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Last-minute field goal dooms Grenadiers

June 16, 2014

A field goal with seven seconds left in the game gave the Cornwall Wildcats a 17-16 win over the Kingston Grenadiers in an Ontario Varsity Football League varsity division game Saturday in Cornwall.

The winning kick came not long after the Grenadiers took a 16-14 lead with two and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard field goal by Mike Bashall. That kick capped an 11-play drive that included a 57-yard pass from quarterback Dylan Fisher to Harris McEachen.

The Grenadiers opened scoring on their first possession when a 37-yard pass from Fisher to Nate Thompson set Kingston up on the Cornwall one-yard line, from where Fisher carried over for a touchdown.

After the teams traded fumbles, Cornwall was driving until Tyler Ling intercepted a pass at the Kingston one-yard line. The Grenadiers couldn’t gain first down, however, and a punt gave the home team the ball at the Kingston 38.

The Grenadiers defence held, with the big play a sack by Matt Amey and Tristan Grossman that was followed by a block of Cornwall’s attempted punt. Kingston was caught with too many men on the field, however, and the ensuing penalty gave Cornwall first down, and with the second chance the Wildcats went in for a touchdown that tied the score.

Kingston fumbled the subsequent kickoff and two plays later Cornwall was back in the Grenadiers’ end zone, with a 14-7 lead.

After fumbling a punt, Cornwall conceded a safety and then Fisher completed consecutive passes to Jeremy Pendergast, McEachen and Thompson — the latter for a 35-yard gain that got the Grenadiers in position for Bashall to kick a 26-yard field goal just before halftime, to cut Cornwall’s lead to 14-12.

Cornwall failed to score for most of the second half, as its only drive was choked by a fumble that was recovered by Kingston’s Harry Robinson. A single point on a punt by Bashall brought Kingston within a point of the lead, setting the stage for the drama in the final three minutes.

The Grenadiers were plagued by penalties throughout the game. In addition to the too-many-men call that led to Cornwall’s first touchdown, they were flagged three times for illegal procedure, four times for offside and three times for objectionable conduct.

Saturday’s outcome leaves each team with a 2-2 record.

The junior varsity and bantam Grenadiers both had the weekend off.

The Grenadiers resume play at home next Saturday against the Markham Raiders. The tripleheader at Loyalist Collegiate begins with the bantam game at 11 a.m., followed by the junior varsity game at 1 o’clock and the varsity contest at 3:30.

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