Norsemen played with heart: coach
North Toronto seniors play first game in two years
Eight days in September.
That’s all the North Toronto Norsemen had to prepare for their first game of the season against the East York Goliaths.
And to North Toronto coach Shawn Hood, a 21-0 loss for their first senior team in two years isn’t so bad.
“I said to my team, ‘Typically university has 25–30 practices to put a program together’,” he said. “We had to do it in eight this year with the tight schedule.
“So considering that, I’m very pleased with the effort our guys put forth on the field.”
At times, quarterback Thomas Knee was drawn out of the pocket trying to find open receivers, resulting in the offensive line giving up five sacks.
Hood said he will remedy his play-caller’s woes in the future by making sure everyone on offence is on the same page.
“Timing takes time to come together as a football team,” he said. “From here on out it’s just about polish, just about cleaning up the little things. But I thought our guys put in a real good effort today.”
There were signs of life when Knee tossed a deep post to Robbie Grant. Still, the team couldn’t seal the deal with a fumbled punt on the third down.
Still, the toughest task for the Norsemen wasn’t offence but keeping East York’s potent rushing corps to a dull roar.
Last year’s finalist against the Northern Red Knights had a dominant ground game against North Toronto with Dylan Duggan and Josh Day combining for over 120 yards rushing.
Goliaths coach Glenn Edwards was pleased with his charges’ call to action.
“We established quite a good, solid running game,” he said, adding the effective rushing allowed everyone, including backup quarterbacks Calvin Tortolo and Calvin McAnsh, some playing time.
“It’s a good focus to have because we’ve got some excellent young quarterbacks and we’re trying to give each one of them some opportunities,” Edwards said. “We’ve got a good veteran in Aleksa (Redevski). He’s an excellent young quarterback. This is his final year so he’s looking at moving on after this.”
But he had reservations about the ease of the game.
“It was tougher than it looks: 21-0 sort of favours, teases us more than anything else,” he said. “Now we’ve got to work on the passing. We’ve got to work on being a little more balanced.”
As for what the Norsemen plan to practise for their next game, Hood said it’s all about polish.
“We’re just going to work on the little things,” he said. “We’re going to work on our get-off, … making sure everyone’s getting off the ball the same time, and a lot of it is timing.”
North Toronto’s next game is scheduled at Northern Secondary School against Marc Garneau CI on Oct. 1. East York will see the Lawrence Park Panthers at home the same day.
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