Postseason stumble

OVFL: Varsity Lions bounced out of playoffs by defending league champions

Last weekend, the varsity Cambridge Lions postseason came to an end, courtesy of the London Mustangs 39-26.

“They played well they showed why their the defending champions,” said Lions Head Coach Anthony Maggiacomo.  “We didn’t play as well as we could have, but it happens.”

“We couldn’t get much going in the first half.”

Offensively,  the Lions stumbled on drives.

“It was key mistakes that killed drives,” said Maggiacomo.

Leading the offense was quarterback James Roberts with 126 passing yards and a passing touchdown. Roberts also registered 68 rushing yards with a major.

The Lions leading rusher was Dominic Valincic who finished the day with 139 yard and a touchdown.

Running back Tyler Woods suffered a knee injury in the second quarter but still managed 42 rushing yards.

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The Lions’ offensive line was solid in a losing cause.

“[They] played really well, and we ran well,” said Maggiacomo.

Brayden Lane led all Lions receivers with 43 yards while Brad Vince added a touchdown with 27 yards.

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Defensively, the Lions made some key errors.

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“We just gave up some big plays, and you can’t do that in the playoffs,” said Maggiacomo.  “We couldn’t come up with plays when we needed to on defense but they (London) seemed to find it on offense.”

Defensive linemen Hassan Barry had five  tackles and two blocked kicks. Wyatt Hogan-Crawford led the way with nine tackles while defensive back Ashton Pilkey added eight tackles.

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In spite of losing, the Lions never gave up throughout the entire game.

“They fought hard till the end,” said Maggiacomo.

With the Lions season coming to an end, its time to reflect back on their season. Not only is this season’s record an improvement from the previous one, but it also marks Maggiacomo’s  first winning season as a head coach (in only his third season).

“Happy where we got to this year, excited for next year with everyone returning, expectations will be higher,” said Maggiacomo.

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Statistically, the Lions had two top ten OVFL players at their positions – quarterback James Roberts and running back Tyler Woods.

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“It’s a real testament to our offensive line,” commented Maggiacomo.

The Lions will have the majority of their squad returning with two players graduating to the university level (linebacker Robin Petrie and offensive linemen Matt Davidson).

“We are young, and a lot of our top players are returning and were already excited for next year,” said Maggiacomo.

The team hopes to build on this successful season.

“We’re putting ourselves at a completive level in this age group and in the bigger picture the playoffs,” said Maggiacomo.  “We have full expectations to be in the conversation and expect to be deep in the playoffs, we now believe were in the top tier.”

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