Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Nov. 6


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Tim Tierney


Senior Boys Football
St. Matt's Tigers suffer first defeat of the season

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Kian Wiliams scored the St. Matt's Tigers opening touchdown on Thursday on a 57-yard first quarter punt return. File photo

The St. Matthew Tigers suffered their first loss of the season on Thursday, dropping a 24-21 decision to the Mother Teresa Titans.

The 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.

Unfortunately, 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

After 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 return.

Playing 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.

The 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.

By the midway point of the second quarter, the Titans had spent twice as much time on offence as the Tigers.

The 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.

Mother 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 Tigers defence.

The 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.

When 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.

After 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.

The 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.

After the game head coach Jean Guillaume offered a realistic assessment of the result.

"It 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," said Guillaume.

The 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.

(Posted 11:30 p.m., Oct. 23)


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