Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, Dec. 13


Team of the Month

Posted Dec. 4

Posted March 22

Posted March 16


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


NCAFA Football
Peewee Bengals lose A-Cup semi-final in a heartbreaker

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orleans Bengals running back Kirk Jean Baptist tries to break through a tackle during their peewee B-Cup semifinal against the Bell Warriors on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Orleans Bengals went into their peewee A-Cup semifinal on Sunday hoping for a repeat of their semifinal performance two years ago when they upset the highly-favoured Cumberland Panthers.

The Bengals would go on to win the mosquito championship that year and they had their sights set on a return to the A-Cup final this season, all they had to do was get past the Bell Warriors.

The first half of Sunday’s game was a defensive affair with both teams keeping each others’ offences in check.

The Warriors only score came in the first quarter after their defence had forced the Bengals to turn the ball over on their one-yard line. A two-point convert would give the Warriors the early 8-0 lead.

The Bengals response came midway through the second quarter when they took advantage of excellent field position to score a touchdown on a five yard pass from Huzaifah “Z” Rana (#3) to Xavier “X” Gervais (#5), A failed two-point convert attempt left them trailing 8-6 at the half.

On the opening series of the seond half, the Bengals moved the ball down to the Warriors’ 35-yard line before stalling. Rather than attempt a long field goal with the wind at their backs, they punted the ball into the end zone. The Warriors managed to run the ball out and avoid giving up the single point. Instead, they were given a fresh set of downs on the 20.

Bell moved the ball to the 38-yard line before the Bengals’ defence forced them to turn it over on downs.

The Bengals offence took advantage of the excellent field position to score a go ahead touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Rana to Kirk Jean Baptiste (#11). Gervais booted the extra point to put the Bengals in front 13-8.

The lead stood up until late in the third quarter when the Warriors manufactured a 76-yard drive on eight carries to move back in front with four minutes left in the game. The drive included a pair of third down conversions and a five-yard touchdown run by Ben Phillips (#23) who was the Warriors best player on offence. A successful two-point convert left the Bengals trailing by a point.

Orleans didn’t take long to strike back. Shortly after getting the ball back, they handed it off to Jean Baptiste who did his best Usain Bolt impersonation, sprinting through the Warriors defence for a 75-yard touchdown. It took the Bengals just three plays and less than 40 seconds to retake the lead. They probably wish they had taken a little longer.

As fate would have it, the Warriors needed just 1:37 of the remaining two minutes to score the game winning touchdown against an exhausted Bengals defence which had been on the field for all but 40 seconds of the fourth quarter.

The final blow came on a 16-yard pass down the sideline that they had misfired on at least twice before. The play’s success was dependent on the Warriors staying away from Bengals defensive back Nathan Casimir (#32) who had broken up at least three long pass attempts with his fingertips.

The go ahead touchdown fell on the Bengals like a sledgehammer, and just like that, their season, which had looked so promising, had come to an abrupt end.

After the game Bengals’ head coach Ken Harris couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“That one’s hard to swallow. We had them so many times. We just made one too many mistakes,” said Harris, referring to the final touchdown.

(Posted 5:30 p.m., Oct. 26)


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