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Spartans Win Metro Bowl Quarter Final
Nov. 24, 2017
Spartans Win Metro Bowl Quarter-Final
On a perfect fall day, with the wind drying out the muddy field of Lorne Park, the Spartans battled against a terrific Nelson team in Metro Bowl Quarterfinal action on Tuesday. Both teams had gone undefeated during the season and the quality of the game was evidence of that, as both teams played physical and smart football, but on this day, the Spartans were better, coming out with a 35 - 7 victory, earning a spot in the Metro Bowl Semifinals.
The first half was a new experience for Lorne Park, as Nelson plays four down football, so the team had to adjust to the change in strategy and play. The offense got off to a slow start, which was to be expected against a well coached and athletic Nelson squad. The line held up well against the pass rush, but players had a challenge getting open and the run game was an uphill battle. But the offense was confident, knowing that it had too many weapons, too much talent and too much pride to not get going on home turf. An early turning point in the game came on a superb long run by Nolan Dillingham, a run that energized the team and let Nelson know what they were going to face for the rest of the game. Nathan DeMontagnac also delivered a galvanizing moment with a terrific catch and physical finish to his run on the sideline that let Nelson know that the offense was not going to be pushed around. The team, playing behind for the first time this season, would not be denied at the end of the first half, banging in a score to tie the game. The first half of four down football survived, the team was now ready to get going. The second half would be all Lorne Park, as Francis St. Onge delivered 6 with his trademark double catch in the endzone, Chey Charles punished the two way players with his inside runs and Liam Bowman, as has been the case all season, simply would not be denied the endzone. Bowman's touchdown runs solidified the lead and had the team feeling like its own self again. Although often overlooked, it was a superb game from the Spartan's offensive line unit. Zander Castro Wiese, was an absolute game changer on both defensive and offensive line, his skill, strength and will changed the momentum of the game. Carter Parsons and Dougal Graham, who never came off the field, were also standouts, helping give Dillingham the time to throw and delivering the blocks on runs. Kam Coovadia also had a big run for the team as it began to put the game out of reach.
The defense was again faced with stopping a superb offense but they were ready for the challenge. Nelson's smash mouth offensive style in the first half was a test of the team's desire for physicality and stamina but there was never any doubt. The defense took glee in the opportunity to play such physical football, making every Nelson player pay the price on every carry. Max Henry, Liam Jeewan and Max Ramsay controlled the middle of the field and met the power package head on, down after down in a brutal first half. The defense spent most of the first half on the field, but they would not allow excuses or fatigue to stop them from doing their job. Nelson scored early on a beautiful deep ball, that was well defended but expertly caught and turned into a touchdown score, but they would not let up another point the rest of the game. Gameday captain, Shadi Abdelmalik patrolled the deep portion of the field, keeping the deep pass weapon of Nelson in check and finally after a few close calls closed the door with an interception. Nathan DeMontagnac, also doing double duty had a tough assignment but kept his man on an island...most of the time. Aaron Aria, despite a potential mismatch, had his side locked and Noel Hancocks continued to be the silent assassin of the team, absolutely punishing any Nelson player who came his way. However, no discussion of the defense is complete without the praise that must go to the defensive line, who held the line of scrimmage all afternoon, not easy against a power offense. Carr Hogan and Dougal Graham were outstanding as guys going both ways. It is a lot to ask of them and they both do it with skill and determination and Mason Tonks, the lineback\lineman hybrid had the play of the game for the defense, snatching the Nelson quarterback's lateral pass out of the air and screaming down the middle of the field; there was no chance anyone was going to catch Tonks on this day, and there was no chance anyone was going to be blocked in the back. It was a terrific moment for a key cog in the defense and it sealed the win for the Spartans.
The win was a sweet one, as Nelson is one of the best football programs in Southern Ontario. The Metro Bowl Quarterfinal MVP was awarded to Zander Castro Wiese who inspired and grinded in both trenches for the team.
The team now moves on to play another football power, A.N. Myer in the Metro Bowl Semifinal on Saturday, November 25 at 2:00pm at St. Michael's College School at 1515 Bathurst Street, Toronto. It is an incredible achievement for the boys to have made it this far and all fan support would be greatly appreciated at the game. Tickets, which can be purchased at the gate are $3.00 for students and $6.00 for adults.