Mother nature gave East York the cold shoulder at the Tier 1 senior boys football South Region finals Nov. 5.
With a mixed bag of sleet, hail and sunshine, Northern Red Knights bounced the Goliaths from TDSSAA contention with a 37-7 victory.
Head coach Glenn Edwards was disappointed by his team’s performance, saying they did not meet their full potential.
“The weather was the least of our worries,” he said. “We definitely had a rocky start to the first half.
“They had a good team, good structure, good execution and we just weren’t able to finish what we expected to.”
Starting quarterback Aleksa Radevski was fighting off the flu and was pulled after three plays. In his stead was Calvin McAnsh, who at an earlier practice cracked his knuckle.
The result was an unorthodox style of shot-putting passes out of the pocket.
“He couldn’t grip the ball at all to throw, so he had to sort of rest it there,” Edwards said, adding McAnsh impressed while on the receiving end of third-stringer Jordan Ball’s pass. That play in torrential hail led to the only score for East York with 48 seconds left in the first half.
Heading into halftime with the score 24-7, Edwards voiced his disappointment to his charges.
“We needed to just increase our level of execution, our level of passion and try to get them fired up and get them angry enough with their resolve to want make some change,” he said.
It seemed to work: in the third quarter, the Goliaths kept the Red Knights off the scoresheet.
“We were able to do certain things, but unfortunately not having the opportunities to throw the ball you’re pretty much limited to run the ball and you don’t have a balance with that,” Edwards said.
The fourth quarter saw two more TDs from Northern, including a 63-yard kickoff return by Brandon Williams with a failed convert, and a two-yard punch-in by Chandraku Pirashanth.
Northern coach Don Dominico said he was thrilled with the win, especially in such adverse conditions.
“The guys played great, and you know we had to put up with pretty crazy weather conditions there for a while,” he said. “It’s nice that we’re playing on a good field anyways because last week we played at home against (Central) Tech and it was a complete mud bowl.”
It was the fourth year in a row the Red Knights met the Goliaths in the finals, and the third straight time Northern claimed victory.
The loss may mean the end of another season for East York, but Edwards is already looking forward to next year.
“We’ve got some good juniors moving up,” he said. “We’re anticipating some pretty good things out of them.”
With the juniors that moved up for this season, Edwards noted there was a learning curve they had to learn.
“The (players) recognize that if they don’t get what they need to do academically and attendance-wise then football is not going to be a choice anyways,” he said.
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