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Spartans Picked Off by Ravens in Home Opener

Box Score

Oct. 7, 2017

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.