High school roundup (ON – SIMCOE [8]: Recapping a busy week of playoff ball in Simcoe County

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Last week marked the beginning of the best time of the year in Simcoe County: playoff time. The week started off last Tuesday with three quarter-final matchups in the SCAA, The next day, two CSASC semi-final games were to take place, but neither of those games occurred due to injuries. Then on Friday, the week concluded with a pair of SCAA semi-finals as the final four teams standing vied for a spot in this Thursday’s final, and to get one step closer to potential OFSAA glory.

With both CSASC semis ending in forfeit, this means St. Theresa’s and St. Joan of Arc will meet in the CSASC ‘AAA’ final, while St. Joseph’s and St. Thomas Aquinas will battle it out in the ‘AA’ championship. Both games are taking place today at Georgian College.


Quarter Finals – Tuesday, October 31

[7] Orillia Nighthawks (1-5) @ [2] Eastview Wildcats (5-1)

The Orillia Nighthawks came in as the massive underdogs against a strong Eastview Wildcats team in the first round of the SCAA Playoffs. This was the 7v2 matchup, but on a rainy, snowy day like that afternoon, it’s the weather that often has the largest say in the game’s outcome.

The Wildcats and Nighthawks would both play tight defence all throughout the game, getting some help from the weather. Wildcats’ QB Braidon Foster led the offence for Eastview, while running back Cam Vanbodegom scored the Wildcats’ and the game’s lone touchdown, replacing star tailback Destin Pearson at that position. Will McCulloch made a field goal for Eastview, and also punted a ball through the end zone for a single point.

Defensively, the home squad was anchored by defensive lineman Chris Young and Luke Hastings, as well as linebacker Mackenzie Smith. For their semi-final, coach Mark Welch expected a well-balanced offence with a wide open playbook from their semi-final opponent, and said his team’s defence would need to play a stingy game and limit the big plays.

With that win, the Wildcats booked their ticket to the semi-final to face the winner of the Banting Marauders and Bear Creek Kodiaks quarter-game.

[5] Innisdale Invaders (2-4) @ [4] Barrie North Vikings (4-2) 

The Innisdale Invaders took on the Barrie North Vikings in the first round of the SCAA Playoffs – their second meeting in the last fourteen days. This was another game affected by the weather, in another offensive struggle.

It was North, though, who were able to make the big plays at the big times to separate themselves in the game. Defensively, they intercepted six Jalen Cooper passes by five different players (Clayton Mrazek, Miles Tapanila, Kiernan Thomas, Duncan Montague and Ian Crawford). They also were able to keep the Invaders off the board on a goal-line stand after allowing them to drive the field. Those massive defensive plays allowed them to take control of the field position battle and capitalize on offence.

And they did just that. Late in the game, Jack Sweazey was able to break through and ramp off a big run for the first touchdown of the day, and later, QB Zach Patfield hooked with slotback Josh Whyte for the Vikings’ second touchdown of the day. David Corcoran would add a field goal for North, which capped off the scoring in a 17-3 Barrie North victory.

The Vikings ensured themselves a spot in the semi-finals with the ‘W,’ and would await the winner of the Collingwood Fighting Owls and CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritons.

[6] Banting Marauders (2-4) @ [3] Bear Creek Kodiaks (4-1-1)

The Banting Marauders and Bear Creek Kodiaks played in the third of four quarter-final games as the Marauders looked to get back in the win column and put an end to Bear Creek’s four-game season-ending winning streak.

But it was the Kodiaks who showed Banting that they were there to play. Their defence played had a stingy performance led by Owen MacLeod and Riley Duxbury. The Kodiaks did not allow the Marauders’ offence to get anything going, holding Banting to a pair of single points off special teams.

Offensively, Bear Creek’s offence was firing on all cylinders despite the treacherous weather conditions, allowing them to run away with the game early on. They put up four touchdowns and a field goal in the victory, walking away with a 31-2 win, becoming the third team to get into the semi-finals to face the Eastview Wildcats.

