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Regi thumps Holy Cross, takes lead among league’s AAA teams

October 11, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

It was no surprise to the Holy Cross Crusaders that the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers would try to pass their way to success Friday night.

“We knew that they had scored (through) the air against KC, so we were aware that they were going to throw the ball,” Crusaders coach Tim Pendergast said.

Count Pendergast among many of the 1,000 or so at Caraco Field who were surprised to see the Panthers do it so well.

“They were more successful at it than we had thought (they would be),” Pendergast said after his team suffered a 38-21 defeat in the annual clash of the city’s Roman Catholic high schools.

Panthers quarterback Quinton Auty had quite likely the game of his life, throwing touchdown passes of 15 and eight yards to Jordan Pringle and another of 58 yards to Tyrrell Downer.

Amid those were completions of 77, 54, and 60 yards to Downer that set up, respectively, a 25-yard field goal by Nick Carriere just before halftime, Matteo Coimbra’s one-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter and Pringle’s second TD three minutes after that.

“He had a great game,” Regi coach Ryan Poser said of Auty. “It was probably the best I’ve ever seen him throw the ball but he had a lot of support from his receivers fighting for position, fighting for the ball.

“Tyrrell Downer was catching the ball at its highest point and coming down with it. Sometimes you don’t have to be open if your receivers are going to fight for the ball.”

Pendergast admitted his team had no answer for the Regi deep ball.

“It’s hard to practice that. It’s like an outfielder catching fly balls that never get hit to him. The first one that comes to you, you have to work your feet and get practice at facing those things and being in good position.

“A couple of times (Downer) came down with the ball. It wasn’t like the coverage was bad. The kid just made plays and the quarterback put it in a spot that he could make a play on.”

The win improved Regi’s record to 3-1, second overall by half a game behind the Sydenham Golden Eagles, 3-0, but more importantly, first among AAA teams.

Though the two touchdowns three minutes apart in the third quarter quickly took the game from 17-7 to 31-7, Poser said it was a sequence of plays in the first quarter that actually gave the game its tone.

“We held them on the first series to a field goal (try) and ended up blocking the field goal,” he said, “so instead of them going up 7-0 … it ended up being a 0-0 ball game and we got the ball back.”

The Panthers scored on the subsequent possession, when Coimbra, the linebacker and short-yardage specialist, scored the first of his two touchdowns.

Regi led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter but Devon Christian capped a 65-yard Holy Cross drive with a one-yard TD run with 64 seconds left in the first half. Carriere’s field goal gave the Panthers a 10-point advantage at halftime.

Another long drive gave Holy Cross its second touchdown early in the fourth quarter, on a 20-yard run by Emmanuel Onwuemeodoss. The Crusaders final TD came with less than two minutes to play, on a 41-yard pass from quarterback Colin Walker to Jeremy Pendergast.

Coach Pendergast lamented two turnovers in the first half, the first of which led to Pringle’s first touchdown.

“(They) disrupted some drives,” he said. “When you’re a running team and you turn the ball over on fumbles, it disrupts you when you’re trying to wear the other team down.

“Credit Regi. They came out prepared. They played with their heads and their hearts. They beat us in every part of the game.”

Indeed, Poser said, his team was ready to play.

“The kids had prepared well,” he said. “They watched film from last year and we kind of watched our game get away from us last time. This year they took a very professional attitude; played well fundamentally, kept our mouths shut and just played.”

The Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association season resumes Thursday, when Regi travels to Napanee to play the winless Golden Hawks and Holy Cross hosts Frontenac, 1-2, in a game that likely will decide home field for a triple-A semifinal.

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