Feasting frenzy

OVFL: Junior Varsity Cambridge Lions explode to victory over Oshawa Hawkeyes on new turf.

A stellar performance by the Junior Varsity Cambridge Lions saw them cruise to commanding 45-0 victory to open their 2013 season against the Oshawa Hawkeyes.

On their new field at home, the Lions came onto the field with aggression and carried that momentum throughout the entire game.

“We were aggressive on both sides of the ball,” said Lions Head Coach Gary Skalos.

The Lion’s offense has a stellar game as the team never sputtered.

“Everything went off the way we hoped, we executed and didn’t turn the ball over,” said Skalos.  “The Lions first possession began on our 10 yard line and after 4 or 5 plays ended in the end zone.”

After going up a quick score, the Lions continued to grow on their lead with stellar play from the entire offensive unit.

“The offensive line is key, they gave up everything, we asked for” noted Skalos. “Thrilled with their play we had all of them in rotating in and played all night.”

Leading the offense in his season debut was all star safety turned quarterback Mitch Weiler.

“He a little shaky early on but settled in real nice,” said Skalos of Weiler.

As the game continued on, Skalos let Weiler showcase his football smarts in certain situations.

“He is a really smart guy, even calling a bit of the game himself,” said Skalos.

In a game, where the Lions didn’t throw the ball too much, Weiler was able to find Wide Receiver Kaden Jespersen, in the end zone on two separate occasions. Also, Weiler was able to find the end zone himself once, while getting 47 rushing yards.

Overall, Jesersen had a great performance.

“It was a coming out party,” said Skalos. “He put on a clinic, with some unbelievable catches.”

Not only did he have two touchdown receptions, Jesersen had 47 receiving yards on his 4 receptions of the game.

One of Jesersen’s touchdown receptions came at the end of the second half to give the Lions a 31-0 lead at halftime.

In the offensive back field, the Lion’s running backs were tearing up the field. In total the running backs combined for over 250 yards rushing.  The unit was led by leading rusher Alex Salytchev who had 138 yards and two touchdowns.

“If he keeps that up all year we can’t be stopped,” said Skalos.

Also, Brandon Metz has a strong outing posting 72 yards on only 3 carries and also found the end zone once.

On the defense side of the field, the lions were solid. “High praise to the defense,” said Skalos. As a unit they not only allowed not points but only gave up 6 first downs, in which three of them were on last late game drive by the Hawkeyes. Unfortunately, the Lions suffered an injury in the win with defensive linemen going down early in the game with, “deep bruising in his ankle,” reported Skalos, and luckily he will be good to play in “3 to 4 weeks.”

For Skalos, he was happy to see the depth the defense had at in their positions.

“The next guy ready to, know we have the depth is comforting,” said Skalos.

The team was also led by defensive captain and linebacker Ralph Brayden.

“He played phenomenal” noted Skalos.  “He was super fast and super dangerous.”

Brayden had two sacks and two forced fumbles, However, upon reviewing the film from the game, Skalos realized he had two fumble recoveries, one of which was recovered after other linebacker Mario Alyas forced a fumble.

In the defensive secondary, defensive back, Ben Cross stole the show.

He had some really good tackles,” said Skalos.

The Lions also had great contributions on their special teams. Kicker Nathan Mclean, made all 6 of his PAT’s and went 1 for 2 on field goals in a game.

“It was really windy, and a little difficult to judge (the wind),” said Skalos.

On the punt return, Brandon Metzes had a great game returning two punts for 50 yards (which also brings his all purpose yards in the game to 122 yards)

Overall, the Lions played a great game and came out on top, “Really complete game, content everyone did what they supposed to,” said Skalos. This also marks the first time Gary Skalos has coached and  beaten the Hawkeyes in his career. Afterwards, Skalos noted, “Hats off to them, they played the whole game through.”

In regards to the game, head coach Gary Skalos still found some things they could improve on both sides of the ball.

“Offensive side focus just getting a rhythm in early, don’t really change too much off what we do but how we line up into it,” said Skalos.  “Certain recognitions out of DB’s just a bit quicker.”

Next week, the Lions will take on the London Mustangs at TD Waterhouse Stadium on June 1st at 8pm, in a division game that is gearing up to be a good contest between two good teams.

“London is a big game for us early in the season they will be better than last year,” said Skalos.  “We will be pushed and challenged against London, it will be fun.”

“It will come down to execution on offense, and from a defensive persepetive we are confident we will have a scheme for their style of offense.”

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