[8] Collingwood Fighting Owls @ [1] CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritons

The Collingwood Fighting Owls and Nantyr Shores Tritons were scheduled to face off in the fourth and final SCAA quarter-final game, but the Owls were forced to withdraw from the game due to a lack of players.

With the default 1-0 win, the Tritons earned a spot in the semi-final, a home date against the #4 seed Barrie North Vikings.

Semi-Finals – Friday, October 3


CFC GAME OF THE WEEK: [4] Barrie North Vikings (5-2) @ [1] CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritons (7-0)

The Barrie North Vikings, by virtue of beating the Innisdale Invaders in the quarter-finals, made their way to the semis in what would be their toughest game of the season against the undefeated Nantyr Shores Tritons.

The Vikings would keep Nantyr off the scoreboard early in the game, but the home side did manage to score first about halfway through the opening frame on yet another big punt return touchdown from Steven Noble, who has enjoyed a breakout season on special teams for the Tritons. Dylan Beattie would add a field goal in the second, followed by another Steven Noble return TD, which made it 17-0.

The Vikings would drive the field late in the first half, thanks to a shanked punt and some sloppy play from the Tritons, but were unable to punch it in, and would head into the half trailing 17-0, still feeling as if they were right in the game. They would receive the second half kickoff, but Zach Patfield had the first pass of the second half intercepted, giving Nantyr the ball back.

However, they would be unable to take advantage of the interception, and that was a sign of things to come in the second half. The Vikings’ defence held the team in the game, as did an undisciplined Tritons offence,  but unfortunately for North, their opponent’s defence was even better. They would not allow the Vikes to sustain anything offensively, and when the Vikings would show signs of trying to get back into it, the Nantyr defence would lock down and get themselves off the field.

Beattie would add another field goal late in the third quarter, taking a 20-0 lead, which they would hold onto for the remainder of the game, setting up a rematch with the Bear Creek Kodiaks in the SCAA Final, after falling to them by a score of 10-4 last November.

It was a lockdown defensive performance for the Tritons, and they’ll need to do more of the same if they want to come away on the other side of the scoreboard in this year’s finals.

“Keep things simple. make our tackles not give up the edge keep contain,” said Tritons’ coach Jeff Rosar when asked what his club needs to do defensively this week. :We need to be smart on every down read the quarterback stay disciplined. We need to really stay focused when it comes to personal matchups. We will be keying on Bear’s main guys but still make sure we take care of the other players on the field.”

Their offence wasn’t at its best on this day, but it had more to do with unnecessary penalties on their part, than it did offensive struggles.

“We don’t necessarily feel we struggled offensively, however we struggled with discipline after we would make a good play we would take a questionable penalty and those really hurt us,” Rosar said Credit to North and their defence but we felt our ground game was moving the chains and Spencer [Cropper] did a good job of finding the open receivers.”

North’s offence also struggled, obviously, in being shut out. They knew what they were up against, and had difficulty remaining upbeat as the game started to slip away.

“They had some special athletes and players that made things tough for us,” said Head Coach Burke Erwin. “We missed some assignments and really had some issues with confidence.”

That said, the Vikings played a solid game on defence, limiting Nantyr to its lowest point output of the season. Erwin said he was impressed with how evenly his team matched up with the Tritons from a defensive perspective.

We competed with them physically,” he said. “The gave us the looks we expected, so we we able to play with some intel. Keys to being successful in general are to eliminate their best athletes and plays.  They have more athletes than we can take away,  but we were able to key into a formation at times to force second and long. We also did not make too many errors.”

If there has been one downfall of the Tritons this season, it’s been their discipline – especially after the whistle. This is something they’ll need to clean up if they want to win games going forward: “Staying disciplined and focusing on what we do well will help us win every play,” Rosar said.

“10-4.” That was a common theme for the Tritons in their post-game conversation on Friday after the game, with reference to the score of last year’s final. It’s something that’s on their minds, but not something they’re focussed on heading into Thursday’s final.

