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Oct 15, 2017 - LPTV SportsCenter: Spirit 13 - Spartans 17
LPTV SportsCenter: Spirit 13 - Spartans 17
Oct 14, 2017 - Spartans Stun Spirit in The Cage
Spartans Stun Spirit in The Cage
Jakob Page on a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown. [Photo: Christina Birch]
On Friday, in front of a huge crowd in The Cage, the Lorne Park Spartans stunned the previously undefeated St. Marcellinus Spirit 17-13 in an action-packed affair that came down to the final play. The Spirit have never won in The Cage, though several games have come right down to the wire, which was exactly what happened in this game.
The Spartans took the opening kickoff out to their own 40-yard line. RB Frank Mensah exploded up the middle for 11, then QB Christian Smodis found WR Will Manko for 10 yards, moving the ball into Spirit territory. After another solid run from Mensah, RB Jakob Page found space up the middle for an 18-yard gain. Two plays later, Smodis hit WR Ryan Di Florio for a 25-yard touchdown to give Lorne Park a 7-0 lead.
The score remained that way until late in the second quarter when the St. Marcellinus offense put together a long touchdown drive that started on their own 15-yard line. QB Ben Merritt found Scott Murray over the middle for 18 yards, then Wildcat QB Eric Colonna hit Murray up the sideline for another 18. Murray would catch a third consecutive pass, this time from Merritt, taking the ball down to the Lorne Park 19-yard line. From there RB Jayden Kerr weaved his way down to the 1-yard line, before Murray punched it in on a direct snap to tie the game 7-7.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lorne Park's Jakob Page scooped up the ball on a bounce at the 10-yard line, and took off up the sideline for a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown to restore the seven-point lead for the Spartans.
Lorne Park opened the second half with an onside kick that the Spirit recovered. Working with a short field, RB David Spence slashed his way inside the Lorne Park 20-yard line, but the drive eventually stalled, and the Spirit were forced to settle for a 24-yard Christopher Micelli field goal to bring them within four.
The Spirit would claw closer still early in the fourth quarter. On the strength of three pass completions from Merritt to Kerr, St. Marcellinus moved the ball deep into Spartanville before settling for another Micelli field goal, this time from 19 yards out.
The Spartans answered the bell, stringing together a time-consuming drive of their own. Smodis spread the ball around, connecting with Marshall Rafaelic, Will Manko, Jakob Page, Ryan Di Florio and Riley Farquharson. The long drive would ultimately result in a 21-yard Luke Tejerina field goal to put Lorne Park up 17-13.
Needing a touchdown, St. Marcellinus had time for one last drive. Merritt and Kerr hooked up two more times for short gains, and Spence contributed his longest run of the afternoon, but they couldn't convert on third and long from the Lorne Park 29-yard line, and the Spartans were able to take a knee for the win.
Christian Smodis was 12 of 22 for 206 yards and a touchdown. Page and Mensah each had ten carries for a combined 79 yards, and Will Manko led all receivers with four receptions for 104 yards. Luke Tejerina, Noah Tauskela, and Cal Duncan each contributed a sack in the win.
For the Spirit, Merritt finished the day 9 of 15 for 99 yards, while David Spence added 83 yards on the ground on 16 carries. Scott Murray, who had a quiet second half led all Spirit receivers with four grabs for 65 yards and a rushing touchdown.
The Spartans now head into their bye week with a 2-1-1 record, while the Spirit, who drop to 2-1 head to David Suzuki to take on the Grizzlies.
Oct 9, 2017 - LPTV SportsCenter: Ravens 20 - Spartans 8
LPTV SportsCenter: Ravens 20 - Spartans 8
Oct 7, 2017 - Spartans Picked Off by Ravens in Home Opener
Spartans Picked Off by Ravens in Home Opener
The Spartans suffered their first loss of the season, falling 20-8 to the St. Roch Ravens in The Cage on Thursday.
For the first time this season, the Spartans got off to a quick start. On the third play of the game, Lorne Park QB Christian Smodis connected with WR Will Manko on an 81-yard bomb. Smodis would find Manko in the endzone two plays later to put the Spartans up 7-0.
The Ravens looked to answer right back as QB Aman Aujla tossed a 30-yard completion of his own, but Lorne Park LB Chris Haggart knocked the ball free, and the Spartans recovered.
Looking to take advantage of the turnover, Smodis went back to the air, but St. Roch DB Herve Mafuta stepped in front of the pass and took it all the way home to tie the game 7-7.
