Panthers retain first place despite loss to Myers Riders
By Fred Sherwin
Panthers running back Raphael Mallouin sets
up the teams third touchdown of the
game against the Myers Riders on Saturday.
Photo courtesy of Lynn Gilbault
Cumberland Panthers bantam varsity football team suffered
their first loss of the season on Saturday and with it
very nearly their hold on first place in the Wettges Conference.
Panthers ran into a Myers Riders team determined to end
a four-game losing streak against their rivals that included
an 18-7 loss on their home field just three weeks ago.
They were aided in their endeavour by strong winds that
limited the Panthers' air attack especially in the first
half during which their quarterback Christian Veilleux
was just 4-for-8 for 52 yards.
windy conditions aside, the Panthers did manage to strike
first, scoring a touchdown early in the first quarter
on run by Fabrice Mukendi.
Riders responded with a converted touchdown on their next
series capped by a run by their quarterback Jacob Dugas.
They would add another touchdown in the second quarter
to make the score 14-6 at the half.
a team meeting during the break, the Panthers were hoping
to prevent turn their fortunes around in the second half,
but instead the Riders added to their lead on their opening
driving, scorig a touchdown on a another quarterback keeper
interception by Markaedyn Nelson late in the third quarter
gave the Panther faithful renewed hope, but it was only
fleeting as they failed to take advantage of the situation
and turned the ball back over to the Riders on downs,
which Myers turned into yet another touchown and a 28-6
as the game and first place seemed to be slipping out
of their hands, the Panthers mounted a fourth quarter
comeback on the arm and the legs of their quarterback
Christian Veilluex who completed 10 of 18 passes in second
half and ran for 66 yards on eight carries.
threw back-to-back passes to Raphael Mallouin and Zane
Teichrob to score the first touchdown and then scrambled
his way through the Riders defence to score an all important
major to cut the Riders' lead to 10 points. The difference
was one point less than the Panthers' margin of victory
in their earlier meeting this season which was enough
to preserve their first place standing and home field
advantage in the playoffs.
the game, Panthers head coach Jeff Koradi put the loss
in its proper perspective.
only one game and we're still in first place. If we're
going to lose, I'd much rather lose in the regular season
than the playoffs," said Koradi. "At the end
of the day we can't start a game like that aganst a team
like Myers. The guys we're flying high and today we were
grounded. Welcome to earth boys."
Panthers will travel to Toronto next week to face the
Metro Toronto Wildcats and then return home to close out
the regular season against the Toronto Thunder on July
9 a.m., July 3)
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