Junior Knights overwhelmed by superior speed, defence
By Fred Sherwin
Peter Knights running back Jaylen King tries to find an opening during he NCAFA
junior boys football championship on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
kills" and "defence wins championships" are two popular sayings
in sports. When combined together they are impossible to overcome, even for the
best of teams.
St. Peter Knights found that out the hard way on Saturday
playing in the junior city championship against a St. Francis Xavier team that
was determined to avenge their only loss of the season -- a 30-22 defeat at the
hands of the Knights on Oct. 26.
the loss providing them with extra motivation, the Coyotes who played more like
roadrunners on Saturday, downing the Knights 14-0 in only their second year of
game was a titanic defensive battle through the first three quarters as neither
team was able to mount much offense except for the odd long run by the Coyotes
backfield tandem of Dimitri Vaillancourt and Tunde Adeleke who carried the ball
14 times for 172 yards..
closest either team came to scoring in the first half was late in the second quarter
when the Knights' Nick Arcuri missed a 33 yard field goal attempt. The tale of
the tape, however, showed that St. Francis Xavier had a 2-to-1 advantage in yardage
gained in the first half, a differential they would build upon in the second half
of the game.
poor punt by the Knights deep in their own end early in the third quarter gave
the Coyotes excellent field position which they immediately seized upon thanks
to a 22-yard touchdown run by Vaillancourt.
series later the Coyotes successfully made a pair of third down conversions to
move the ball down to the Knights' 34 yard line where they scored a single after
the Knights failed to return a punt out of their end zone.
Pete's looked to finally get things untracked early in the fourth quarter when
pivot Jake Molinski connected with Tyrone Pierre for a 25-yard pass down the left
looked to have possession of the ball and was heading out of bounds when he was
hit by a Coyotes defender and the ball was knocked loose. The referee immediately
waved it off, signalling that the pass was incomplete which left the Knights with
no choice but to punt the ball back to the Coyotes.
the Knights' next possession, Molinski and Pierre hooked up again for a 26 yard
gain down the middle to the Coyotes' 39-yard line, but a failed third down conversion
attempt two plays later meant that would be as far as they would get.
icing on the cake was provided by Vaillancourt, who intercepted Molinskli with
just over a minute to go in the game and returned the ball 25 yards for the major
to make the final score 14-0 in favour of the Coyotes.
was a tough loss for the Knights, who haven't hoisted the city championship trophy
in four years.
speed killed us," was how Knights head coach Bruce Blomeley summed up the
game. "They really didn't surprise us with anything. They made the big plays
and we didn't."
of the players including Jaylen King and Brandon Shepherd were also on the losing
end of the score in the Ontario Varsity Peewee Championship game in August and
the NCAFA bantam semifinal game between the Cumberland Panthers and the Myers
Riders last month.
Grade 10s are all looking forward to moving up to the senior level next year,
while the Grade 9s will try to end the school's dry streak by winning the first
junior championship since 2007.
12:30 p.m., Nov. 14)
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