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February 9, 2019


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February 9, 2019











 

Events


New Year`s Levee hosted by MP Andrew Leslie and MPP Marie-France Lalonde

 


Cumnberland Township Agriculture Socirty (CTAS) annual general meeting

 


Blackburn Community Association Annual General Meeting

 


The Good Time Band performing at the Orléans Legion


Varsity Football
JV Panthers advance to OPFL championship
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

A Burlington defender desperately tries to slow down Cumberland Panther defensive back Kevin Victome after Victome intercepted a pass late in Sunday's East Conference final. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Cumberland Panthers Junior Varsity football team is heading to the Ontario Provincial Football League championships in Kingston next weekend thanks to a nail-biting 15-8 win over the Burlington Stampeders on Sunday.

The Panthers went into the East Confernce final riding a five-game winning streak after starting the season 1-3, including a 36-35 loss to the Stampeders in Week 3.

The Burlington team was coming off a 20-8 win over the fourth place Durham Dolphins in last week’s Conference semi-finals after suffering their only loss of the regular season in their final game of the regular season in Week 8.

The first half of Sunday’s Conference was a knocked down, drag them off the field defensive affair with neither team able to even get a sniff of their opponent’s end zone.

The second half was a different affair altogether. After both teams turned the ball over on their opening series, the Stampeders took advantage of their superior field position to go for a single point by attempting a field goal from the 32 yard line.

The line drive kick was drilled 15 yards deep into the end zone and deep back Kevin Victome was unable to get it out, conceeding the point in the process.

The Stampeders slim lead didn’t last long. After the Panthers’ next drive stalled just past midfield, Burlington’s offence was back in business, but rather than keep the ball on the ground they decided to test the Panthers’ pass defence. The result was a pick six by Oliver Tetrault who ran the ball back 60-yards to give his team the lead. It was the first of several big plays by the defence, and Tetrault in particular, who only had one interception in his previous nine games.

The Stampeders responded on their next drive by moving the ball 45 yards on five plays to score a converted touchdown and move back into the lead.

Panthers quarterback Ryan Licandro scrambles for a first down against the Burlington Stampeders in the East Conference final on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Trailing 8-7 early in the fourth quarter and facing third and long on the Stampeders’ 39-yard line, the Panthers dug into their bag of tricks and pulled out their own version of the fumble-rooskie. Instead of snapping the ball directly to quarterback Ryan Licandro, the centre held onto the ball as Licandro pulled away, faking a rollout and allowing running back Scott Fulton to take the ball from the centre and run straight up the field and into the end zone. The Stampeders bit so hard on the fake that Fulton was barely touched.

Up 13-8, the Panthers went for the two-point convert on a pass from Licandro to a wide open Xavier Gervais to put the visitors up by a converted touchdown.

On the ensuing kick-off, the Burlington kick returner mistakenly thought the ball was going out of bounds, allowing the coverage man Justice Koradi to touch it last which gave the Panthers a new set of downs on the Stampeders 35-yard line. When they failed to capitalize on the opportunity and make it a two possession game, the door was left open for a possible Burlington comeback. It was soon slammed shut by Victome and Tetrault who ended the Stampeders’ two remaining drives with interceptions.

Tetrault’s second INT of the game in the final minute, clinched the win for the Panthers. He ended the game with two interceptions, including the pick six, a blocked kick, and a loose ball recovery on second blocked kick. He also made five solo tackles.

Licandro had another solid game at quarterback, completing 12 of 17 passes for 117 yards, and Fulton finished the game with 106 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.

The Panthers will now take on the Essex Ravens in next Sunday’s Premier Junior Varsity championship game at Queen’s University in Kingston. Kick off is at 1 p.m.

The Ravens are a formidable squad, averaging just under 40 points per game on offence. They scored 118 points in their two playoff games, including a 48-9 win over the Cambridge Lions in the West Conference final on Saturday.

Panthers’ head coach Jeff Koradi knows his defence will have to be at their best if the team is to have a fighting chance. “Our defence will have to come up big, but it’s the championship. It’s going come down to who can execute on the field and make the fewest mistakes. That’s what football is all about.”

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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