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Spartans Fall to Knights in Preseason Opener
Sep. 8, 2017
Spartans Fall in Preseason Opener
The Lorne Park Spartans dropped their preseason opener 29-21 to the Holy Names Knights on Friday night at the University of Windsor's Alumni Field. The boisterous pro-Knights crowd was treated to an action-packed evening of huge touchdown passes, bruising runs, blocked punts, and long returns.
The Knights came flying out of the gate, chipping their way down the field on a 13-play, 83 yard touchdown drive. The Spartans responded with a long drive of their own, but eventually stalled in Knights territory. The Lorne Park defense stepped up on the next series, forcing a punting situation, but an unnecessary roughness penalty gave the Knights new life, and they would romp into the endzone three plays later to take a 14-0 lead.
The Spartans looked more composed on both sides of the ball once the first quarter came to an end. RB Jakob Page danced into the endzone from four yards out to put the Spartans on the board after QB Christian Smodis connected with WR Will Manko on a deep sideline pass. Smodis would find Manko a few possessions later with a touchdown strike over the middle, and WR Ryan Di Florio hauled in another in the back of the endzone to complete the scoring for the Spartans.
Lorne Park had a chance to even the score with two minutes remaining, but the Knights forced their second turnover of the game, and were able to run out the clock and seal the victory.
"We played an extremely talented team tonight," said Lorne Park coach Scott Price. "This Holy Names team can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the country, so I was proud of the way our guys battled back after getting down early. Both teams were able to get everyone some playing time tonight, and there's no question we're both more prepared for the regular season then we were yesterday."
The Spartans make their way home on Saturday, stopping in at the University of Guelph to see the Gryphons host the Windsor Lancers. The next action for Lorne Park is Friday night in Niagara Falls where they'll take on the St. Paul Patriots at 7pm. The turf installation at Patriots Field remains unfinished, so the game has been moved to nearby Kiwanis Field.
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