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Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2018
Rideout the difference as Lively upends Lo-Ellen
by Randy Pascal

Just over a week ago, the Lively Hawks recorded an impressive 47-7 win over the Confederation Chargers. Given that Confederation had downed the Lo-Ellen Park Knights 17-8 earlier in September, it might be easy to assume that Lively would look right past their match-up with Lo-Ellen on Friday afternoon.

One might assume that, if one did not appreciate the respect that Hawks' head coach Reg Bonin affords to his Lo-Ellen counterpart, Kevin Ellsworth.

"I knew Lo-Ellen was going to be extremely prepared, and it showed," stated Bonin, thankful for a 31-14 victory over the Knights that was far closer than the final score would indicate. "They came out and hit us in the mouth, they gave us a battle. I like how we responded in the second half."

The contest remained scoreless through half of the opening quarter, only to explode in a flurry of big plays over the course of the next two minutes. With 6:23 to play, Lively quarterback Nick Rideout connected on a 37 yard strike to Andrew Elliott, giving the favourites a 7-0 lead.

A spirited young Lo-Ellen crew answered quickly, as signal caller Brodie Erwin fired a missile into the hands of streaking Owen Coles, who proceeded to gallup some 84 yards, knotting the game at seven with 5:06 to play.

The "anything you can do, I can do better" sequence was closed off with a 78 yard touchdown pass that Rideout sailed beautifully, allowing wideout Nick Witzke to run under the ball in full stride.

Allowing fans to collect their breath for just a few minutes, the scoring would subside until 3:42 of the second quarter, when the Hawks increased the lead to 17-7 thanks to a 29 yard field goal from Rideout.

The upstart Knights, however, were showing no signs of wilting, countering with a two yard TD scamper for Erwin, with 1:26 showing on the clock.

In fact, the Knights threatened to take the lead when the ensuing kickoff would see the ball and Lo-Ellen defender Declan Eldridge converge on kick returner Nick Witzke at exactly the same time, with Eldridge carrying the ball inside the twenty while Witzke was helped off following the nasty collision.

Unfortunately for the Knights, their opponents returned the favour on the very next play, stripping a wide receiver of the ball and allowing Lively to maintain a 17-14 advantage into the second half.

The scoreboard would not change again until the 4:55 mark of the fourth quarter, when Rideout's elusiveness came into play, as he dashed and darted his way on a forty yard run to the end zone.

A seven yard touchdown for Rideout in the final minute of play did little to take away from the strides that Ellsworth and staff have made in quickly rebuilding a squad that returned only three starters from a year ago.

The Hawks received interceptions from both Victor Paajanen (his third in the past two weeks) and Jeremy Welsh, with coach Bonin sounding very little panic in his half-time address to his troops.

"The message was a simple one," he said. "To a man, if we take care of our assignments and do them to the best of our abilities, that's all we can ask from our guys." Bonin did dole out some additional praise to defensive lineman Glenn Therrien, who was injured in the second half and is likely to miss the next few weeks, as well as linebacker Carter Michaud.

"He (Michaud) has become a man, he's become a leader for this group." The victory leaves Lively tied for second place at 3-1 with St Charles, while Lo-Ellen falls to 2-2, dead even with Confederation. The St Benedict Bears are showing the way at 4-0, having kicked off week four festivities Thursday evening with a 36-15 win over the Chargers.

Max MacGillivray was a one man wrecking crew for St Ben's, accounting for 24 points (3 TDs, 3 PATs and a FG), with Josh Wilcox and Chris Scherzinger chipping in with one touchdown apiece.

Ryan Mathewson and Ryan Fournier countered with majors in a losing cause, with Conner Sauve adding a convert and a single, and Kyle Preseau also helping the cause with a conversion.

The Lockerby Vikings and Collège Notre-Dame Alouettes were able to enjoy a highly competitive head to head matchup, with the Vikes prevailing 12-10 in the end courtesy of touchdowns from David Pushman and Parker Case.

CND answered via Nicholas Graham, who handled all of the scoring for the Alouettes, finishing with a stat line that included a touchdown, a field goal and a successful point after attempt.

There was little drama in the evening finale, as St Charles walloped Lasalle 77-0. Brothers Bankamina "Djuwa" N'Galamulume and M'Buyi N'Galamulume were front and center in the onslaught with three touchdowns each, joined there by Liam Cousineau (also three TDs), with the remaining majors coming courtesy of Nathan Rivet and Andrew Foley.

Regular season play wraps up this coming week, with quarter finals slated for (Tuesday) October 17th.

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