Matt's Tigers suffer first defeat of the season
By Fred Sherwin
Wiliams scored the St. Matt's Tigers opening
touchdown on Thursday on a 57-yard first quarter
punt return. File photo
St. Matthew Tigers suffered their first loss of the season
on Thursday, dropping a 24-21 decision to the Mother Teresa
score could have been a lot worse if not for the play
of the Tigers' defence which prevented a couple of touchdowns
while scoring one themselves.
the Tigers offence barely showed up. They had just two
first downs the entire game, including one on a fake punt.
But as fate would have it, their second first down set
up their only offensive touchdown of the game to nearly
steal the win.
lack of offence was due to a combination of dreadful blocking
by the Tigers' offensive line and a great game plan by
the Titans offence to bottle up the Tigers' explosive
bacfield tandem of Jonathan Mufuta and Kian Williams.
game started out promisingly enough for the Tigers with
Mufuta running the opening kickoff back 40 yards to the
Titans' 50, but they would only get to run three plays
before punting the ball back to Mother Teresa.
Titans couldn't do much better on their first possession
either and they were forced to punt the ball back to the
Tigers and into the hands of Williams who ran it back
57 yards for the game's opening touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
the Titans failed to pick up a first down on their second
possession they elected to punt the ball out of bounds
at the Tigers' 24-yard line rather than risk another long
without their starting center, the Tigers mishandled the
snap on first down and turned the ball back over to Mother
Teresa on their own 20.
Tigers' defence did yeomen's work in bailing out the offence
which took over possession of the ball on the 15-yard
line. Ddisaster would soon strike once again, however,
as the Tigers fumbled the snap away again to give the
Titans a fresh set of downs on St. Matt's 15-yard line
which they turned into their first touchdown of the game
and a 7-7 tie.
the midway point of the second quarter, the Titans had
spent twice as much time on offence as the Tigers.
game remaned tied 7-7 until the 3:40 mark of the third
quarter when the Titans kicked a 22-yard field goal to
take a three-point lead.
Teresa would extend their advantage to 17-7 early in the
fourth quarter on a touchdown by their quarterback Jacob
Spiinella that capped a 68-yard drive against a tired
Titans appeared to be heading for a dominating win when
Shandon Ashitei iinterecepted Spinella who was being harassed
by Williams, and ran it back 27 yards for the pick six
to cut Mother Teresa's lead to 17-13. A missed extra point
meant the Tigers couldn't tie the game with a field goal.
the Tigers defence kept the Titans from picking up a first
down thanks to a well-timed sack by Brandon Landry, the
offence made the most of the opportunity by picking up
only their second first down of the game which set up
a 15-yard touchdown pass from Josh McGrath to Mufuta.
Mike Stenta split the uprghts on the extra point attempt,
the Tigers remarably found themselves with the lead for
the first time since early in the first quarter. Unfortunately,
they coudn't hold on to it for long.
defence, which had kept the Tigers in the game up until
that point, just couldn't muster one last stop as the
Titans put together an impressive 65-yard drive capped
by an 29-yard pass from Spinella to Harkirat Sekhon and
a one-yard plunge by Spinella to take the lead for good.
the game head coach Jean Guillaume offered a realistic
assessment of the result.
was a stupid loss. We have a lot of injuries and we had
to play a lot of players in positions they're not used
to, but I'd rather lose now than in the playoffs,"
Tigers won't have much time to lick their wounds. They
play an undefeated Philomen Wright team next Friday in
the last game of the regular season for both teams. A
win would set up a complicated three-way tie atop the
standings, while a loss would relegate them to third place.
Kick-off is at 3 p.m. at St. Matt's.
11:30 p.m., Oct. 23)
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