Northern SS Red Knights junior football team capped off a perfect season with a 41-12 romp over long-time rival North Toronto CI on Nov. 13, in the first meeting of the two midtown heavyweights in a city final since 1983.
Coach John Lombardi said running back Daniel Adeboboye was the standout player. He scored four of the team’s six touchdowns, including two in the first two minutes of the game.
An early 14-0 lead was nearly eclipsed, as within five minutes North Toronto came back with two touchdowns of their own, but failed to convert either one, leaving the game a tight 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Lombardi said it could have been a case of nerves on the part of the defence, considering both teams scored their second consecutive touchdown immediately after the first, via onside kicks.
He suggested his team also might not have taken the Norsemen seriously enough, after having beaten them 30-3 a month earlier.
“We told them all week long it’s not going to be the same game, that they’ve improved,” he said. “But they’re kids — they don’t often realize that’s true until they take them a bit lightly.”
The Red Knights pressed on, with Adeboboye’s offensive prowess leading them to a 28-12 halftime lead.
“And then we never looked back,” Lombardi added.
Adeboboye turned heads by finishing the year with almost 30 touchdowns, in a season that consisted of only eight games.
Another standout player, Lombardi said, was linebacker Courtice Woodmansey, a “great big kid” who, along with Adeboboye, he called “very dedicated football players.”
Both players, in Grade 10, will be moving up to Northern’s senior team next year. Lombardi says he has high hopes for them.
“I think our seniors will do really well,” he said. “We have a lot of kids returning.”
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