Junior Ti-Cats sweep Spears
The Niagara Spears varsity football team fell to 1-3 in Ontario Summer Football League action Saturday following a 42-7 road loss to the Hamilton Junior Ti-Cats.
Niagara played Hamilton tight until midway through the second quarter before the hosts grabbed a 28-0 lead at the half.
“We had some really good moments during the game, but we couldn’t capitalize on them and we had some really poor moments,” Spears head coach Brian Duguay said. “We continue to let the receivers get behind us and give up the big plays.”
Niagara must also capitalize on its opportunities on offence.
“We need to ensure that everyone is on the same page be it offence or defence,” he said. “We can’t get good field position on kick-off returns or punt returns and not come away without points.”
It was not the outcome the Spears were hoping for but it was a great learning experience.
“We will put in the work to get better and we need to rebound next week,” Duguay said. “As I’ve told the players, life is a roller coaster. Enjoy the down but work harder on the ride up. This group of players is determined and has the talent. They just need to believe.”
Top performers for Niagara were: Jayden Gurzi-MacDonald with five returns for 127 yards and nine carries for 42 yards; Lucas Johnsen with a 53-yard reception; Janal Williams with three solo tackles and an assisted tackle; and, Michael Kessy with two solo tackles, one assissted tackle and a batted down pass.
The Spears host the Essex Ravens Saturday at 8 p.m. at Kiwanis Field.
HAMILTON 42 JV SPEARS 14
A 42-14 loss to the Hamilton Junior Ti-Cats dropped the Niagara Spears junior varsity football team’s OSFL record to 1-3.
“It was a lot closer than it looked. Hamilton is a very talented team and they were up 14-0 after two minutes,” Spears head coach Brad Martin said. “They came out of the gate fast but after that we kept it close until the fourth quarter.”
Niagara trailed by 14 points heading into the fourth quarter and it turned the ball over on downs on the Hamilton one-yard line.
“I am really proud of my kids. They are a really good football team,” he said. “We are doing pretty good. We are jelling and getting better.”
Top performers for Niagara were: Austin MacRae who scored on TD runs of one and five yards; Julian Cole with an interception; Joey Moore with a fumble recovery; Nathan Vander Meer with two sacks; and, Sean Northcott with a sack.
Niagara hosts the Essex Ravens Saturday at 4 p.m. at Kiwanis Field.
HAMILTON 27 BANTAM SPEARS 6
The Niagara Spears bantam football team fell to 1-2 in OSFL play after dropping a 27-6 decision to the Hamilton Junior Ti-Cats.
“The Spears’ defence played with speed and physicality turning over the Ti-Cat offence five times with three interceptions and two forced fumbles,” Niagara head coach Austin Huh said. “The story of the game was the Spears’ inability to move the ball offensively. Heat and attrition also played a factor as the Spears ran out of steam towards the end of the game. The team played extremely hard but the Ti-Cats on this day played a little bit better. We will regroup and get ready for a strong Essex Ravens team next week.”
Top performers for Niagara were: Owen Saunders with an interception, four tackles and a 54-yard reception; Gabriel Diaz with an interception and a forced fumble; Will Taylor with two tackles for losses; Lucas Nicol with a tackle for a loss and an interception; Spencer MacRae with five tackles, including a tackle for a loss; and, Charlie Vansoelen with a tackle for a loss.
Niagara’s offence recorded 104 total yards, including 78 in the air.
“The defence played outstanding the entire game,” Huh said. “The score at half time was 7-0 for Hamilton.”
The Spears host the Essex Ravens Saturday at 1 p.m. at Kiwanis Field.