Saturday tripleheader wraps up football’s regular season
GUELPH – The playoff-bound teams in the District 10 high school football league all know they have things to work on following Saturday’s tripleheader at Alumni Stadium that brought the regular season to an end.
All four of the playoff-bound teams knew they’d be playing in the semifinals before any of Saturday’s games were played. They just didn’t know who they’d be facing in the opening round of the playoffs.
All three games ended with the clock running on straight time, something that happens in the second half of any game when the leading team gets a lead of 35 points or more. Once in straight time, it never goes back to stoppage time even if the trailing team closes the gap to less than 35 points.
The Ross Royals blanked the Bishop Macdonell Celtics 36-0, Guelph CVI Green Gaels dropped the Lourdes Crusaders 45-8 and the Centennial Spartans defeated the St. James Lions 42-7.
GCVI finishes first at 5-0, Centennial second at 4-1, Ross third at 3-2, St. James fourth at 2-3, Lourdes fifth at 1-4 and Bishop Mac sixth at 0-5. Each team scored victories over every team below them in the standings.
The semifinals are set for Friday at Alumni Stadium. Ross and Centennial are to clash at 4 p.m. while the 7 p.m. game has GCVI taking on St. James.
Ross 36 Bishop Macdonell 0
Ross put the game into straight time in the fourth quarter after they had led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, 22-0 at halftime and 29-0 at the end of the third quarter.
“Our focus really was just tightening up our mistakes,” Ross coach Tim Mathewson said. “It was our last chance to get ready and get going before playoffs.
“We weren’t too concerned about the scoreboard. We were just concerned about getting better.”
“The biggest thing is that our kids didn’t quit the entire time,” Bishop Mac coach Rob Hamilton said. “The entire season we had a lot of obstacles to overcome. We had a lot of graduating players last year and talented players that left last year and that left us with a lot of holes, but this year we had a lot of kids step up and fill in. They did an outstanding job.”
Max Nixon scored two touchdowns and kicked five converts and a rouge. Teo Jean-Gaston collected two touchdowns and Copeland Frasson scored the other one.
The Royals will be looking to fine-tune both their offensive and defensive play as they get ready for the playoffs.
“Just eliminate the mental mistakes and tighten up the stuff that we have in there,” Matthewson said of the Royals’ focus at practice before the semifinals. “We saw some really good things in there in terms of passing the ball.”
For Bishop Mac, it’s all about next year. They had the smallest squad in terms of the number of players on their roster. They were also one of the youngest squads.
“The amount of knowledge these kids picked up from August until now is incredible,” Hamilton said. “The things that they learned is a lot of information in a short amount of time and they performed and they did well. Ultimately, we did make some mistakes and whatnot, but that’s just how football goes.”
The Celtics will be hoping to increase the size of their roster for the 2020 season.
“That’s the big thing,” Hamilton said. “With the enrollment of our school being the smallest of the playing schools in our district, that’s an obstacle, but it has never stopped us before. We’re excited about the opportunity of starting up JV (junior varsity) again in the spring. We’ve always led the charge for JV and we plan on doing that again. Hopefully that will spark another large group of kids to come through.”
Guelph CVI 45 Lourdes 8
GCVI scored three touchdowns in the first quarter on their way to the win. The entire second half was in straight time.
Lourdes picked up its touchdown and a two-point convert on the final two plays of the game.
“That wasn’t a bad game,” GCVI coach Dan Crabbe said. “They came out and they made some plays and they were competitive enough. We got to see different personnel. We got to see some different guys get in, which was good – get some different looks. That was good.”
“That was excellent,” Lourdes coach Joe Camilleri said. “We ended the game with a touchdown and a two-point convert. We’re a work in progress right now. To end the season on a touchdown on the last play of the game and with a two-point convert, that’s a nice little building block to build for next year.”
The Gaels led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, 43-0 at halftime and 45-0 after the third quarter.
Ben Boddy, Enzo Njo and Keon Robinson each scored two touchdowns for the Gaels while Gabe Magyar-Santen converted all six TDs and also kicked a rouge. The Gaels also had a safety.
Quarterback Ethan Bizjack scored the touchdown and two-point convert for Lourdes.
“Now the (regular) season’s over and from here on out, your season could end in one game,” Crabbe said. “It really doesn’t matter what your record is going in. Every game from here matters.”
The Gaels will put the regular season behind them and go into the playoffs figuring everything’s up for grabs and any of the playoff teams can claim the title.
“All four teams can make plays,” Crabbe said. “It’s anybody’s game now.
“I don’t think there’s an easy road to a championship. You’ve got to go through everyone.”
Like the other playoff-bound teams, the Gaels have specific things to work on during their practices.
“For us, we’ve got to go back and just get better,” Crabbe said. “It’s those things, the small details that matter the most. Those little details will kill you. We’ve got to go back and talk about discipline. At the end of a game, a selfish penalty will end up costing you a touchdown. That’s something you can’t do when everything’s on the line.”
Like Bishop Mac, Lourdes comes out of the game feeling good about the direction their program is heading.
“We literally lose two players going into next year so the expectations will be a little bit higher next year,” Camilleri said. “The experience level hopefully gets a little bit better next year. We preach to these guys to play summer football and that’s where they’re going to get better.”
Centennial 42 St. James 7
Centennial pulled away with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to get into straight time with two minutes to go.
“The whole week we were treating this game just like a playoff game, just trying to get prepared,” Centennial coach Zach Pollari said. “We’re trying to take small steps forward and we’re pretty happy with our performance today.”
The Spartans led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, 21-0 at halftime and 21-7 at the end of the third quarter.
“We had some penalties we need to clean up,” Pollari said. “From where we were three weeks ago, we’re feeling really good going into the playoffs. I told the guys that we haven’t won anything yet. Our goals up to this point were to move forward, but at the end of the day you’re trying to win a championship so we haven’t done that yet.”
Sam Taylor scored the final two TDs for Centennial after Mason Hill, Drake Davis, Hadi El-Miari and Zach Swenerton had scored one apiece. Kyle Ilczyna kicked six converts.
Ben Cottrell had the touchdown for St. James and Cameron Ross kicked the convert.
Next up for the Spartans is a week of work to get ready for the semifinals.
“We’re just going to take it one day at a time,” Pollari said. “We’re going to be playing Ross so we’ll take another look at the film (from their regular-season meeting with Ross). We had a lot of mistakes in that game so we’re going to want to clean those up. Again, we’ll take it one game at a time and one opponent at a time and see how far we can get.”
- Guelph Sports Journal