Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, Dec. 13


Posted Dec. 4

Posted March 22

Updated Feb. 4


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





Touch Football
St. Matt Tigers win first ever touch football championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the St. Matt's Tigers pose for a team picture after winning the varsity girls touch football championship on Tuesday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

To 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.

The Tigers were led by Maddie Wakefield who ran for three touchdowns and completed 21 of 28 passes including a touchdown toss to Miranda Smith.

The 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.

As 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 Brianna Thompson.

After 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.

The 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.

The 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.

St. 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.

Refusing 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.

Unfortunately 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.

St. 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.

Asked 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.

"Oh my goodnes that was so scary," said the Grade 11 student, "but I was confident we would pull through.

Tigers 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.

With only one player graduating this spring. the Tigers will be looking to repeat next year.

"I'll see you all back on the field in 10 months... for tryouts," Wakefield tolds his players before letting them go.

(Posted 8:30 a.m., June 5)


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