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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
Bears bust down the front door at the home of the Cards
by Randy Pascal

The St Benedict Bears were already standing on the doorstep of the rival St Charles College Cardinals, looking to make a statement in the SDSSAA senior football ranks last week.

The Bears now must be considered the team to beat, after not only rampaging their way through the Cardinals' front door, but doing so at the home of the two-time defending champions no less.

St Benedict looked solid, right across the field, overcoming a 13-9 half-time deficit and bouncing the Cardinals 29-16 on Thursday. Establishing the run game early with Max MacGillivray and mixing in an aerial attack courtesy of a pair of first drive completions from QB Dakota Coggins to wide receiver Mark Thom, the Bears broke the ice with a 34 yard field goal from MacGillivray.

An interception by Cody Boyle set up their second score, as MacGillivray followed up a 17 yard run by Coggins with a 39 yard scamper of his own, to the end zone, the first quarter ending with the visitors holding a 9-0 lead in an outing that was played on the Cardinals' home field.

The second quarter belonged to the St Charles' troops as pivot Nathan Rivet connected on back to back passes with Bankamina N'Galamulume (21 yards) and Gage Louis (41), setting up a three yard touchdown run for N'Galamulume, who also added the point after.

The Cardinals would add two late field goals from N'Galamulume (16 and 32 yards), the second coming in the dying seconds after linebacker Jack Staffen recovered a fumble on an errant backward lateral pass.

The Bears wasted little time taking advantage of poor starting field position for their opponents in the second half, as an 18 yard punt return from Joshua Wilcox set up a 20 yard TD run for McGillivray, with the missed conversion leaving the scoreboard reading 15-13.

With their ground game now creating a constant threat, the St Benedict offense would take to the air, as Coggins hit Wilcox on TD passes of eight and 80 yards, with a N'Galamulume field goal squeezed in between.

Led by the likes of Michael Andlar, Sam Sirkka, Jackson Gutsch and Max Leger, the Bears' defence would close the door in the final quarter, as a scoreless 12-minute stretch would put the game in the books at 29-16.

Triple header Friday would be a lengthy one, as evening lightning strikes in the region caused the final encounter to wrap up some time after 11:00 p.m. The Lively Hawks confirmed that they will remain a championship threat, running all over the Lockerby Vikings and posting a 50-0 shutout.

Nicholas Rideout and Liam Punkari scored two touchdowns apiece, with the remaining majors coming courtesy of Nicholas Witzke (15 yard pass from Rideout), Steven Head (2 yard run) and Noah Funnel (25 yard run).

Kicker Kiel Cress chipped in with seven successful converts, as Rideout closed off the scoring with a single/rouge on a punt. The Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes registered their first victory in two years, as first half TDs from Kevin Watson and Bryce Berard paved the way to a 13-4 triumph over the Lasalle Lancers.

Finally, the Confederation Chargers improved to 2-0, vanquishing something of a mental hurdle with a 17-8 over the Lo-Ellen Park Knights. The Chargers had, in recent years, dropped a handful of very close winnable games to the Knights.

That was not the case on Friday as touchdowns from Conner Sauvé and Aiden Chmielak combined with a third quarter field goal from Sauvé were more than enough to offset a major from Lo-Ellen's Dylan Will.

The biggest game on the schedule this week sees Lively make a trip to Val Caron, as Confederation plays host to a home game at their field in Valley East on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

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