“We learned a lot from last year’s loss and we don’t have to remind our guys about it,” Rosar stated, “however, if you’re thinking about the previous year you’re not focusing on the goal at hand. We feel when we play Triton football were an extremely hard team to beat on both sides of the ball.

“Our goal is to win SCAA then GB’s  and that’s what we’re focusing on doing.”

When asked what the Vikings can do to get better for next season, Erwin was direct and to-the-point in saying, “Getting bigger, faster, stronger to feed our bodies and minds.”

[3] Bear Creek Kodiaks (5-1-1) @ [2] Eastview Wildcats (6-2)

Riding a five-game undefeated streak, including their quarter-final win, the Bear Creek Kodiaks arrived at Eastview on an extreme high, looking to upset the Eastview Wildcats and stamp their ticket to the SCAA Finals for a second straight year.

Although the weather was much clearer for this one, the wind would still play a major factor in another all-out defensive tilt. The Kodiaks held a 7-0 lead into the third quarter when Wildcats’ pivot Braidon Foster scored on a quarterback draw to get his club back to within one. They would quickly tie it on the ensuing kickoff thanks to an 85-yard rouge from William McCulloch.

The Kodiaks would eventually go ahead 12-7 before the Wildcats would drive the field, threatening to steal the win in the game’s final seconds. But that was win things would come crashing down for Eastview. Foster threw a piss that was intercepted by one of the Bear Creek defenders, who took it back the other way all the way to the house, which effectively ended the Wildcats’ season in a stunning turn of events.

With that win, the Kodiaks advance to their second consecutive SCAA final, facing a familiar opponent, the CFC50 Nantyr Shores Tritons, who they upset in last year’s championship game by a score of 10-4.

For next season, the Wildcats’ brass expects to have another competitive senior squad. “Our team played well as they did all season. We are optimistic about next year’s squad as we are returning over 20 grade 11s from this year as well as getting about 20 Juniors moving up from the Junior Wildcat playoff team,” said Welch. “Our future is bright!”

SCAA Finals 

[3] Bear Creek Kodiaks (6-1-1) vs. [1] Nantyr Shores Tritons (8-0) – Thursday, November 9 (2:30 pm – Georgian College)


Semi-Finals – Wednesday, November 1

[3] Patrick Fogarty Flames (0-6) @ [2] St. Joseph’s Jaguars (2-4) {AA}

The Patrick Fogarty Flames and St. Joseph’s Jaguars were supposed to play a semi-final game last Wednesday for a right to face the St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers in the CSASC ‘AA’ final this afternoon at Georgian College.

However, the Flames were forced to forfeit the game due to injuries, meaning the Jaguars earned a default 1-0 win and advanced to the ‘AA’ championship game. That one will take place today at 2:30 from J.C. Massie Field at Barrie’s Georgian College.

[3] St. Theresa’s Thunder (3-3) @ [2] St. Peter’s Panthers (3-3) {AAA}

The St. Theresa’s Thunder and St. Peter’s Panthers were scheduled to face off in the ‘AAA’ semi-final the same afternoon, with the winner going on to face the juggernaut St. Joan of Arc Knights in the ‘AAA’ final, also to be played this afternoon at J.C. Massie Field.

But, as was the case with the Flames, the Panthers were forced to call off the game because of a lack of healthy players, giving St. Theresa’s a bye to the finals and a chance to upset the perennial GBSSA favourites from JOA.

CSASC Finals Schedule:

‘AAA:’ [3] St. Theresa’s Thunder (4-3) vs. [1] St. Joan of Arc Knights (7-0) – Wednesday, November 8 (12:00 pm – Georgian College)
‘AA:’ [2] St. Joseph’s Jaguars (3-4) vs. [1] St. Thomas Aquinas Stingers (4-2) – Wednesday, November 8 (2:30 pm – Georgian College)


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