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Regi, Holy Cross win senior football openers

September 20, 2014

It was one of those games, Ryan Poser said, that coaches endure on the first week of a football season.

“It was sloppy,” the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers coach said after his team escaped with a 9-7 win over the Ernestown Eagles in the opening game of the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior season for both teams.

“Too many penalties … we’ve got lots of things to work on.”

On a clear and crisp day at Regi’s Brother O’Gara Field, the Panthers led 9-0 at halftime, thanks in large part to Jordan Pringle. He connected with quarterback Quinton Auty for a 30-yard touchdown pass and also kicked a field goal to account for all of Regi’s points.

In addition to the spate of penalties, dropped balls and broken plays by both teams also contributed to the game moving at an agonizingly slow pace at times.

“There was no flow to the game,” Poser admitted, vowing to reduce the incidents of holding, offside and sundry other infractions that plagued his team.

“You’re trying to control the ego and temperament of teenage boys, and sometimes it’s not easy,” he said. “That’s just the nature of teenage boys.”

The game became interesting at the end, after Ernestown’s Konner Burtenshaw ran 60 yards around left end for a touchdown in the third quarter that brought the Eagles to within two points of the lead.

After Regi missed a field goal from about 20 yards that would have bought some insurance early in the fourth quarter, Ernestown was stopped when Kirk Gavreau intercepted a Josh Campbell pass at the Eagles’ 40-yard line with about eight minutes to play.

Regi did nothing with that opportunity—turning the ball over after a short gain, penalty and a quarterback sack—but as was the case throughout the second half, the Eagles, making their debut as a AAA team after winning the double-A championship last year, couldn’t make their way out of their own end of the field.

A good punt return gave the Panthers excellent field possession and soon they had first-and-goal from the nine. They were stopped at the one on first down, then twice denied the end zone from there, turning the ball over with 64 seconds to play but leaving the Eagles 109 yards from the end zone.

Ernestown, with a 35-yard pass from Campbell to Caleb Parlane as the big play, put together its best drive of the game and had the ball on the Regi 45-yard line with eight seconds left but Ethan Hunt ended things by intercepting Campbell’s pass on the final play of the game.

In Friday’s other senior game, the Holy Cross Crusaders displayed a balanced attack as they defeated the Bayridge Blazers 45-0.

The game at Holy Cross was close, 7-0 through the first quarter, before the Crusaders scored 21 points in the second. A field goal on the first drive of the second half removed any doubt of the eventual outcome.

“I think the depth of their bench start to take its toll,” Holy Cross coach Tim Pendergast said of the Blazers, whose roster was barely more than half of the Crusaders’ 45-man contingent.

Devon Christian, with two, Ian McLatchie, David Wallace, Emmanuel Onwuemeodo and Franklin Parkes scored touchdowns for Holy Cross, while Wallace and Brandon Robbins each kicked a field goal.

Play will resume Wednesday, when the Napanee Golden Hawks, 0-1, will visit Bayridge, and La Salle opens its regular schedule by hosting Regi.

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