Shutout victory secures third for Guelph CVI Gaels
GUELPH – The Guelph CVI Green Gaels scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns Friday to avoid a District 10 high school football semifinal match with the undefeated St. James Lions.
The Gaels used those TDs to drop the Bishop Macdonell Celtics 17-0 at Alumni Stadium in the final regular-season game for both teams, a game that decided third place.
“It was all about momentum,” GCVI coach Dan Crabbe said of his team’s approach to the game. “You have to beat everybody at this point. We got ourselves in a hole in the first part of the season and we wanted to make a run at it. You have to play every team so we just wanted to make sure we came out here and played four quarters of football.”
Both the Gaels and Celtics entered the game with 2-2-0 records.
“They’re a tough team and they wanted to win, too,” Crabbe said.
With the win, the Gaels finish at 3-2-0 and will roll into a semifinal match with the Centennial Spartans on a three-game winning streak.
The loss dropped Bishop Mac to 2-3-0 and they’ll face St. James, winners of all five of their regular-season games, in Friday’s semifinals.
“It’s not exactly the way we want to roll into the playoffs,” Bishop Mac coach Rob Hamilton said. “No offence to Centennial, but we were kind of hoping that we’d end up in third place instead of fourth. It is nice for us that we did secure a playoff position, but at the end of the day we’ve got to work harder.”
The game was the only game of the final day of the regular season that had any playoff implications at all to it. All the other positions — first, second, fifth and sixth — had already been decided.
The Celtics put part of the blame on their disappointing outing on their practices leading up to the match.
“Our game and our performance today was way under what we had expected and that’s a direct reflection on our week of practice,” Hamilton said. “We did not practice well and we did not have very good practice attendance. I think we had a few kids kind of looking forward to next week instead of focusing on this game and GC got the better of us because they’re a very well-coached team.”
Another aspect of the outcome for the Celtics is that they now go into the semifinals coming off a loss and two losses in their last three games.
“(A win) is a big momentum booster for any team going into the playoffs,” Hamilton said. “It would’ve been nice, but we’ll do the best with what we’ve been given and that’s kind of what we’ve been doing for years anyway so we’re a little bit used to it.”
The semifinals are to be played at Alumni Stadium next Friday at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Which semifinal goes first has not been decided.
A fourth-quarter field goal by Abdalrahiem Sulieman accounted for the only points of Friday’s game that were not scored in the second quarter. QB Peyton Garvin on a keeper and Gabe Magyar-Santen on a toss from Garvin scored the TDs for GCVI while Sulieman converted both.
Looking ahead to the semifinals, St. James defeated Bishop Mac 21-2 Oct. 4 and Centennial downed GCVI 24-8 Sept. 27.
“Centennial’s got a strong team with players that can make big plays on the field and we know that,” Crabbe said. “We have to come out and play our game and play right through. We’ve got to play every quarter. If we do that, it’s anybody’s game and it’s definitely a challenge for us.”
“St. James is a great team and a great program and they have been for a while. They’re a powerful team and they have some outstanding players,” Hamilton said. “Going into a game as an underdog, we’ve been there before so it’s no big deal.”
Centennial 23 Ross 20
The Spartans had to rally for the win as they had trailed 20-7.
Zach Swenerton scored a pair of TDs for Centennial while Mason Hill had one. Drake Davis and Daniel Brown each had two-point converts and Ben Lane kicked one convert.
Adam Shoemaker had a TD and a two-point convert for Ross while Shaveenn Waidyatilake and Copeland Frasson each scored one TD.
Centennial finished second at 4-1-0 and Ross was sixth at 0-5-0.
The Celtics will tangle with the Guelph CVI Green Gaels in the semifinals.
St. James 39 Lourdes 7
The Lions hit for 22 points in the first quarter on their way to the win.
St. James was ahead 29-0 at halftime and 39-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Zachary DeCorso scored the touchdown for Lourdes in the final minute of the game. Ezra Nahome added the convert.
Tanner Nelmes scored three TDs and a two-point convert for St. James while Peter Czachor had a TD and two converts. Alex Noble and Gabe Valedis also had one TD apiece while Jakob Tomas had a two-point convert.
St. James finished atop the league having won all five of its games. The Crusaders were fifth at 1-4-0. The Lions will play the Bishop Macdonell Celtics in Friday’s semifinals.
- Guelph Sports Journal