St. Matt Tigers win first ever touch football championship
of the St. Matt's Tigers pose for a team picture
after winning the varsity girls touch football
championship on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
be the best you have to beat the best and on Tuesday the
St. Matthew Tigers beat the defending champion Samuel
Genest Lazors to win the NCSSAA varsity girls touch football
championship for the first time.
Tigers were led by Maddie Wakefield who ran for three
touchdowns and completed 21 of 28 passes including a touchdown
toss to Miranda Smith.
Tigers' offence was firing on all eight cylinders in the
first half, scoring on all three of their possessions,
while their defence held the Lazors in check until the
final series of the half when they finally found the end
zone to make the score 20-6 at the break.
an indication of how dominant the Tigers were in the first
half, they ran 19 plays to just 10 for the Lazors. Their
first touchdown came after Brianna Arichara intercepted
a tipped pass near midfield. Four plays later, Wakefield
ran the ball in from the 12 yard line and then capped
the scoring drive with a two point conversion toss to
the Lazors went three and out on their second series,
the Tigers marched the ball downfield once again, finishing
off the 10 play, 70 yard drive with a touchdown throw
from Wakefield to Smith.
Lazors third series was as ineffectual as the first two
resulting in the Tigers getting excellent field position
on Samuel Genest's 45 yard line. Six plays later, Wakefield
ran the ball in for her second touchdown of the game to
give the Tigers a seemingly insurmountable 20-0 lead.
Lazors finally got their act together late in the first
half, beginning with a 68-yard pass and run play from
Kayla McSorely to Aurélie Adelson taht set up a
22-yard touchdown pass from McSorely to Sarah Piana. After
the missed conversion attempt the score stood at 20-6
in favour f the Tigers.
Matt's opened the second half with a 9 play, 72 yard drive
to extend their lead to 25-6. Little did they know at
the time that the touchdown would end up being the difference
in the game.
to give up, the defending champs showed a tremendous amount
of heart by scoring on the next drive to make the score
25-12. Samuel Genest's defence then managed to hold the
Tigers for the first time in the game to set up yet another
major touchdown toss from McSorely to Adekson to bring
the Lazors to within a converted touchdown, down 25-18.
for the Lazors and fortunately for the Tigers the clock
wasn't on Samuel Genest's side. After the ensuing kick-off
the referee blew his whistle three times signalling there
were only five plays left in the game. All St. Matt's
had to do to wrap up the championship was get a first
down. When they didn't they had to make a difficult decision
-- punt the ball from deep in their own end, or give up
a safety and two points and kick the ball from their 35.
The Tigers coaches chose the latter.
Matt's was able to limit the Lazors to just a couple of
yards on the return, leaving them having to cover 60 yards
in two plays to tie and possibly win the game. Two completions
would get them to the Tigers' 35, but it was not enough
and the St. Matt players were able to breath a sigh of
relief before the on field celebrations began.
if she was nervous at any point in the second half, Wakefield
admitted to fealing the heat during the Tigers' final
two series when they were unable to pick up a first down.
my goodnes that was so scary," said the Grade 11
student, "but I was confident we would pull through.
head coach Chris Wakefield said his team made a concerted
effort to prevent the Lazors from running the ball and
make the big play to their two star receivers, Adelson
and Piana. For the most part they did just that.
only one player graduating this spring. the Tigers will
be looking to repeat next year.
see you all back on the field in 10 months... for tryouts,"
Wakefield tolds his players before letting them go.
8:30 a.m., June 5)
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