Peewee Generals advance to semifinals
The Niagara Generals peewee (under-12) football team advanced to the Ontario Summer Football League semifinals with a 44-0 blanking of the Durham Dolphins in quarter-final action last Sunday.
“Sunday was the epitome of summer football at its worst. It was a very hot, very humid day,” Generals coach Kent Wakem said. “It quickly became an exercise in keeping our athletes cool and consistently hydrated. We constantly remind our players and their parents that hydration is the most important aspect regarding what they can control in their daily routine.”
Despite the score, the game was anything but a pushover.
“Durham came hungry and gave us a game that our players aren’t going to forget for a while,” he said. “The score does not adequately represent the game and how well the Dolphins played.”
Niagara’s offence got off to a quick start with two touchdowns in the first quarter but the Dolphins hung tough and held Niagara to a late score in the first half.
“After the half, while the Dolphins were able to move the ball on us, our defence held on key downs reflecting a bend-not-break philosophy late in the game,” Wakem said. “It was a slog for both teams and the fact that all the players continued in a less than ideal environment was truly amazing. The heart and drive on both teams was definitely awe inspiring.”
Scoring for the Generals were: Luis Corredor-Reyes with three majors; Spencer MacRae with a pair of TDs; Lox Raducanu with a single major; Mark Hazzouri with three two-point converts; and, single-point converts by Dyami Maphar and Jackson Mills.
On defence for Niagara, Aident Weltz recorded a stripped ball and a fumble recovery.
The Niagara Generals move on to play the Scarborough Thunder. Scarborough is undefeated and finished first in the OSFL’s Eastern Division.
“We are expecting Scarborough to be a tough, physical team,” Wakem said. “They aren’t going to give up their undefeated streak easily so we have our work cut out for us this week.”
The Niagara Generals atom (under-10) football team saw its season come to an end with a 27-26 loss in the playoffs last Sunday against the London Mustangs in Fort Erie Sunday.
“Our guys all played well today (last Sunday),” coach Andrew Lewis said.
Niagara stopped London on its first possession and then scored to take an 8-0 lead into the second quarter.
“London was able to counter shortly after but they failed to convert on the extra-point attempt,” he said. “The game went back and forth from there and we knew we were in for a tough battle.”
Niagara’s offence was led by: Jake Brewster who scored three TDs and had some long runs; Jackson Lewis who racked up huge rushing yards and a lot of first downs; and, Karson Stevens, who scored for the Generals in the fourth quarter to give Niagara the lead.
London then scored to grab a 27-26 lead. With less than 50 seconds left on the clock, Niagara marched down to London’s 35-yard line. With nine seconds left, a third-down pass just failed to connect and Niagara’s season came to an end.
“This is the type of game we love to be a part of and that’s football. I couldn’t ask for anything more from our players and I am extremely proud of the development I have seen over the season from our guys,” Lewis said. “I look forward to seeing them in the fall and how they continue to progress.”