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(Posted 12:30 p.m., July 28)
Panthers overcome early mistakes to rout Toronto in OVFL playoff opener
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Cumberland Panther running back AK Ismail picks up some hard-earned yardage in the team's 54-6 win over the Toronto Thunder on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

For the first five minutes of the Ontario Varsity Football League bantam conference semi-final between the Cumberland Panthers and the Toronto Thunder, it looked as though the Panthers would be their own worst enemy.

But after committing a couple of turnovers on their first two possessions, the Panthers managed to get their act together and proceeded to dismantle the visitors on their way to a 54-6 victory.

Noah Gauthier led the way for the Panthers, running for 135 yards and three majors. He even caught an interception on defence to make up for one of the earlier turnovers.

Fellow running back Kian Williams got into the end zone twice and AK Ismail and Kevin Victorne also scored on the ground, the latter running 100 yards on his only carry of the game.

The Panthers only other touchdown was scored through the air on a 35 yard toss from Ryan Licandro to Enoc Enyeka.

The Thunder's lone major came late in the fourth quarter with the Panthers already leading 47-0.

It was great game for the Panthers, who are hoping to make it to the OVFL championship game after losing to the Myers Riders in the conference final last year. This year's Ontario Varsity Football League finals are being played at Keith Harris Stadium here in Ottawa.

Panthers head coach Jeff Koradi was pleased with his team's performance on Saturday, but he knows they'll need to eliminate the early mistakes as they get deeper into the post season.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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