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Knights trample Panthers en route to shutout victory

'All props to St. Pete’s, because they gave us a hell of a fight. They played great football,' says St. Joan of Arc coach

The perennial powerhouse St. Joan of Arc Knights senior football team muscled its way to another win Thursday, downing the St. Peter’s Panthers, 24-0, in Catholic School Athletics of Simcoe County (CSASC) regular-season action.

The game between the two south-end Barrie schools was not as lopsided as the final score may suggest, for the most part, as the Knights only led the game 7-0 at the end of the first half, which could be chalked up to a light rainfall. But in reality, it was more than that.

The Panthers defence managed to stifle the St. Joan of Arc offence, with help from some miscues by the Knights and their inability to score when they were only a few yards away from the end zone on a couple of occasions.

The second half was a much different story, however, as the Knights found their stride and dominated the rest of the game with good offensive plays utilizing both passing and running plays.

“It was bad weather and we made some mistakes,” Knights quarterback Jackson Levely told BarrieToday on the sidelines after the game. “It’s going to happen in these kinds of games.”

To continue winning, Levely says the Knights need to focus on play execution and do what the coaches have taught them.

And to “believe in ourselves — we can do it,” he added.

St. Joan of Arc head coach Chris Forde said he wasn’t terribly happy with the game, despite pulling out a win and improving to 5-0 on the season.

“The effort was not where we needed it to be,” he said. “It was not exactly the performance that we preach on our team. The first half we came out far too sluggish.”

Forde says there were too many turnovers in the first half, but the defence was “fantastic” as they shut down the Panthers' offence and gave up little in the way of yardage.

“All props to St. Pete’s, because they gave us a hell of a fight,” he added. “They played great football.”

The coach singled out one Knights player, Konrad Cieplicki, who had about 200 yards rushing during the game.

“He ran the ball really well, real hard,” Forde said. “He carried us on offence.”

The Panthers' record falls to 2-3 with yesterday's loss to St. Joan of Arc.

The Knights' football program has dominated the CSASC for quite some time. Forde was asked about the school's recipe for success and how long it could continue.

“We don't take anything for granted, and we know every year is a different year," he said. “To be a hundred per cent honest, the Catholic league is improving. We got pushed today when it was 7-0 at halftime. That’s a football game.”

He believes teams in their league are getting better, and getting pushed around a bit is a good thing for them. It means better competition.

“I wish every team in Simcoe County was back into one league as it should be, and until things get sorted out by bureaucrats that want to hinder what kids are doing … it is what it is,” Forde said.

Friday's CSASC football schedule sees Patrick Fogarty (1-3) travel to Midland to take on St. Theresa's (2-2) at 2:30 p.m. to finish out the regular-season schedule. 

The CSASC playoffs begin Tuesday, Oct. 31 with the quarter-finals, followed by the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Georgian College's J.C. Massie Field.

The winner of that game will then play the champion from the public school board's Simcoe County Athletic Association for the Georgian Bay crown on Wednesday, Nov. 15, also at Georgian College.

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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