8:30 a.m., Aug. 25)
kick off season with split against South Ottawa Raiders
By Fred Sherwin
Panthers punt returner and linebacker Justice
Koradi returns a kick during their 81-6 win
over the South Ottawa Raiders on Saturday.
Cumberland Panthers football club began another season
on Saturday by splitting their four games against the
South Ottawa Raiders.
Panthers' tyke team came out on the wrong end of a 44-42
shootout, while the mosquito squad rolled to an impressive
81-6 win in their game. The peewee team also started the
season off on a winning note, downing their Raider opponents
19-7, but the bantam squad wasn't able to capitalize on
the momentum as they lost 35-34.
the feature game of the day, the Panthers' mosquito team
showed why they are the prohibitive favourites to win
this year's A-Cup after coming up short in last year's
final with a majority of first year players.
year older and a year wiser, the Panthers had their way
with the Raiders, scoring on every one of their drives.
They even scored when they didn't have the ball thanks
to a pair of interceptions that were returned for touchdowns..
running back Fabrice Mukendi only touched the ball four
times and scored all four times. Three of his touchdowns
came in the first quarter. Joshua Ruby also scored in
the opening stanza to help establish a 26-0 lead after
the first 12 minutes.
continued to go the Panthers way in the second quarter
with Zach Buckley, Ruby, Carter Bennett and Zane Teicroeb
all finding the end zone, the latter on a pass from Christian
60-6 at the half, the Panthers let up in the second half
which was played entirely under running time, which means
the clock was never stopped. Even so they scored three
more touchdowns on three possessions to make the final
hard to tell who's going to offer the Panthers any competition
this season. They nearly ran the table last season with
a majority of first year players, nearly all of whom are
back. The Orleans Bengals, who they lost to in last year's
final, have graduated most of their players to the peewee
level and are rebuilding.
head coach Jeff Koradi knows he has a very good team with
an excellent shot of repeating the success they enjoyed
in 2012 when most of the same players went undefeated
and won the NCAFA tyke championship.
kids just keep getting better with every year. It's scary
in a way. The level of execution, especially this early
in the season, is unbelievable," says Koradi who
is gunning for his third NCAFA A-Cup in the past four
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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