Victorious return to gridiron for Spears
Josh Morley had the opener of the Niagara Spears’ season circled on his calendar for months.
The 18-year-old graduate of Sir Winston Churchill was all smiles after scoring three touchdowns to pace the Spears to a 42-25 victory over the North Halton Crimson Tide in their Ontario Summer Football League U18 season opener Saturday night at Kiwanis Field.
“It’s better than anything,” Morley said. “We’ve been waiting for this since January when we started training. We’ve been practising and going hard. This what we’ve been waiting for. Come out here, score some touchdowns, have some fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
Morley caught a touchdown pass from Spears’ quarterback Marshall McCray on Niagara’s first possession.
“It always feels good to put up some touchdowns, but at the end of the day, Marshall, the O line, the running backs, they all come together with blocking and schemes,” Morley said. “We executed. They were perfect. Marshall put that ball on (target) for everybody today.”
Spears head coach Brian Duguay loves what Morley brings to the field.
“I feel really bad because he lost his first two years of varsity (to COVID) and the way he progressed through and the time he puts in, extra time running bleachers and things like that, I’m happy for him,” he said.
Morley is soaking up every second he can this season, which may be his last year of competitive football.
“I was going to go to college in PEI. I was accepted but chose not to go. I had other things I wanted to do. I don’t really have any plans for football after this.
“This is the last dance.”
Morley was part of a strong offence which looked surprisingly in synch considering it has been two years since the Spears took the field.
“Offensively, I’m really happy with the way we played. We played a really good game offensively,” Duguay said. “Defensively, we had a couple of mistakes, which is going to happen. Tackling was one of them but that’s something that we recognized coming into the season.”
Duguay was thrilled to be back on the field after a two-year pandemic pause.
“We were really happy. You could see it in the players’ faces. Even though they had a high school season, they were really happy to get out and wear the Spears’ colours. A lot of these guys, this is a big deal in the summer. High schools do a great job but we had scouts out tonight in the rain and a lot of the guys got spoken to.”
Spears 42 Crimson Tide 25
BPSN Player of the Game: Niagara’s Josh Morley with three touchdowns.
Niagara Spears: Mosley 3 touchdowns; Marshall McCray touchdown, 2 pt convert; Danny Lewis touchdown, 3 extra points; Deondre Forde touchdown.
North Halton Crimson Tide: Jacob Hosford, Darrien Brown, Nick Orr, Zaire Miller touchdowns; Wyatt Lounsbury convert.
Up next: At Essex Ravens Saturday, May 28.
The Niagara Spears Bantam football team opened up their season with a hard fought and thrilling 20-22 victory over the Niagara Generals.
The contest started with the Spears scoring first as Ezekiel Langendoen scampered in for the first score of the game. The Generals answered back with two scores of their own and held on to the lead for most of the game. The outcome of the game came down to a war of attrition. While both teams competed extremely hard, fatigue and injuries played a factor in the game as it entered into the fourth quarter. The Spears defence held down the fort long enough for the offence to score two times in the fourth quarter as the Spears imposed their power running game led by Jacob Ford and Langendoen while the offensive line, and the wide receivers opened up holes for them to run through. Mixed in with timely runs from our quarterback, Jacob Iannizzi and catches from Cole Julian and Liam Finley, the offence produced enough points to secure the victory.
The defence produced tremendous efforts to limit the dynamic offence of the Generals led by a critical fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter in the red zone. The Spears defence answered the bell at critical moments of the game. Langendeon was a monster all over the field producing a stripe takeaway and an interception in the game. Ford was disruptive on the defensive line making tackles for losses multiple times. Nathan Vander Meer coming up from the linebacker position and making critical tackles contributed to a solid outing from the Spears defence.
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