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Defence leads varsity Grenadiers to fifth straight win

June 23, 2013

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Though it was finally solved for a touchdown, the Kingston Grenadiers’ varsity defence was still plenty good enough Saturday to steal a victory from the Cumberland Panthers.

On a day when the Kingston offence would fail to produce a major score, the Grenadiers still prevailed, 9-7, to extend their season-long Ontario Varsity Football League winning streak to five games.

Playing in the rain in Ottawa — against a Cumberland team Grenadiers coach Bob Mullen called the best 0-4 team he’d ever seen — Kingston led 6-0 in the second quarter, thanks to field goals of 31 and 35 yards by Mike Bashall. Before the first half was complete, however, a long run set the Panthers up with first down inside the Kingston 10-yard line and Cumberland scored the first TD allowed by the Grenadiers this year to take a 7-6 lead into the break.

Apparently displeased to have a blemish on its record, the Grenadiers defence took over in the second half and did not allow Cumberland to scrimmage on the Kingston side of midfield. So imposing was the spectre of the Kingston defence the Wildcats actually gave up the go-ahead points on a safety, rather than risk punting from their own end zone.

Bashall completed scoring with a single off a missed 33-yard field goal attempt.

Three Grenadiers — David Hron, Aaron Brownlee and Tristan Grossman — had quarterback sacks while Grossman and Matt Pendergast each had an interception.

Running back Connor Burtenshaw exploded out of the gate for the Grenadiers, gaining 114 yards on his first four carries. He finished the game with 166 yards, having carried the football 17 times.

Quarterback Dylan Fisher survived a rocky first half, when he completed just one pass and threw three interceptions, by completing four of five passes in the second half.

The Grenadiers are one of just two teams in the Wettges conference with an undefeated record after five weeks of the schedule. They’ll face the other one, the Ottawa Myers Riders, July 14 in Nepean.

• The junior varsity Grenadiers fell to 1-4 Saturday when they were beaten 41-33 by an undefeated Cumberland team.

Kingston quarterback Tommy DeJong completed 14 of 27 passes for 201 yards, including touchdown plays of seven and 11 yards to Jeff Hill and Caleb Goodfellow, respectively. He did not throw an interception and he scored two touchdowns on short runs.

Goodfellow carried the ball 13 times for 51 yards and scored another TD on a one-yard run. Liam Smith was the favourite receiver, with four catches for 59 yards.

• The bantam Grenadiers also slipped to 1-4 as they were beaten 54-0 by a Cumberland team that remained undefeated and has now allowed just 19 points in four games. Austin Gionet rushed for 162 yards and had three touchdowns and quarterback Mathieu Franche passed for two others for the Panthers.

The varsity and bantam Grenadiers will enjoy a week off before they resume play July 6 at Loyalist Collegiate, where they will host the Metro Wildcats. The junior-varsity Grens will host the Mississauga Warriors this coming Saturday, 1 p.m., at LC.

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