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(Posted 9:30 p.m., June 22)
Cumberland Panthers bantam OV squad wins fourth straight game
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cumberland Panthers running back Noah Gauthier scores his first of two touchdowns against the Toronto Thunder on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Cumberland Panthers bantam Ontario Varsity Football team is doing the best it can to erase memories of an opening day overtime loss and their opponents are paying the consequences for it.

The Panthers' latest victim was the Toronto Thunder who they completely dismantled at Millennium Park on Saturday to improve their record to 4-1.

The Panthers followed up 67-0 road win over the Oshawa Hawkeyes on June 21 with a 56-6 win over the Thunder who likely regret choosing to kick the ball to start the game on defence rather than start the game on offence.

It took the Panthers just one play to show the Thunder the error of their ways thanks to a 75-yard run by Kian Williams who would finish the game with three major scores to add to his league-leading total of 14. His 284 yards on the ground also puts him over 1,000 yards for the season as he's averaging over 200 yards a game.

The Panthers' other rushing TDs came from Noah Gauthier, who scored twice, and Kody Williamson, while John Davis and Enoc Enyeka both scored through the air on passes from Ryan Licandro amd Christopher Shopa respectively.

Cumberland Panthers running back Kian Williams sprint past a defener during the Cumberland Panthers 56-6 win over the Toronto Thunder on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

As good as the Panthers' offence was against the Thunder, it was their defence that controlled the game from the opening series. Everytime they ran the ball the Panthers' front seven had their number, and every time they tried to throw the ball, a Cumberland defensive back was there to pick it off.

Noah Jerome-Lemieux had two interceptions while Shane Koscher and Devon Canning had a pick each.

The only low moments for the Panthers was the loss of Licandro to an apparent injury in the fourth quarter, and a pair of 15-yard penalties in the fourth quarter that set up Toroto's lone touchdown.

After the game Panthers' head coach Jeff Koradi was understandably happy with his team's performance on both sides of the ball.

"We came out strong. We played pretty consistent and we had pretty good effort as we always do and even though we get up sometimes we still played hard which is good to see," said Koradi.

Since their opening day loss the Panthers have outscored their opponents 234-18. Their next game is against the Pickering Dolphins, who are also 4-1. They'll then get a week off before paying their crosstown rivals the Myers Riders, which could end up being for first place.

(With notes from Steve Koscher)

 

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