The St. John’s College Green Eagles junior football team is building its confidence just in time for the playoffs.
A big win over the Paris District High School Panthers set up the Green Eagles for a chance at the playoffs, if they can beat the Pauline Johnson Collegiate Warriors on Thursday night in an 8 p.m. game at Bisons Alumni Field.
“We are a young team, so the more time we have to play and the more experience we get, the better we get,” SJC coach Paul Yurcich said following a 42-13 win over PDHS on Saturday. “But we still have to play PJ, so we will concentrate on that next.”
The Green Eagles defeated the Warriors 48-0 when the teams met in Week 2 of the season.
On Saturday, Curtis Rich and Matthew Knight each had two touchdowns against the Panthers. Quarterback Zach Dawson scored a touchdown of his own and tossed one to Jason Wolski, as well.
“The players’ confidence is really building,” Yurcich said. “We had a couple of tough games earlier this season, but are starting to get on a roll.”
Taking the field this Thursday at 6 p.m. will be the junior Brantford Collegiate Institute Colts and still undefeated Assumption College Lions.
The Lions emerged 42-21 winners over the North Park Collegiate Trojans last Thursday in a meeting of undefeated teams.
Offensive lineman Caelan Meggs said the Lions worked hard to make sure they came out on top.
“We had a hell of a week of practice and we built this game up all week,” he said. “It all came out on the field.”
The running back tandem of Kevin Cann and Kurtis Loewig proved to be too much for the Trojans to handle.
“They were making very good reads on the blocks,” Lions offensive lineman Brendan Townson said. “They just did amazing.”
Cann’s four touchdowns and six converts, plus Loewig’s two touchdowns, accounted for all of the Lions points.
But the Trojans were in the game until the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter.
Dalton Ham opened the scoring for the Trojans after Matt Minutillo recovered a fumble on the Lions opening drive and Brad Ward ran the ball 43 yards to the one-yard line.
Cann broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown to answer back.
The Trojans grabbed a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, when quarterback Matt Krason hooked up with Chris Locke on a 43-yard bomb. Once again, Cann answered back to tie the game 14-14 at halftime.
Cann scored the only touchdown in the third quarter to give the Lions a 21-14 lead, but Keaton Wray tied the game for the Trojans on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
With 6:30 remaining in the game, Cann scored his fourth touchdown and the Lions immediately followed up by recovering an onside kick.
Loewig would score on the next drive and add another touchdown with five seconds remaining.
The Colts will have their hands full with the Lions on Thursday, but are already assured a playoff spot. One potential scenario would see the Colts play the Lions again next week in the playoff semifinals.
“It’s a real possibility,” Colts coach Peter Lovett said. “If that does look like it is going to happen, I’m sure both coaches will hold a little back in the playbooks this week.”
The Colts are coming off a 49-0 dismantling of the Warriors on Friday. Running back Justin Wilson stole the game with four touchdowns.
“It’s no secret that our running game is a strength,” Lovett said. “We have three big Grade 10 offensive lineman and they are our leaders on the field. With some really talented Grade 9 backs behind them, it’s a great combination.”
The Paris Panthers take on the North Park Trojans in the third game of the week, on Saturday at 11 a.m. at PDHS.