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Varsity Grenadiers gain first victory of the season

June 2, 2014

Some stout defensive play in the fourth quarter enabled the Kingston Grenadiers to gain a 25-12 Ontario Varsity Football League varsity division victory over the Cumberland Panthers Saturday afternoon at Loyalist Collegiate.

The Grenadiers, nursing an 11-7 lead, surrendered a safety early in the quarter to avoid having to punt from their end zone. The move looked like it was going to backfire after the ensuing kickoff was returned inside their 20-yard line and a penalty gave the Panthers first down from the one.

The Kingston defence held twice, but on the second play the Grenadiers were caught offside, giving Cumberland a fresh set of downs. Still the Grenadiers denied the visitors the end zone, ultimately forcing them to settle for a 19-yard field goal that gave them a one-point lead, 12-11, with about five minutes to play.

The Grenadiers then drove the field and scored the go-ahead touchdown about two minutes later, as quarterback Dylan Fisher connected with Nate Thompson for a 52-yard touchdown pass.

Again, the Kingston defence held, forcing the Panthers to punt with about a minute and 20 seconds left to play. On the Grenadiers’ first play from scrimmage, Konner Burtenshaw took the ball 53 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown that sealed the outcome.

Kingston’s other touchdown came on a four-yard pass from Fisher to Harris McEachern to open the scoring in the second quarter.

Burtenshaw finished the game with 14 carries for 101 yards, while Thompson caught seven passes for 139 yards.

Fisher played a splendid game, completing 18 of 30 pass attempts for 276 yards. He threw for the two touchdowns but not one interception.

Mike Bashall accounted for the other Grenadiers points, with a 28-yard field goal in the second quarter, three converts and a single off a missed 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

The win evened the Grenadiers’ record at 1-1. They’ll resume play Saturday in Pickering against the Dolphins, who are 2-0.

The other Grenadiers teams were not as successful Saturday, both falling to 0-2 after the junior team lost 41-14 and the bantams were thumped 63-6 by their Cumberland counterparts.

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