12:30 p.m., July 13)
varsity Panthers fall to crosstown rivals
By Fred Sherwin
Panthers running back Kian Williams rushed
for three touchdowns in a losing cause against
the Myers Riders on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
say that in order to win a championship, every team must
suffer a little adversity. The Cumberland Panthers bantam
varsity team suffered more than their fair share of adversity
against the Myers Riders on Saturday and now must bounce
back before the start of the playoffs in two weeks time..
suffering an opening season overtime loss to the Metro
Toronro Wildcats, the Panthers have had their way with
the competiton for the past five weeks, rolling to lopsided
win after lopsided win.
the Riders were amassing their own formidable record.
Satruday's highly-anticipated game had shaped up to knock
down, drag 'em out affair between the best two teams in
the Wettges Conference.
turned out to be a good old-fashioned butt-kicking, as
Panthers head coach Jeff Koradi described it in his post-game
comments, with the Riders doing the kicking and the Panthers
feeling it on the scoresheet.
the Panthers even knew what hit them, the Riders had taken
a 13-0 lead within the first three minutes. Their first
touchdown came on a long pass and run play from Avery
Clayton to Honoreal Iloki on the first play of the game.
Tripp played both sides of the ball for the
Myers Riders on Saturday in leading his team
to a 35-26 win over the Cumberland Panthers.
Riders would score agaiin on their next series after a
15-yard facemask penalty against the Panthers allowed
Myers to convert a third and 40 situation into a first
down inside the 10.
Panthers' offensive responded with a 47-yard touchdown
run by Kian Williams on the next series, but a failed
two-point convert attempt left them trailing 13-6. The
Riders than made it three-for-three, scoring on their
third straight possession courtesy of a nine-year touchdown
run by Iloki. The point after was good, making the score
20-6 in favour of Myers.
momentum clearly in their favour, the Riders kept up the
pressure by successfully recovering an onside kick at
midfield. Despite being on the field for most of the first
quarter, the Panthers defence stiffened and forced the
Riders to attempt a 27-yard field goal. The attempt went
wide right , but it was strong enough to go out the back
of the end zone and count for a point.
Panthers tried to make a game of it by putting together
a 75-yard drive on their next possession, capped by a
touchdown and two-point convert by Noah Gauthier which
narrowed the deficit to 21-14 with 1:14 left to go in
the first half.
would have loved to have go into the halftime break down
a touchdown, but the Riders had other plans. They managed
to put together a scoring drive thanks to two key plays.
The first was a finger tip catch along the sideline by
James Keenan that covered 25 yards. And the second was
a horrible pass interference call on a third and long
against the Panthers that set up a five yard touchdown
run by Hayden Tripp.
score at the half was 28-14 in favour of the Riders.
receiving the opening kick-off to start the second half,
Myers extended their lead to 35-14 thanks to Iloki who
broke free on a third and 19 play to take the ball all
the way down to the one yard line. Clayton then scored
on a quarterback keeper and the extra point attempt was
Panthers did do themselves any favours by fumbling the
ball away twice in the second half, but each time they
were bailed out by their secondary who intercepted the
ball twice on the one yard line. The first pick was made
by Kevin Nsabua and the second theft was committed by
the second interception, Williams was able to break free
for a 65-yard touchdown run that cut the score to 35-20
late in the fourth quarter. A successful onside kick and
another long run by Williams would further reduce the
deficit to 35-26, but that would be as close as they would
fail to recover a second onside kick attempt and the Riders
would run out the clock.
the Panthers it's back to the drawing board and back to
the practice field to prepare for the York Simcoe Bucks,
who they will host in their final regular season game
at Millennium Park next week.
notes from Steve Koscher)
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