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Solid Silver in Niagara Falls
May. 26, 2017
Solid Silver in Niagara Falls
On Friday, the Lorne Park Spartans wrapped up their 7s season with a second place finish at the St. Paul Patriots 7-on7 Tournament in Niagara Falls.
What made their second place finish even more impressive was the fact that it was largely the Spartans Juniors participating in the tournament. St. Paul originally offered both a Junior tournament and a Senior tournament, and with most of the Spartans Senior skill players tied up with rugby and baseball, Lorne Park only entered a Junior team. Last week, St. Paul was forced to cancel the Junior portion of the tournament, so the Spartans added a few grade 11s to their Junior roster and entered the Senior tourney.
"I'm extremely proud of the way our young guys played today", said Spartans Senior head coach Scott Price. "We had grade 9s all over the field on both sides of the ball going up against bigger, faster, more experienced players, and they not only held their own, they dominated three of the four games we played."
The Spartans opened the day with a 33-6 win over the Lakeshore Gators. Sophomore QB Christian Smodis found the speedy Ryan Di Florio for three touchdowns, with Jared Benson hauling in the other two. DB Davyn Webster-Cho had a pick for the Spartans defense as they continually turned the Gators away.
The second game of the day for Lorne Park was against an experienced Holy Cross Raiders team from Niagara Region. The teams traded blows for the first few possessions before the Spartans began to pull away. With Di Florio drawing double-coverage, Smodis hit Riley Farquharson for four touchdowns. Freshmen Ben Rendeiro and Braden Jauernig both made huge catches to put the game away. Defensively, Joseph Ricci, Max Ramsay, and Max Henry were giving the Gators all sorts of trouble, tipping balls and jumping routes.
The Spartans clinched the top spot in pool play with a 41-20 win over the well-coached host St. Paul Patriots. Brady Farquharson and Steven Orzel both stepped up for the defense, breaking up a number of crucial third down pass attempts, with Max Ramsay adding an interception. Smodis spread the ball around on offense, dishing out touchdowns to Ryan Di Florio, Jared Benson, Ben Rendeiro, Riley Farquharson, and Sunny Wangsel.
Unfortunately, finishing first gave the Spartans a three-hour break as they waited to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Burlington) in the championship game, and they just couldn't get back up to speed. With a senior-heavy roster, the talented Fighting Irish burned the Spartans continually with the deep ball, and kept them pinned down on offense. Down by a few scores early, Lorne Park was forced to press, but couldn't make up that lost ground.
With the Varsity 7s season in the books, the Juniors and Seniors will begin preparations for their respective fall leagues. The Juniors have a week to get into gear before the start of their spring camp next week, while the Seniors will dust off their helmets and pads and begin to prepare for their June 9th scrimmage in Hamilton against the OFSAA Champion St. Thomas More Knights.