#CFC50 Game preview (ONT): No. 10 St. Roch prepare to throw down with their rivals from Lorne Park

Feature photos courtesy of Christina Birch/Lorne Park and St. Roch Twitter

The #CFC50 No.10 St. Roch Ravens wouldn’t want their regular season to end any other way than with a true test of will going up against the former #CFC50 Lorne Park Spartans.

With first place and of course pride on the line, this matchup might teeter towards a defensive struggle, but it’s tough to imagine that the Spartans will find a way to completely limit the Ravens’ travelling air show. If you took a quick glance at some highlights from this year, you’d have to blink twice before realizing you’re not watching a college team at work, but rather a group of technically sound high school students. At this level, a lot of teams rely on one or two workhorse type players, but the key to the Ravens’ success is having multiple weapons across the board says Co-Head Coach Neil Majoros,

“We have managed to execute and play at a high level throughout the season because we have had a different guy step up each week to have a big game. All five receivers as well as the running backs are capable of scoring on any given play.”

Whether quarterback Deandre Rose is handing the ball off to Juwan Jeffrey, or throwing a laser to Dante Waite, the key feature of this Ravens team as a whole is that each player is willing to buy into a team first attitude. One very pleasant, but unexpected narrative has been the ability for grade eleven players to step up and fill some big roles on defence, which has allowed the team to grow leaps and bounds from where they started back in September. With the clock about to strike midnight on a long regular season journey, Majoros is excited to face one last challenge before entering do or die mode in the playoffs,

“Our regular season has been successful one so far because of the chemistry and team first attitude that the players have for one another. Coming into the season we had a lot of new faces on both offence and defence, some without a lot of game experience, but the boys have continued to improve throughout the games, and are an unselfish group who are just as happy to spring a block for a touchdown as they are to score one themselves.” Majoros explains. “Lorne Park is always a strong team and have improved throughout the season. We have a healthy rivalry with them and it’s always a lot of fun and a battle playing those guys.”

Led by quarterback Alex Lavric, the Spartans high powered offence should provide a good measuring stick for a Ravens’ defence that has allowed on average just 7.0 points per game.
One of the main features of Lorne Park’s offence is a knack for big play theatrics, which Ravens’ Co-Head Coach Jon Beresford knows they will have to put a stop to if they want to avoid getting into a shootout,

“We’ve been limiting the big play and have been stronger at the point of attack, while our grade elevens have matured at a faster rate than the coaching staff anticipated. Lorne Park’s air attack can put scores up quickly so we will have to adjust to new looks early.”

Although the season is far from over – at least everyone hopes – after three months of grinding the Ravens’ coaches understand it is important to reflect on one’s performance to understand what work needs to be done, as well as celebrate the improvements that have been made. When asked about what improvements have made him most proud as a coach, Beresford says that the major ones would be a huge boost in their kicking game, working through in game adjustments, playing every down as if it’s your last, as well maintaining a calm sideline on game day. With a steep road ahead that leads to the ultimate goal at Tim Hortons Field, the Ravens’ coaching staff’s message going forward is to simply never stop building and growing,

“This is a great way for us to end the regular season as it should be a playoff style atmosphere, and should prepare us for next week’s semi- final game.” says Majoros “The goals for this week will be to continue to execute so we can enter the playoffs on a high note like we did last year.”

The action is set to kick off on Thursday, November 3rd at 3:00pm.


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