PLAYOFF PREVIEW (ONT-Peel): Panthers & Spirit prepare for showdown in playoffs

With both teams picking up wins in the final game of the regular season, the Spirit and Panthers look to carry momentum into the playoffs.

St. Marcellinus and St. Marguerite d’Youville enter the 2015 ROPSSAA playoffs with some momentum behind them. The Spirit suffered a devastating loss as the hands of Lorne Park in Week 4 before heading into their bye. Marcellinus used the week off to fix mistakes and make the necessary adjustments in order to move forward. The Spirit responded by rebounding in an impressive fashion as they defeated the St. Joan of Arc Angels, allowing the Spirit to finish the regular season in third place in ROPSSAA South with a 3-2 record.

As St. Marcellinus prepare for d’Youville later this week, assistant coach for the Spirit Paul Correale believes his team must pay close attention to detail. “The game is about blocking and tackling, so we have a lot of success when we take care of those minor details.” The Spirit coaching staff strongly believes that at this point of the season, it is not about making significant changes, but fine tuning aspects of their game that is going to help this team.

Anticipating d’Youville will utilize their physicality and run game, coach Correale wants to ensure that his Spirit remain disciplined among other things during the game. “We have to match up to their athleticism as best as possible and the only way we can match that is with preparation. As well, knowing our assignments will be key.”


Since Week 2, the St. Marguerite d’Youville Panthers have made significant strides in becoming a better football team and have reeled off four straight wins. The Panthers finished second in the ROPSSAA North with a 4-1 record and have been one of the hottest teams in Peel. The Panthers’ last victory came over Cardinal Ambroziac and will now look to continue pushing forward as they enter the playoffs.

Head Coach of the Panthers John Paul Falacho believes that in order for this team maintain momentum, the players are going to need to be responsible and confident. “We need these kids to do their jobs. These kids are all good football players in this school, so we’re confident in every single one of them, but it’s a matter of getting that confidence built into them. They know they have the ability to play well, but they also have to believe and trust in the system that we have showed to them.”

Coming into this game, the Panthers are the higher seed and will host this playoff game. However, Coach Falacho knows that despite the favorable circumstances, Marcellinus cannot be overlooked. “We’re not going to take this team lightly, they always have a fantastic program and they find ways to win. At the end of the day, we have to prepare our kids and do it properly,” says Falacho. “We know that they are going to give the ball to their athletes, so we have to make them beat us with something else other than their main guys. We got to take away their athletes, if we take away those guys, hopefully, we win the game.”

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