#CFC50 GAME RECAP: Knights take care of Thunder under the lights

In the matchup of the season in Simoce County to date, the #CFC50 St. Jon of Arc Knights (1-0) tangled with the St. Theresa’s Thunder (0-1) in the annual “Lights” game on Tuesday from the Barrie Sports Complex in Midhurst.

The Knights were coming off a 14-0 shutout win over the St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers in week one, while the Thunder were looking to bounce back after blowing a 19-0 lead and losing 20-19 at the hands of the St. Pete’s Panthers.

The game got off to a slow start, with both teams being unable to do much on offence. Jon of Arc led the field position battle early on, but were unable to capitalize on a few opportunities with short fields. The game was scoreless after the opening quarter.

The Knights would draw first blood early in the second. They would finally begin to move the ball with some efficiency,  again with a short field. They would march down to the three yard line where, with about five minutes gone in the frame, tailback Cam Hoesktra would run it in to give JOA the first points of the game. They led 7-0 after the extra point by backup QB Justin Winn.

The defending CSASC ‘AAA’ champs would strike again before the half was out. Just under three minutes later, Winn, who split time with Brandon Longstreet at quarterback, hooked up with Tristan Huber on a 35-yard pass over the middle for his first of three consecutive touchdowns. Winn would stay on to hit the PAT and give his team a 14-0 halftime lead.

Tuesday Night Lights

The Knights would continue to pour it on in the third after the Thunder had a miserable time moving the ball against a stingy Jon of Arc defence. They would get the ball close to midfield, and a few plays into the drive, Winn and Huber would connect once again, this time on a hitch screen that went 43 yards to paydirt. The Knights exploited poor pass coverage by the Thunder all night long, especially on outs and hitches down the sideline. That score gave the Knights a 20-0 lead after Winn failed to make the PAT.

The perennial OFSAA attendees weren’t done there. Huber and Winn would once again join forces, here on a 35-yard toss into the back of the end zone, where Huber was able to keep both feet in bounds and secure the catch before being brought down. Winn would rebound from missing the previous extra point and the Knights had all but put away the Thunder, leading 27-0 through three.

St. Theresa’s was able to move the ball downfield more effectively in the fourth, as their opening drive of the frame netted them their first two first downs since the first quarter, but that drive stalled and they were forced to punt. JOA was playing conservatively in the final period, not wanting to give the Thunder any momentum. The reigning ‘AA’ Catholic champs got the ball back on their final drive of the game and penetrated deep into their opponents territory for the first time all game long. However, despite their improvement on offence, they weren’t able to punch one in, and after a scoreless fourth quarter, fell to the Knights 27-0, dropping them to 0-2 on the season.

With the win, the Knights moved to 2-0, still yet to surrender a point, after shutting out St. Thomas Aquinas last week. St. Theresa’s drops to 0-2 after the loss.

St. Jon of Arc Knights vs. St. Theresa's Thunder. September 27, 2016.

Knights Defensive Cooridinator Paul Milne liked what he saw on both sides of the ball.

“I liked the intensity that we came out with and I liked what we did to start off the game,” he said. “Our defence came out playing well, our offence put some scores on the board, and I just liked the overall intensity for the four quarters.”

Huber commented on what it means to play in a game of this magnitude and come out with the win.

“It’s a great atmosphere; it’s a great time to play, under the lights like this, it hypes everybody up,” commented the slotback. “[It’s great] having the whole crowd [behind us], a good opponent, and a hard-fought game under the lights.”

He also took time to discuss his offensive explosion that lead his squad to victory, but was quick to credit his entire team for his success

“Preparation [was key],” he said. “Great throws by Justin [Winn], great blocking, great execution on all factors of the offence, and a good team win.”


On the Thunder side of things, linebacker Brody Moreau also said it was a privilege to play in a game with as much build-up as this one had, but wishes things could have gone a lot better for his team.

“It was a real honour,” he said. “We definitely could’ve played a little bit harder; we started giving up when we got down. We didn’t have the right defence for their offence we couldn’t stop the throws deep; we definitely could have improved on offence and defence.”

The season is short, and with the Thunder now at 0-2 through one third of the season, it puts their playoff hopes in jeopardy. That said, there have been some positives, and Moreau says his team needs to remain confident going forward.

“We definitely have to be optimistic about our chances,” he said. “We only lost by one to St. Pete’s, and we could’ve hung with these guys if we stopped the big throws. We have to work on being able to move the ball on offence and stop the big plays on defence.”

Tuesday Night Lights

Next up for the Knights is a date with the Patrick Fogarty Flames, who are much improved from last year. Milne gives us some insight into the game.

“They have a lot of good players, they have a strong coaching staff, and all of the teams in this league are getting better,” he said. “There’s some real parody in the league and every game is a great, close game. Next week will be no different.”

That game takes place October 6 at 3:30 pm from the West Orillia Sports Complex turf field.

The Thunder now look for their first win of the season in their inaugural home game of 2016 when they face the St. Joe’s Jaguars on October 7, also at 3:30, at St. Theresa’s CHS in Midland.



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