Volume 10 Week 10

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Posted Dec. 16


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




Senior Boys Football
Knights outlast stubborn St. Matt's team for shot at third straight city championship

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

St. Peter Knight's quarterback Juan Nava gets taken down from behind during the second quarter of the Tier 1 semi-final against the St. Matthew Tigers on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The St. Peter Knights junior and senior football teams will be vying for high school football supremacy this weekend after they managed to win their respective semi-final games in vastly different fashions on Tuesday.

While the junior Knights completely overwhelmed the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Lancers in cruising to a 54-0 win in the early game, the senior team had their hands full against an opportunistic St. Matthew Tiger team that refused to give up and very nearly pulled off the major upset.

The Knights jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after Derrick Chow picked off St. Matt’s quarterback James Ryan on the Tigers’ first series of the game.

Chow returned the ball to the Tigers’ 20 yard line where Knights pivot Juan Nava handed the ball off two straight times to Isaiah Harris. The second carry was a 15-yard counter to the end zone marker for the major.

A 23-yard pass from Nava to Emmerson Curran on the Knights third series of the game would set up a 32-yard field goal by Sean Decloux to give the Knights a 9-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

After the Tigers failed to pick up a first down on their next series, they punted the ball downfield where it was mishandled by the Knights’ return man and recovered by St. Matt’s. The Tigers immediately took advantage of the situation, striking for a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Mac Wakefield on first down. The extra point attempt was blocked by Christian Lawrence making the score 9-6 in favour of the Knights.

On the ensuing kick-off, Dennis Gagné returned the ball 61-yards to the Tigers’ 30-yard line to set up a 21-yard field goal by Decloux which extended the Knight’s lead to 12-6.

The defending city champions went up 18-6 on a seven yard run by Harris which was set up by 27-yard pass from Nava to Dennis Gagne. Decloux added the extra point to give the Knights a 19-6 lead.

Phil Wakim’s second interception of the half interrupted the Tigers next possession and led to Decloux’s third field goal of the game to give the Knights a 22-6 halftime lead.

The Tigers narrowed the deficit to 22-12 early in the third quarter on a spectacular pass and run play from Ryan to Wakefield that covered 80 yards.

St. Matt’s had an opportunity to make it a seven point game late in the third quarter, but the 17-yard field goal attempt by Tom Cunningham barely made it off the ground.

With less than two minutes to go in the game, the Tigers found lightning in a bottle once against as Ryan hooked up with Wakefield for a third time on a 44-yard pass down the right sideline to narrow the deficit to just four points.

A successful onside kick would make the remaining 1:12 interesting, but the Knights defence had had enough and stopped the Tigers dead in their tracks to preserve the win.

After the game, a subdued Jim Mick lamented his team’s play in the second half while pointing to the many positives the Knights exhibited during the first two quarters of the game.

“The game never should have been that close. I thought we played a great in the first half and then we lost Isaiah for awhile and guys started missing their blocks and taking a bunch of penalties and we let them get back in the game. They had three big plays, that’s it,” said the Knights head coach.

Harris finished the game with 48 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns, Stephen Dalekos ran the ball six times fo 30 yards, and Decloux was three for three in the field goal department.

Wakefield provided all the fireworks for the Tigers with four receptions for 161 yards three of which were for majors of 30, 80 and 44 yards.

The only thing that stands between the Knights and a third straight senior boys city championship are the Ashbury Colts who had to comeback to beat the St. Mark Lions 26-24 in Tuesday’s other semi-final.

The Colts beat the Knights 6-3 on Oct. 22 in a game in which the usually reliable Decloux missed three field goal attempts, including one from 35 yards out with five seconds remaining in the goal.

The junior and senior teams will be vying for their respective city championships at the same time for the second straight year. While the senior team won their title last year, the junior squad was upset by the St. Matthew Tigers. The year before they missed the playoffs after having to forfeit their six wins for mistakeningly using an ineligible player.

(Posted 2:30 p.m., Nov. 10)

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