreboard with a converted touchdown early in the second stanza only to have the Panthers respond on the very next series with another touchdown by Pranschke
followed by Gauthier's third two-point conversion of the game.
A pair of touchdowns by the Stallions in the final minute of the half would cut the Panthers lead to 24-20 at the break.
The two teams exchanged a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter to make the score 40-36 heading into the final eight minutes of the game. Cumberland's touchdowns were scored by Elisha Mufuta and Jaxson Wilson.
The fourth quarter turned out to be all Panthers as they outscored the Stallions 16-6 on touchdowns by Pranschke and Oren Pearce-Teed to win the game 56-38.
The mosquito game between the
Panthers and the Nepean Eagles was a none contest as Shilogh Mukendy ran roughshod through the Eagles defence time, time and time again. In fact he did it six times in scoring the Panthers first six touchdowns, all in the first half, to give Cumberland 38-0 lead. He also kicked a two-point convert.
In the second half Mukendy was able to show off his throwing arm with a pair of touchdown passes to Isaiah Wallace and Hayden Dayak. Another two-point convert by Mukendy would make the score 52-0.
In the peewee semi-final, the Panthers ran out of downs and time in a 35-32 loss to their Eagle counterparts despite another strong game by Hugo Djeumeni Kemeni (3TDs) and first year linebacker Joshua Morbey.
Unfortunately, Eagles running back Justin Rowe had an even better game scoring all five of his teams touchdowns including the go ahead TD with less than two minutes left in the game.
In the final game of the day, the Panthers bantam squad built a 24-0 halftime lead on touchdowns by Nate Beauvais, Khalid Campbell and Logan Olsthoorn.
Campbell's touchdown was set up by Jefferson Desca's second interception of the half, while Olsthoorn's TD came on a 25-yard pass from Beauvais with 12 seconds left in the second quarter.
A pick six by Henry Hollo in the third quarter and a Jake Henderson field goal would extend the Panthers lead to 33-0 heading into the final stanza.
The icing on the cake was provided by Clark O'Connor whose fourth quarter rushing TD made the final score 39-0 in favour of the home team.
The A-Cup finals will take place at Minto Field at the Nepean Sportsplex next Sunday starting with the tyke championship game at 9 a.m.
The Panther tykes will be in tough against an undefeated Cornwall Wildcats squad which beat them 60-14 in Week 7 of
the regular season.
The mosquito Panthers will take on their arch rivals from Kanata in the U11 A-Cup final. The Stallions have beaten the Panthers
in both of their previous two meetings this season. They won their opening season match-up 27-25 and followed that up with a 38-34 victory in the regular season finale for both teams. The Panthers are hoping the third time will be the charm next Sunday and they'll finally be able to get over the hump and claim the title.
The final game of the day will see the Panthers take on their traditional rivals, the Myers Riders, in the bantam championship. In their only other meeting this season, the Panthers beat the Riders 20-14 in a highly competitive affair.
The Panthers are the defending A-Cup champions in the tyke, peewee and bantam divisions.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
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