High school roundup (ON – SIMCOE) [5]: Tritons, Wildcats and Knights just can’t lose, Jaguars playing with heavy hearts

The second half of the season got under way last week in Simcoe County, and talk of the playoffs is beginning to heat up. Could the CFC 50  Nantyr Shores Tritons, the Eastview Wildcats stay undefeated on the public side? And could the St. Joan of Arc Knights continue running circles around their opponents in the Catholic league? All those questions were answered in Week 4, which began with five games on Thursday, October 12.

SCAA

Orillia Nighthawks (0-3) @ Bear Creek Kodiaks (1-2) – Thursday, October 12

After picking up their first win of the season in Week 3, the Bear Creek Kodiaks were looking for an encore performance at home in front of their entire school community against the winless Orillia Nighthawks.

The Kodiaks’ defence was the story on the afternoon, as they did not allow the Nighthawks to sustain any offence throughout the entire game. Bear Creek’s offence wasn’t as crisp as they would have liked against a team who, entering the game, had surrendered an average of nearly 30 points a game.

That said, with a stalwart defence led by Owen MacLoed and Adam Schmidt, the offence didn’t need to play its best. They scored just 18 points, the lowest total allowed by Orillia this season, but that was more than good enough for the shutout victory, 18-0, over the Nighthawks. With the win, the Kodiaks claw back to .500 at 2-2; with the loss, Orillia must wait at least one more week to earn their first win of the season, as they fall to 0-4.

Innisdale Invaders (1-2) @ Eastview Wildcats (3-0) – Thursday, October 12

Two Barrie rivals squared off Thursday afternoon in the Wildcats’ first game on their school field this season, after their previous two home games were played at J.C. Massie Field at Barrie’s Georgian College.

The Invaders have struggled with small numbers all throughout the season, and had difficulty performing consistently on the field. After a 20-7 season opening win over Collingwood, the Invaders dropped their next two games (38-7 to Nantyr and 28-21 to Bear Creek) ahead of a difficult tilt on the road with an undefeated Eastview squad.

It was the Wildcats who came out and showed why they have yet to lose a game thus far this season, as they took it to the Invaders’ defence early. The Wildcats had a strong offensive mix in this one, which opened the field up extremely effectively. They scored five touchdowns by five different players, including QB Braidon Foster, wideouts Mack Belcourt, Will McCulloch, and Cole Dennis, along with running back Destin Pearson. So far this year, it has been Foster, along with the rookie combination of Pearson and McCulloch, that have carried the lion’s share of the Wildcats’ offensive load. This game was no different.

Standouts on defence for Eastview were Mackenzie Smith with two interceptions, Luke Smith, Cam Vanbodegom, Matt Aleska and Coddie Penfold. Eastview, on both sides of the ball, has a strong core group of players that have been forces week in and week out, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise they are where they are.

Collingwood Fighting Owls (0-3) @ Barrie North Vikings (2-1) – Thursday, October 12

The Barrie North Vikings returned home – sort of – to take on the Collingwood Fighting Owls on Thursday after playing two straight games on the road. But since their field is still not usable because of construction, they’re playing their home games at Georgian College.

The Vikings, after losing 5-3, a baseball-like scoreline, in week one to the Eastview Wildcats, they reeled off two straight convincing wins, a 28-0 win over the Orillia Nighthawks and a 30-7 win over the Banting Marauders. They were looking to make it three consecutive victories against a Collingwood team that had yet to score more than 14 points in a game, and had just been shut out 40-0 by the Nantyr Shores Tritons.

And it was the home side showing why they were one win away from an OFSAA Bowl appearance last season, as they completely shut down Collingwood on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver & kicker David Corcoran and slotback Josh Whyte each had terrific offensive performances, as did Keiran Thompson, River Wells and Kody Mumford, who had a pair of special teams scores.

Defensively, it was an entire team effort. The Vikings locked down defensively, allowing almost nothing from the CCI offence. In fact, Barrie North’s defence was so on point, they allowed the Owls to put up naught but two first downs the entire game, leading to a relatively easy 40-0 win, moving their record to 3-1. Collingwood, with the loss, sees its record drop to 0-4

CFC GAME OF THE WEEK: Banting Marauders (2-1) @ CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritions (3-0) – Friday, October 13

Week 4 in the SCAA concluded with a Friday the 13th matchup between the Banting Marauders – perhaps the cinderella story of the first half of the year – and the Nantyr Shores Tritons – a team that have shown themselves to be a powerhouse who intends to compete for a bid to attend the OFSAA Bowl Festival.

It was going to be interesting to see how a young Banting team would fare against a team that had yet to surrender any more than eight points in one single game. And things did not start off well for the Marauders; in fact, they started about as worse as they possibly could have.

The opening kickoff was taken to the house by return man Steven Noble; that gave the Tritons an early 7-0 lead. Then, Nantyr would execute a short kick to perfection and recover the onside kick. Two plays after that, running back Dave Johnson took one to the outside and scampered into the end zone, and Nantyr owned a 14-0 lead before Banting had even touched the ball.

Things really started to slow down from there, as both teams’ defences really began to lock it down. The score stayed at 14-0 Nantyr until late in the half when they added a rouge point off a missed field goal, to go up 15-0 at the break. Then in the third, off a missed field goal, Noble would return it all the way out to the Marauders’ 35, where they would begin driving. The Tritons moved the ball with great efficiency, and about six plays later, would hit paydirt for the third time on the day, here on a 2-yard plunge from Cooper Hamilton to go up 22-0. They held that lead into the fourth.

