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Quality Inn - Sudbury
Paul Lefebvre - MP for Sudbury
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
Marymount Regals do it again
by Randy Pascal

“I think that this Marymount – Confederation flag football rivalry is one of the best and healthiest rivalries going in SDSSAA sports,” noted Regals head coach Dan Bartolucci on Sunday, the excitement over his team’s seventh consecutive city title gradually given way to a deep appreciation for all that the gridiron powerhouse that he and Jason Weiler have guided have accomplished.

In a season which would see even more parity within the Division “A” schools, largely based on the ability of several squads to field top end defensive units, it was a clock-eating fourth quarter drive that ultimately spelled the difference in a 7-1 Marymount win over Confederation.

A scoreless first half gave way to more of the same in quarter three, with the Chargers finally breaking the ice on the opening play of quarter four, as Amelia Masterson-Pinedo sailed a punt into the end zone for the rouge. If the Marymount run of excellence was to continue, things would need to happen soon.

Taking over on their own 35 yard line, the Regals methodically marched the field. With rookie quarterback Allie Weiler playing her best game of the year (in spite of a broken figure), and Cassidy Burton providing a feature back option behind a line anchored by Tyanna Soucy, the defending (ad nauseum) champs were threatening.

Less than a minute was displayed on the scoreboard when Weiler handed the ball to Carlie Parker from the three, the veteran speedster registering the only major of the game. “To think that with these two incredibly gifted defensive teams, that it would be the offense that would manage to hold the ball for an entire quarter and be rewarded with the game winning score, that’s incredible,” said Bartolucci.

The pride the long-time coach feels for his girls is evident with every word he speaks. As he noted, it’s an accomplishment that means so much more given the level of competition they faced this year, most notably from the silver medal representatives of Confederation Secondary.

“There is a huge level of mutual respect between the players and coaches of these two teams,” stressed Bartolucci. “They have forced us to make our program stronger and have ultimately played a key role in improving the quality of football we see in this league. I was very disappointed for the coaches and the players of Confed, as we knew that they not only had players missing, but also injuries late in the game.”

No absence was more key than star quarterback Madison Laberge, currently competing at the U18 national women’s hockey championships in Quebec City. Still, Chargers coach Brad Smith was not about to make any excuses.

“As has been the case all season, our defense had to really perform and be sharp and push the teams back,” he said. “We ran into a very good team, a very good defensive team, with neither team able to get their offenses going.”

“We both play very similar styles, so what they do well is what we do well as well. It’s defense first and shut things down. We try and run between the hash marks and up the middle. It’s almost old school smash mouth football. But their blocking is on another level, that’s kind of what sets them apart, their blocking in the middle.”

With Laberge unavailable, Smith relied on a trio of key contributors, offensively, a group that stepped up nicely while covering the entire spectrum of the Confederation student body. The versatility of veterans Kaitlyn Walker and Caitlin Ross was critical, both girls filling in at the skill positions of quarterback, running back and receiver, at times.

Grade nine revelation Kona Haas helped to provide some punch to the special teams game, establishing field position in her role as a punt and kick returner. “We were able to slot her into the starting lineup and she didn’t show signs of any nerves.”

All in all, Smith could not complain about this latest edition of Chargers flag football talent. “Each of the past six seasons, we’ve gotten a little better than the season before. There’s only one more step to go, and hopefully, we’ll get that next year.”

In the Division “B” final, the suddenly resurgent St Charles Cardinals continued their late season surge. After posting a 3-2 record in regular season play, good for fourth place in the six team loop, the Cardinals upset the first place St Benedict Bears 14-6 before earning the SDSSAA banner with a 17-0 whitewashing of the Horizon Aigles.

Quarterback Emma Dionne scored a touchdown, threw to receiver Grace Racicot for another, and added a pair of converts and a field goal in the win for coach Steve Callaghan and the Cardinals.

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