It was only a matter of time.
Threatening to bust out a lengthy run pretty much every time that he touched the ball, St Benedict Jr Bears running back/safety Paolo Grossi had been kept in check reasonably well by the Lively Jr Hawks defense on Thursday, as coach Reg Bonin and company clung to a 6-2 lead.
But with just a tick under two minutes remaining, Grossi broke through the first wave of tacklers and scampered 80 yards across the turf of the James Jerome Sports Complex, adding the convert to give the Bears a 9-6 win.
As might be expected in season opening junior games following an absence of 18 months of organized football, things were tentative through the first half, the contest still scoreless as the teams huddled for the break.
Behind a running game that often featured Hayden Beck, Andrew Dore and Evan Abel, Lively was able to sustain a third quarter drive that culminated in an 11 yard TD run from Aiden Faulteux.
St Benedict managed to get on the board early in the fourth when defensive lineman Thomas Corrigan wrapped up one of the Hawks' ball carriers behind the goal line as the safety narrowed the gap to just four points (6-2).
With weather conditions worsening, the ball remained slick, as Lively's Carter Siakkonen and Jacob Duhamel scooped up key fumble recoveries. thwarting a pair of St Benedict threats.
But in the end, it came down to Grossi, who also closed off the game with an interception as the buzzer sounded. A very talented goal scorer with the GSSC Impact U14 boys team, the grade nine talent does not shy away from contact, in the least.
Senior play begins this evening (Friday) with the Lo-Ellen Park Knights and St Benedict battling it out, while Lively and the Confederation Chargers will go toe to toe Saturday at 5:00 p.m., also at James Jerome.