The National Capital Amateur Football Association U12 mosquito championship game between the Cumberland Panthers and the Cornwall WIldcats turned out to be a lopsided affair as the Wildcats scored 30 points, while the Panthers were kept off the scoresheet entirely.
In a sport were championships are often decided by defence, the final outcome of the A-Cup championship game came down to three big plays, all of which were executed by the team from Cornwall.
The Wildcats opening touchown of the game can on the heels of a 29-yard run by quarterback Ronin Vangessel (#13). A 10-yard facemask penalty on the play against the Panthers would give Cornwall a first down on the one-yard line. It only took one play for running back Logan Arnold (#2) to score the major. A successul 2-point convert by Jean Thomas Nadeau (#6) would give the Wildcats the early 8-0 lead.
After the Panthers turned the ball over on downs at the end of the first quarter on their own 34-yard line, the Wildcats needed just four plays to score their second touchdown of the game on a 14-yard run by Arnold to take a 14-0 lead after Nadeau's 2-point convert attempt failed to clear the crossbar.
The second big play of the game came midway through the second quarter when Vangessel, who played on both sides of the ball, picked off an errant pass by Panthers QB Grayson Rouleau (#13) and returned the ball 67 yards for the pick six. A second two-point covert by Nadeau made the score 22-0 in favour of the Wildcats.
The Panthers had a grand total of 55 yard on offence in the first half, compared to 97 yards for Cornwall.
Evan Nicholls (#25) ran the ball 11 times for 39 yards in the first half before leaving the game with an injury near the end of the second quarter. His absence in the second half took away the Panthers' biggest offense threat. The running duties were left up to Jacob Kavanaugh (#22) and Carter Cain (#21) the rest of the way, except for the odd carry by Rouleau and wide receiver Davian Bradshaw (#80).
The third big play of the game came at the end of the third quarter when a massive hit on Kavanaugh forced a turnover and gave the Wildcats possession on the Panthers 17-yard line. It took Cornwal just three plays to get into the end zone on a six-yard run by Arnold for his and the Wildcats third touchdown of the game.
Another 2-point convert by Nadeau made the score 30-0 which is how the game ended.
Defensive lineman Joseph Boulos (#60) was named as the Panthers most vauable player for making over a dozen tackles. Novak Drouin (#11), Maxim Lalonde (#16), Nolan Boonstra (#51) and James Morrison (#90) also had strong games on defence.
The loss shoiuldn't take away from the fact that the Panthers had an exceptional season, winning eigh of nine games including a 38-0 victoiry over the Myers Riders in the A-Cup semi-finals.