RECAP (ONT – OTTAWA): Knights reign supreme in ‘AAA’ Championship

This past weekend, St. Peter’s Knights won the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association (NCSSAA) Tier 1 ‘AAA’ championship over the St. Francis Xavier Coyotes.

The Knights dominated the Coyotes from start to finish on route to a 35-7 thumping. The Coyotes never had a chance and didn’t get a first down until 2:52 to go in the fourth quarter.

St. Peters revealed some plays they hadn’t run all year long and it was very effective. Coyotes Quarterback John Bolzanello had to deal with pressure all game long as blitz after blitz broke through the Coyotes offensive line.

The Coyotes got off to a rough start on their first offensive play of the game when Knights defensive back Shubham Nayyar jumped a pass from Bolzanello for his first of two interceptions.

The game got off to a sloppy start on both sides with a muffed snap by both teams on their first couple of possessions.

St. Peter’s opened the scoring on a 25 yard touchdown run from Josh Earle with 22 seconds left in the opening quarter. Earle had a big day for the Knights and was a huge factor on both offense and defense.

The Knights struck again after a lengthy drive was stymied but the Coyotes fumbled a punt that was recovered by Knights Alex Lawrie and two plays later Earle punched it in again for the Knights making it 14-0 at 7:50 of the second quarter.

St. Fx continue to struggle offensively as the Knights clogged up running holes and didn’t allow Coyotes running back Jordan Taylor to get into a rhythm all afternoon.

The game got eventful when St. Fx blocked a 15 yard St. Pete’s field goal attempt giving them the ball deep in their own territory.

After a quick two-and-out the Coyotes made a bad snap on a punt and Jordan St. Pierre had to scramble just to collect the ball and complete a pass to get back to the line of scrimmage.

The Coyotes were looking like they were going to take back some momentum when DB Joseph Djemmy intercepted a ball in the end zone. Unfortunately the Coyotes fumbled the ball on the ensuing possession leading to a Knights score and it was 21-0 at half time.

The Knights continued to pour it on when Pascal Roy-Lapensee completed a 35 yard score to Lawrie on their first series of the third quarter. Just three minutes into the second half it was 28-0 for the Knights.

Both teams played some sloppy football in the third quarter. St. Pete’s continued to put pressure on Bolzanello getting to him for a few sacks. St. Fx fumbled the ball twice and Bolzanello was intercepted by Nayyar again.

The Knights made it 35-0 on Earle’s third score of the day when he punched in the ball from the 3 with a few minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

The Knights yelled "For Heney" as the received the trophy

The Knights yelled “For Heney” as the received the trophy

St. Fx finally got something going when they were given some nice field position after St. Pierre brought them to midfield. Taylor converted a seoncd and short for their first down with just under three minutes left.

A lengthy pass interference penalty by the Knights put the Coyotes on the 11 yard line. A few runs by Bolzanello followed and he snuck it for the Coyotes first score of the afternoon.

The Coyotes attempted an onside kick and recovered the ball after it bounced off the head of #32 Rowin Michel-Viertglhausen and went out of bounds.

The Coyotes managed to get another first down but the game was over long ago and the clock struck zero and it was celebration time for the Knights

A class of the now defunct Laurentian high school was on hand to help present the championship trophy to the Knights along with Ron Graham.

It was a beautiful moment when the Knights captains accepted the trophy. #23 Quinn Nadon Stencill lifted the trophy over his head and yelled “for Heney.” This of course a reference to Knights Coach Mike Heney who passed away in the first week of the season.

“It’s nice we’ll be able to sit down later and enjoy this. He would have loved this, absolutely loved this,” said Knights Head Coach Jim Mick when asked about winning one for Heney.

The NCSSAA Tier was season was a strange one this year and Mick was happy that his player came out and performed to give them the ending they wanted.

“These guys here really listened well to what we had to teach, we coach and they play the game. They’re making plays, all you can do is put them in position to make plays and they did,” said Mick.

Earlier in the day the St. Joseph Jaguars beat the St. Mark Lions 24-21 to take the Tier 1 AA Championship. The Lions missed a 28 yard field goal to tie it up in the last minute of the game.

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