Guelph CVI, St. James grab playoff byes in D10 football
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH — The District 10 high school football league’s byes are gone for this season.
The Guelph CVI Green Gaels and St. James Lions claimed the byes for the quarter-finals with victories Friday.
GCVI’s 22-6 win over the Ross Royals in the afternoon game at Ross clinched a second-place finish for the Gaels while St. James secured a first-place finish with a 30-22 win over the Centennial Spartans in the night game at Alumni Stadium.
“It’s very important so we have more time to prepare,” GC lineman Tavius Robinson said of earning a bye for the first round of the playoffs.
“It will be great to have a week just to work on our fundamentals and rest up some guys,” GC coach Blair Rickers said. “Obviously over the course of a season, some guys get banged up so it’ll be great to have the week.”
The Gaels and Lions will also use the week away from competition to work on their games and removing some things from their games, mainly penalties.
“We still have stuff we have to sort out and fix, but it’s been going good,” Robinson said. “But we’re getting lots of penalties we shouldn’t be getting.”
“I think once we get into the playoffs, it’s anyone’s ball game,” Rickers said. “It’s a new season. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. We’ve got to get better because I think every team you play a second time, they’re going to give you a better go. There’s a lot of work to be done yet.
“We’ve got to work on execution, offensively, defensively and special teams. We’re still making a lot of mistakes and we’ve got to execute better as a team.”
“Everyone will say this,” St. James coach Jeff Cummings said. “You’ve got to alleviate the penalties and we really have to alleviate the penalties. That put them back in the game and stalled our momentum. They’re discipline penalties. It comes down to things that are correctable.”
Guelph CVI 22 Ross 6
The Gaels jumped ahead early then held the Royals out of their endzone the entire game.
GCVI led 8-0 at the end of the first quarter, 8-3 at halftime and 15-3 after the third quarter.
Running back Evan Brennan scored two touchdowns for the Gaels while quarterback Simon Chaves scored one. Ben Boddy converted all three TDs and scored a single on a missed field goal.
Jordan Bauer kicked two field goals for Ross.
“That game could’ve gone either way,” Rickers said. “They had some chances to make some huge plays and a couple of them just slipped away. They were right there.”
The Gaels will complete their regular season Thursday against the winless Bishop Macdonell Celtics at Bishop Mac.
“We’ve got to prepare as hard as we do for any other team because they’re still a team and we’ve got to get the win,” Robinson said.
St. James 30 Centennial 22
Centennial led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter before the Lions surged ahead 24-14 by halftime. The Lions were up 30-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Tanner Nelmes scored two touchdowns and a two-point convert for St. James while Matt Prevett and Vincent Garbuio each had one touchdown. Cameron Bulmer scored a two-point convert and the Lions also scored a safety.
Hadi El-Miari scored two touchdowns for Centennial and Tommy Nield scored one. Thomas Ness added a two-point convert and Ben Lane kicked two converts.
“They’ve got guys who can do a lot of damage quick,” Cummings said of Centennial. “I feel like that we had put them out and then let them play back into the game. When they’ve got weapons like that, you really can’t give them many chances. The first half, we were clearly in control and we allowed them back in and they got a lot of momentum and they started to do damage quick.”
Centennial was hurt at the end of the first half when two-way player Nield was injured returning an interception on the final play of the first half. He never played in the second half.
Next Friday the Lions will complete their regular season with a home game against the Lourdes Crusaders.
“We’re not going to change anything next week,” Cummings said. “We don’t want to go in and play flat against a team that’s tough and a team that can hit and a team that can beat you. We just want to come out and do what we’re supposed to do — come out strong and try to be better each week.”
The other game on the final week of the regular season will pit Ross against Centennial Friday night at Alumni Stadium.