With two minutes left in the first half, backed up deep in their own end, the Lorne Park offense went to work. RB Frank Mensah started the drive by taking a handoff up the middle for 20 yards. Smodis then rolled out and found Manko for another first down. After another long run from Mensah, Smodis connected with WR Ryan Di Florio on three straight passes to get the ball down to the Ravens 3-yard line. On second and goal, Smodis looked for Di Florio in the endzone, but the pass was broken up at the last second. The Spartans took a delay of game penalty on third down, setting themselves up for a 15-yard field goal, but the ball tailed to the right for a rouge, putting Lorne Park up 8-7 at the half.
The Spartans opened the second half with an onside kick, but the Ravens recovered and took advantage of the short field. Aujla scrambled to his left and found WR Jared Tucci all alone up the sideline for a big first down. A few plays later, RB Juwan Jeffrey broke a tackle and scampered into the endzone from ten yards out to put the Ravens up 14-8.
The Spartans threatened to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Manko was unable to pull down a pass from Smodis and it deflected right into the hands of Mafuta who returned it deep into Lorne Park territory.
Jeffrey found the endzone from 17 yards out in the dying seconds to seal the victory for the Ravens.
Juwan Jeffrey finished with 20 carries for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Aujla also turned in a solid performance going 9/13 for 151 yards. Mafuta finished the game with a pair of picks and a pair of PATs, while Tyler Van Riel and Brandon Frimpong each added a sack.
For the Spartans, Smodis was 12/20 for 189 yards, a touchdown and three picks, while Manko hauled in five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. DE Cal Duncan led the Lorne Park defense with five tackles and two sacks.
Lorne Park (1-1-1) will host the undefeated St. Marcellinus Spirit (2-0) at 2pm on Friday following the Junior game which gets under way at noon. Lorne Park students have the option to "buy-in" for the double-header, with tickets going on sale this week.
Oct 1, 2017 - 0-0 Tie Stings Spartans at Stormy Suzuki
0-0 Tie Stings Spartans at Stormy Suzuki
With wind speeds ranging from 50kph-80kph, and a relentless rain hammering down, the weather was the main story as the Lorne Park Spartans and David Suzuki Grizzlies battled to a 0-0 draw on Friday night in The Grizzly Den.
With neither team able to throw with any sort of accuracy in the storm, both teams ran the ball, generally electing not to punt on third and long due to the difficulty long-snapping a slippery ten-pound ball in hurricane-force winds.
The Spartans threatened for most of the first quarter, advancing repeatedly into the redzone only to be turned over on downs each time. Long runs from Frank Mensah and Jakob Page were followed by fumbled snaps and penalties.
The Grizzlies made their charge late in the first half, getting all the way down to the Lorne Park 5-yard line, but like the Spartans, they came away empty handed.
The weather was at its worst in the third quarter, and neither team was able to get into scoring range with most of the action happening at midfield.
The fourth quarter was dominated by the Spartans, but they still couldn't light up the scoreboard.
With under a minute left in the game, the Spartans were in a first and goal situation on the 10-yard line. RB Jakob page took the ball up the middle and forced his way into the endzone for the touchdown. The celebration was short-lived, however, as a late flag for holding pushed Lorne Park back to the 20.
On four occasions from inside the 30-yard line, Lorne Park punted for the winning rouge, but a mishap on each occasion left them with nothing. One snap sailed over the punter's head, one bounced around on its way to the punter who was tackled after securing the ball, one was partially blocked and rolled to a stop short of the endzone, and the remaining punt was pulled violently out of bounds by the wind.
The Spartans pounded out 215 yards on the ground compared to 16 rushing yards for the Grizzlies, but Lorne Park made up the difference in penalty yardage.
"It was a frustrating night," said Lorne Park head coach Scott Price. "Both teams had to contend with the weather, so there's no excuse there. We moved the ball well and played great defensively, but at the end of the day we just couldn't get it done offensively or on special teams when it mattered most."
The Spartans (1-0-1) host St. Roch (1-1) this Thursday afternoon, while the Grizzlies (0-1-1) travel to St. Thomas Aquinas to take on the Cardinals (0-1).
Sep 28, 2017 - Pizza Thursday!
Sep 26, 2017 - LPTV SportsCenter: Spartans 29 at Panthers 0
LPTV SportsCenter: Spartans 29-Panthers 0
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