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OVFL: JV Lions get revenge on Ravens in unforgettable fashion

The junior varsity Cambridge Lions knocked off the Essex Ravens in their playoff game 35-28.

“It was an all-around great team effort,” said Lions Head Coach Gary Skalos.

With this victory, the Lions will be traveling to the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL ) Championship Game in Niagara Falls this upcoming weekend.

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The Lions got off to an explosive start. With the very first play, receiver George Monaghan IV had a kickoff  return 80 yards for a score to put the Lions at 7-0.

However, the Lions had a couple stumbles to round out the first half.

“We were not able to close out drives,” said Skalos.

The Lions offense was solid. Quarterback Brayden Hill had 10 completions in 13 attempts for 180 passing  yards and two touchdowns.

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“He played great, and he made great decisions in key situations,” said Skalos.

Receiver Monaghan IV caught four passes for 40 receiving yards, while receiver Kaden Jespersen had 44 receiving yards and a touchdown. Running back Alex Salytchev registered the longest touchdown reception of the day – a 68 yard score.

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“We had critical plays by [our] receivers,” said Skalos.

Salytchev also had 37 rushing yards and a touchdown while fullback Derek Cole had 22 yards.

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The Lions defense stayed true to their “bend it but don’t break style”.

Defensive linemen Clayton Collision registered a combined 6 tackles and a sack while linebacker Brayden Ralph had a team leading 16 combined tackles, and  linebacker Devin Keeling accumulated 10 combined tackles.

“They [Ralph and Keeling] were everywhere, all over the field,” said Skalos.


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Safety Mitch Weiler had six combined tackles and caught two  interceptions while defensive back Danyel Sipes had a team leading 11 solo tackles (he had 13 combined tackles,) to go with a sack.

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Additionally, The Lions special teams unit enjoyed success.

“OVFL all-star Kicker Nathan Mclean had a efficient day,” said Skalos.  “He kicked off for 304 yards averaging 50.7 yards.”

On his punts he continued his efficiency, notching 181 yards averaging 30.2 yards per punt. While going perfect on PAT’s going 5 for 5.

“Nathan had a great day kicking it seemed like we were always playing in their end,” said Skalos.

Overall, the Lions played an exceptional game.

“More then any other game we played, it was a real team effort especially in the second half,” said Skalos.

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The team’s character was evident throughout the entire game

“We played the whole game basically from behind and going into the second half it really showed our character,” said Skalos.

As the Lions continue on their path to a championship they have almost reached the end of the road but will face a tough challenge in the Myers Riders for the title.

“Myers’ is a different team,” said Skalos.

(As well as they are the top ranked passing team in the league.)

However, the Lions have been in this situation before, with some players being part of the Bantam Lions Squad that won the title two years ago.

The championship game is set for August 17th at 3pm Kiwanis Field in Niagara Falls.

“Were pumped up and happy we will be ready, were halfway to our goal and now we get a chance to finish,” said Skalos.

Photo Credit: Lisa Meggs

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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