There was one last chance for Senator O’Connor.
Fourth quarter action had playcaller Michael Douros swing out of the pocket seeking an open receiver.
In a moment of dance on the gridiron, Douros’ back was to his left. Sir John A Macdonald’s Gordon Allen penetrated the offensive line and blindsided the Blues’ QB at Birchmount Stadium.
That sack was indicative of Senator O’Connor’s play in their East Region semifinal, Oct. 28, as coach Noel Carrabs shared after a long talk with his charges.
“We had a few personnel issues, players out of position, a few little nicks,” he said. “We just didn’t execute.”
The result was a 21-0 loss to the Black Scots.
Overall, the game provided strong performances from special teams members Andre Messam, Malkom Reid and Miguel Gayle.
Still, plays that should have produced touchdowns fell through their hands, including a first-quarter Douros pass that found Macdonald’s Sean Squires in the endzone instead of Messam.
“We played good, but we couldn’t execute on offence,” Messam said, adding pass receptions was the offence’s weakness. “I got frustrated a little bit, but I shouldn’t let that bother me at all.”
Still, the Black Scots’ quarterback Jeff Miller had problems of his own as he was picked off in the second by Reid. Senator O’Connor would drive down to Macdonald’s red zone only to suffer a turnover on downs with an incomplete pass to Messam.
The only score was a two-yard scamper into the endzone by Macdonald’s Jacob Karroum. Corey Culterera added a point with a successful conversion.
In the second half, touchdowns came from Rakeem Simms and Shevin Joseph for the Black Scots.
With the positive came the negative, as Macdonald lost Basel Saab, one of their point players on defence and special teams, as he left the game with torn ligaments in his left arm.
Losing a player was tough, but Black Scots’ coach Scott Driscoll was impressed with his charges, a squad that has not seen an East Region title shot for years.
“I’m very happy, our guys worked hard and I think it’s well deserved,” he said. “It’s been a long time since Macdonald has been in a Tier 1 regional finals.”
Agincourt is the team to beat.
“They’re a good team, we played them earlier this year and it was a tough game,” Driscoll said. “We have to make our adjustments and I think the guys are looking forward to another chance against them.”
For the Blues, tears were shed as they bid adieu to community coach Curtis Odwin.
It was Odwin’s first year with the team, and the appreciation of the players was visible. Carrabs was optimistic about next season as plenty of his roster will be back in blue and yellow.
“We had only seven returning players this year, so we hope there are a lot of grade 11s and 12s coming back next year,” he said. “We’re looking to the future with a lot of the good core coming back.”
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