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Friday, May. 25, 2018
Perhaps a little too much respect for the Peterborough Wolverines
by Randy Pascal

The Sudbury Junior Varsity Gladiators will get their wish, having one more shot at the Peterborough Wolverines.

With both teams entering their head to head showdown in Sudbury on Saturday with 2-0 records, it would be the visiting Wolverines who would assert themselves early, jumping out to a 29-0 lead after three quarters of play and registering a 36-20 victory in the end.

And while it is true that the Jr Gladiators scored the bulk of their points late, helping to keep the final totals a tad more respectable, it was equally true that heading into the fourth quarter, the contest had anything but the feel of a 29-0 tilt.

If anything, the Sudbury crew showed perhaps a little too much respect for a very talented opponent, but one with which they could match up with reasonably well - or certainly far better than a 29-0 score after 45 minutes of play.

The only scoring in the first quarter came on a seven yard TD run by Kyle Milburn, a major that was set up thanks to a 50 yard scamper by Mack McFarlane. Kicker Spencer Vesnaver drilled the first of his five successful point afters, giving Peterborough a 7-0 lead.

Blaine Stevenson increased the advantage to 8-0, using a strong tail-wind at his back to sail a 36 yard punt into the end zone for the rouge. Less than two minutes later, the Wolverines were again on a roll, capping things off on an 18 yard run from McFarlane, and closing out the first half assault with a five yard rumble from Stevenson.

With Peterborough up 22-0, the third quarter proved relatively uneventful, save for an interception from Jr Gladiators' defensive back Victor Paajanen and a late touchdown from Milburn, darting in from 20 yards out.

The Sudbury lads gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about in the fourth quarter, getting on the board thanks to a 44 yard pass and run play from QB Eric Huneault to wideout Robert Zulich, with Mbuyi N'Galamulume making good on the convert.

The Wolverines responded with 7:29 to play, as Milburn recorded his third touchdown, this one covering 14 yards. The Jr Gladiators, however, were not about to just roll over and die, as Andrew Rocha found Huneault on the receiving end of a 12 yard pass, and closed out the game with an eight yard toss to Liam Cousineau, just as the final buzzer sounded.

"They're big, they're fast, and they're tough," noted Sudbury defensive end Hunter Kirkey. "We have to show more intensity next time we meet. We're looking forward to playing them at the end of the year, seeing them in the playoffs, hopefully."

Turns out that Kirkey and company will not have to wait all that long. The Jr Gladiators will take their 2-1 record on the road this coming wekened, travelling west to face the Sault Ste Marie Sabrecats, also at 2-1.

The Sault dropped a 57-21 decision to the Wolverines, but followed that up with victories by scores of 48-8 (vs Huronia Stallions) and 52-21 (vs Vaughan Rebels). Seven days later, however, the Sudbury juniors will head to Peterborough, closing out their regular season on July 8th against Huronia.

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