Spartans calm down to get needed win, Gaels alone in first
GUELPH — The Centennial Spartans got back on the winning track at the right time in District 10 high school football play Friday at Alumni Stadium.
More importantly, though, in their 41-3 win over the Lourdes Crusaders, the Spartans got rid of the yapping and unnecessary roughness penalties that plagued them a week earlier in their loss to the Guelph CVI Green Gaels.
“As a coaching staff, we were embarrassed the way we played last week,” Centennial coach Zach Pollari said. “We had a lot of penalties and a lot of controllable penalties and our goal this week was to minimize penalties – no objectionable conduct or unnecessary roughness penalties. We accomplished that this week. That’s what we really focused on.”
“We beat ourselves really bad last week,” Centennial quarterback Daniel Brown said. “I think we had seven turnovers and something like eight objectionable conduct (penalties). We ran a lot for that at practice this week and I think that disciplined us really well. We know we just have to play to our potential and stay calm.”
Despite the one-sided nature of the final score, the Crusaders felt relatively happy with their performance.
“We moved the ball very well,” Lourdes coach Joe Camilleri said. “I think we had 165 or 170 yards rushing. We have a quarterback again (Jacob Porcellato) – he got a little bit of experience last week. But it’s different when you’re out there for the whole game. He made his mistakes, it’s trial by fire. He’s going to make his mistakes, but I thought we had a good effort today.”
The Spartans had a slim 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter before breaking things open with three touchdowns in the second quarter. Centennial led 31-3 at halftime and 34-3 at the end of the third quarter.
“Our message before we went out there that we wanted to stay in each quarter,” Camilleri said. “They came in feeling that they should beat us and I felt that the longer we stayed in it, I think more doubt would set in their mind. But they got their little run there in the second quarter and pulled away. They’re a team that is going to win now and we’re in a building mode for a couple of years.”
“Our focus the whole week was discipline,” Pollari said. “Stay disciplined and play through the whistle. If you’re on the field, give it 100 per cent effort, but we need to be respectful of our opponents and the game and the officials.”
For Centennial in the win over Lourdes, most of the penalties against the Spartans were for being offside.
“That’s stuff that’s going to happen anyway,” Brown said.
Hadi El-Miari caught two TD passes for the Spartans while Brown, Andrew Newbigging and Andres Rodriguez each had one touchdown. Ben Lane kicked two field goals and five converts.
“I feel like I could’ve played better,” Brown said. “My receivers bailed me out a lot and we just ran the ball really, really well and that made it easy for me.”
Josh Romero booted a field goal for Lourdes.
“We’re going to learn by our mistakes and as long as we learn from our mistakes and we keep getting better and better, that’s what our goal is now,” Camilleri said.
The Spartans are at 2-1 for the season while Lourdes is at 1-2.
Guelph CVI 10 Ross 8
GCVI won the tight battle for first place with the rejuvenated Ross Royals.
“It was a tough game and that’s a heck of a strong team,” GCVI coach Dan Crabbe said. “They’re well coached and they’re physical. That was a tight game.”
The Gaels had a TD in the first quarter and added a field goal in the third.
Ross picked up a safety in the third quarter and an unconverted TD in the fourth.
Quarterback Peyton Garvin scored the touchdown for the Gaels while Gabe Magyar-Santen kicked the field goal and convert.
Quarterback Nico Jean Gaston scored the touchdown for Ross.
The Gaels are atop the league with a 3-0 record while Ross is tied for second with Centennial at 2-1.
“We just have to continue to get better,” Crabbe said. “We’ve got to stay focused. I tell the guys every week it’s about going out and working hard and you’ve got to be better than the last week and better than the last game. The teams that do that, that make the adjustments throughout the season and continue to grow, they’re the ones that win championships.”
St. James 35 Bishop Macdonell 0
The Lions picked up their first win of the season as they struck early to put young and winless Bishop Mac away.
“When we looked at the schedule not knowing what our team was going to look like, the first two games we thought we could be 1-1 or 0-2,” St. James coach Colin Malone said. “But we looked at this game and thought regardless this was a game that we felt we could compete in and hopefully get a win in and that’s what we did today.”
Following losses to GCVI and Ross in their opening two games, the Lions were in a position where they really needed a win.
“Without putting pressure on the guys, we knew as coaches that we need to win this game and win it well to feel good moving forward,” Malone said.
For Bishop Mac, a team with a small roster of less than 30 players and a lot of them have never played the sport before, this season is about learning the game and staying positive.
“I’d say at least half our mistakes were fundamental mistakes,” Bishop Mac coach Rob Hamilton said. “We did have a lot of mistakes that were football knowledge related. For a lot of these players, they’re new to football. They’re Grade 11 players and Grade 10 players, but they’ve never played a snap of football before this season. In practice we look like one team and then we come into a game like today and we have just a complete mental lack of focus and it showed.”
St. James led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, 28-0 at halftime and added the other touchdown in the third quarter.
Joseph Younes, Evan Male, Ethan Berry, Jakob Tomas and Ben Cottrell each had a TD while Tomas also had a two-point convert and Cameron Ross kicked three converts.
St. James is at 1-2 for the season and Bishop Mac is 0-3.
The defending champion Lions are looking at each of their remaining regular-season games as playoff contests.
“It started today,” Malone said. “This was step one. It was a playoff game and moving forward each week we’re kind of treating it that way.”
The Celtics will be looking to work on the basic fundamentals of the game.
“Sometimes you have a lack-of-focus game,” Hamilton said. “That’s going to happen. Every year you’re going to have one complete lack-of-focus game and today was our game.”
- Guelph Sports Journal