The Tritons would then add two fourth-quarter majors. One came on a fade from QB Spencer Cropper to slotback Politis Vagelli – set up by another excellent return – to make it 28-0 after they went for two and failed, and the other came on a big run from Noble, who was all over the field on all three sides of the ball. That made the final 35-0 Tritons, who played a complete game, literally from the opening kickoff, to earn the win.

With it, the move to 4-0 tying the Wildcats for the best record in the SCAA and move up, yet again, in our CFC 50 rankings. Banting’s loss drops them to 2-2, which really creates a logjam in the middle of the standings with them, Innisdale and Bear Creek.

Tritons’ Head Coach Clark Larmon was impressed with his team’s special teams play, particularly Noble, and said the run game, especially inside, was effective. He was disappointed with the team’s undisciplined play that saw them take around 300 yards in penalties. Larmon says he has a number of key contributors on both offence and defence, which creates for a balanced attack. Next week the focus in practice will be to work on spreading out receivers, as Larmon pointed out “you could have thrown a blanket over them a couple of times.” Also, they plan to speed up their no-huddle offence to ensure that they can work the clock however they need to when necessary.

Cropper also commented on the play of the Tritons’ special teams unit, saying it’s important when they show up to play. He preached the importance of practice and being in sync, studying the playbook and making sure assignments to refine the offence. When asked about the Tritons’ upcoming game at home against Orillia, Cropper said that teams know what they are up against, but preparing for every team the same, and making sure they win the game rather than have their opponent lose it.

SCAA Week 5 Schedule:

Innisdale Invaders (1-3) @ Barrie North Vikings (3-1) – Wednesday, October 18 (12:00 pm – Georgian College)
Bear Creek Kodiaks (2-2) @ Collingwood Fighting Owls (0-4) – Thursday, October 19 (1:30 pm)
Orillia Nighthawks (0-4) @ CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritons (4-0) – Thursday, October 19 (1:30 pm)
Eastview Wildcats (4-0) @ Banting Marauders (2-2) – Thursday, October 19 (2:30 pm)

CSASC

St. Joan of Arc Knights (3-0) @ Patrick Fogarty Flames (0-3) – Thursday, October 12

The week in CSASC kicked off with a game featuring two teams at two total opposite ends of the spectrum. The St. Joan of Arc Knights had allowed just twelve points in three previous games coming in, while scoring a robust 105. The Patrick Fogarty Flames, on the other hand, had yet to lose by less than 28 points, and had not put up just six points of offence all season.

They say statistics don’t lie, and they didn’t once this one got underway. The firepower Knights offence was no match for an inexperienced Flames defence, and they dominated them in every sense. The offensive line won most battles against the Flames’ D-Line, and the backs and receivers simply ran through Patrick Fogarty’s secondary.

This game was never really close, and the Knights had little trouble in dispatching the Flames and cruising to a 67-0 victory.

St. Peter’s Panthers (1-2) @ St. Joseph’s Jaguars (1-2) – Thursday, October 12

The St. Joseph’s Jaguars welcomed in the St. Peter’s Panthers on Thursday as emotion filled the air barely a day after the Jags had one of their own, Zecharyah Jagmohan, seriously injured in a car accident early last Wednesday morning. Jagmohan was the backseat passenger in a car that left the road around 2:00 am and collided head-on with a tree, leaving Jagmohan paralyzed.

The Jaguars wore his #34 on their arms as they took the field Thursday against their cross-town rivals in a game that was very low-scoring. In fact, there were only seven points scored in the game, all by the Panthers off one major score, and the Jaguars were unable to pull out the victory in their first game without their fallen teammate.

Panthers’ Head Coach Shane Gatrell was very impressed with the quarterback play of Owen Smith, a Grade 10 playing for the Varsity squad, who he said “played well, and ran the offense with confidence.” Chukwodi Owo was the standout on offence for the Panthers, making several players miss in the open field and breaking free for a couple big gainers on the ground. Gatrell was also happy with the effort on defence by the Panthers, who picked up their second shutout of the season. Interestingly enough, both the Panthers’ wins, over Patrick Fogarty and St. Joe’s, have come via a shutout.

St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers (2-1) @ St. Theresa’s Thunder (2-1) – Friday, October 13

The St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers and St. Theresa’s Thunder wrapped up the week in CSASC with a matchup of identical 2-1 teams, with one looking to take second place in the standings behind the undefeated Knights at 3-1.

The visitors came out early in this one and showed they had come to play. The Stingers’ offence got off to a good start and carried that momentum through most of the game. The Thunder’s defence was solid at times, as 24 points allowed would suggest. The problem was, the Stingers’ ‘D’ was just slightly better. The Thunder couldn’t get their offence going, and were unable to find the scoreboard against what was a stingy defensive front for TAQ.

Riding a solid offence and a lights-out defence, the Stingers were able to take control of the game and eventually win, in rather decisive fashion, 24-0 over St. Theresa’s, to vaulted them into second place in the CSASC table. Their win moves them to 3-1 on the year with two games remaining, while the Thunder’s loss sees their mark even back up again at 2-2.

CSASC Week 5 Schedule:

Patrick Fogarty Flames (0-4) @ St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers (3-1) – Thursday, October 19 (Time not yet known)
St. Joseph’s Jaguars (1-3) @ St. Theresa’s Thunder (2-2) – Thursday, October 19 (1:00 pm)
St. Joan of Arc Knights (4-0) @ St. Peter’s Panthers (2-2) – Friday, October 20 (1:00 pm)

 

 

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