Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


Team of the Month

Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

Ontario Varsity Football
Bantam Panthers dominant in conference semifinal win over Durham Dolphins
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Cumberland Panthers bantam varsity football team is one win away from a return trip to the OVFL championship game after downing the Durham Dolphins in dominating fashion in Saturday's Wettges Conference semi-final contest at Millennium Park.

The Panthers will play their crosstown rivals, the Myers Riders, next Saturday in a replay of last year's conference final, which the Panthers won 28-9, to see who will advance to the OVFL bantam championship game. The two teams split their two regular season meetings with the Panthers winning the first game 18-7 and the Riders taking the second game 28-18.

Cumberland Panthers running back Fabrice Mukendi turns the corner against the Durham Dolphins during the Wettges Conference semifinal on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Lynn Guilbault

Next Saturday's rubber match will take place at Millennium with the opening kickoff scheduled to take place at noon.

But before the Panthers could look forward to a return trip to the conference final they had to first take care of business against the Durham Dolphins, and take care of business they did led by their quarterback Christian Veilleux who passed for four touchdowns and ran for another.

After failing to complete his first few passes, Veilleux took matters into his own hands and on fourth and 10, he tucked the ball under his arm and scrambled 49 yards through the Dolphins' defence to give the Panthers their first touchdown.

Touchdown #2 came after the Panthers' defence forced the Dolphins to turn the ball over on Cumberland's 26-yard line early in the second quarter.

It took the Panthers just four plays to find the end zone on a 79-yard pass from Veilleux to Maxime Dery,

The two young men would hook up again on the Panthers' next series to give the hometown team a 20-0 lead. The scoring play came on a slant pass covering 44 yards. Panthers' running back Fabrice Mukendi successfully ran the ball in on the two-point convert attempt for the extra two points.

The Dopihins' first touchdown was scored by Jayden Smith who played five different positions during the game including linebacker, safety, kick returner, slotback and tailback. Smith broke through the middle of the line of scrimmage and bolted 58-yards to get the Dolphins on the board.

The Panthers responded as only they know how with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Veilleux to Zane Teichroeb on the very next play. Unfortunately, it was called on the account that Teichroeb left the line of scrimmage too early..

The penalty only delayed the inevitable, however, as the Panthers needed just four more plays to get into the end zone on an 18-yard pass from Veilleux to Meinzinger with 1.5 seconds left in the third quarter to make the score 26-7 in favour of Cumberland.

The Panthers' fifth and final touchdown came on a 10-yard pass from Veilleux to Jonathan Aoude that was set up by a Noah Masena interception.

The Dolphins did manage to score again with 14 seconds left in the game to make the score a little more respectable, but the damage had already been and the Panthers were by far the more dominating team.

Now they can turn their attention to the Myers Riders, who head coach Jeff Koradi expects will present a much greater challenge.

"It's going to be great game. Panthers vs Myers is always a great game, but the road to Hamilton goes through Millennium and we'll be ready," said Koradi, noting that the OVFL championship game will be played in the Steel City on August 6.

(Posted 3 p.m., July 24)


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