NS: Defenses could decide outcome of Royals and Avalanche game
NS: Defenses could decide outcome of Royals and Avalanche gameAmeeta Vohra0 Comments
A defensive showdown could be in store for the Tier 2 playoff game between the Avon View Avalanche and the John Hugh Gillis Royals on Saturday afternoon.
When the two teams met in the regular season of the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL), there was no score until the final minutes of the game.
“When we played in the regular season it was a defensive battle that came down to the final minute when we managed to score, ending 7-0,” says Nathan Cormier, who is one of three coaches for the Royals. Along with Cormier, Alex Capson and DaveVanDenHeuvel are the other co-coaches for the team.
As for the Avalanche, head coach Rory Campbell says the team is savouring their playoff experience.
“We’re feeling pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs,” comments Campbell. “This time last year we had turned in our equipment, so there is a great energy around our program.”
Last season, the Avalanche was winless. Their fortunes have turned around this season as they became one of the Cinderella teams of the NSSAFFL. The Avalanche ended up witha 4-4-0 record in the Independent Division and was rewarded for all their hard work, as they were seeded third in the Tier 2 Nova Division.
Meanwhile, the Royals ended up with a 4-4-0 record in the Scotia Division. As a result, they were seeded second in the Tier two Scotia Division.
As for a possible plan of attack on Saturday, the Royals are going with what has worked thus far.
“We will continue what we have been doing all year which is a balanced attack of run and pass,” comments Cormier. “Making sure we spread the football around will be the key to our attack this weekend.”
Campbell knows that the Royals will be ready to play on home field and knows who to keep watching for during the game.
“They are well coached and have some good athletes,” adds Campbell. “The Demone brothers have both played well all year, and we need to be mindful of David Bond who is one of the best defensive tackles in the province.”
As for the Royals, they hope that they can executive equal offense and defense success on Saturday.
“Our basic game plan is to stick with what is working on the defensive side of the balland to hopefully keep our offense rolling after last week,” adds Cormier. “We feel that our offense finally started to come together as a unit in our last game and we hope that we can ride that momentum into playoffs.”
The Royals game execution will be led by defensive lineman David Bond, linebacker Pat Demone and running back Sam Demone. Additionally, the team has a core of receivers that should make an impact on game day. Receivers include Taylor McLaren, Alexander Bond, John D’Eon, Louis MacPherson, Tyler MacDonald, Brendan MacDonald, Sam Vautour and Brandon Bowles.
Cormier says while a couple of players were hit with the injury bug, he expects to have all players on the field. Also, the team expects many of the veterans to play a big role in this game because it could be their final game in a Royals uniform, playing on home turf. For some, it could mark the end of their football playing career.
As for the Avalanche, Campbell says that they have to improve on some areas of their game to be successful on Saturday.
“On our side of things we just need to play good fundamental football,” says Campbell. “If we can limit ou rmental mistakes and be the better blocking and tackling team then we feel we have a chance to be successful.”
Meanwhile the Royals know based on the last match up who they will have to watch for on the Avalanche.
“In our first meeting their quarterback showed that he could throw the ball and they have some talented receivers so we will be making sure that we have solid coverage on them,” comments Cormier. “They also have a very good running back that we will have to try to contain and their quarterback is also a threat to run so there are a lot of things we have to do right this week in order to come out on top.”
The game plan execution for the Avalanche will be headed up by quarterback Trevor House. Also, running back J.P Primeau and wide receiver Russ Lavergne will have a key role in the Avalanche’s success. Linebacker A.J. Whitehead will lead the defensive core of the team.
A chance to play a playoff game in Antigonish is something the Avalanche is looking forward to on Saturday. Both teams believe this will be an entertaining game for everyone in the stands.
“Overall I think this will be a great game,” adds Cormier. “I expect both teams to be more polished and the stakes are definitely higher being it is playoff time, so this should add up to an exciting game.”
This Tier 2 playoff game will be played on Saturday in Antigonish at 3:00 pm.
(photo courtesy of Carole Morris-Underhill, The Hants Journal)
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