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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Frontenac claims third straight AAA football title

Frontenac claims third straight AAA football title

Posted: November 4th, 2013 @ 12:38am


It was, Mike Doyle said, a difficult game to describe.

"We had our big plays," said the Frontenac Falcons coach, after his team captured the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior AAA football championship Sunday, with a 13-7 win over the Holy Cross Crusaders, "but we never seemed to be able to put together a big drive."

It is Frontenac's third consecutive county championship, and it extended the school's three-year-old undefeated streak to 26 games.

"We were able to move the ball well enough in the second half," Doyle said, but his team didn't score a touchdown after the first quarter.

"It was an odd day for the offence."

That's not to say there weren't some fine performances. Quarterback Rob Magee completed 13 passes for 199 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, to be named the game's outstanding player and winner of the Wayne Norris Memorial award.

Receiver Aidan Stride had seven catches for 150 yards. His 41-yard touchdown pass from Magee in the first quarter proved to be the game's only major score.

Tailback Braeden Stevenhaagen carried the ball 19 times for 90 yards. He was particularly effective in the fourth quarter, gaining five yards or better on five of his seven carries as the Falcons consumed precious time after Holy Cross drew within six points of the lead.

Still, Frontenac finished the game with its fewest points in a game this year. In fashioning their undefeated record, the Falcons hadn't scored fewer than 24 points in a game since their season opener.

"Our defence has been the strength of our team all year long," said Holy Cross coach Tim Pendergast, whose Crusaders, 6-1, lost for the second time this year - both against Frontenac.

"I'm disappointed we didn't win but they're a good football team and we gave it our best," he continued. "We knew we couldn't get in a shootout with them so we had to hold on and counter punch at the end for a surprise knockout.

"That was our strategy. It almost happened."

Indeed. Though it never really felt like Frontenac was in jeopardy - mostly because Holy Cross had just 87 yards of total offence through the first three quarters - neither was the lead safe at just 13 points. The Crusaders were never more than one big play away from getting back into the game.

That play came in the third minute of the fourth quarter, after a Frontenac punt had pinned the Crusaders at their own 14-yard line.

Holy Cross quarterback Jeremy Pendergast connected with Kyle Lalonde for an 83-yard reception that took the Crusaders to the Frontenac 13-yard line. Two plays later Pendergast threw the ball into the end zone where Brent Martindale, twisting as he reached back for the football, caught it with one hand and cradled it as he fell backwards to the ground, a spectacular catch for a touchdown that, after David Wallace's convert, brought Holy Cross to within six points of the lead with more than seven minutes to play.

Frontenac marched the ball out of trouble on its next possession and Garrett Dumond's punt again pinned Holy Cross deep, at its own 13-yard line. Unable to make first down, the Crusaders punted with about three minutes left but a 27-yard return by Connor O'Neil brought the ball back into Holy Cross territory.

Facing third-and-three at the Holy Cross 22-yard line, Doyle said he chose to try for first down rather than risk either a blocked kick or a long return. The Crusaders denied the attempt but for the third time in a row, they were starting inside their own 20. Pendergast completed one pass, but he then threw an interception that ended their last hope.

After a promising drive on its first possession - 51 yards in nine plays - ended with a turnover on downs, the Holy Cross offence struggled. Those 51 yards would represent more than a quarter of the Crusaders total yardage of the day. Between that turnover and the big play to Lalonde, Frontenac, with Dillon Wisteard dominating the interior line play, held Holy Cross to just 40 yards in a 30-minute period that spanned both the second and third quarters.

Declan McCann accounted for the other Frontenac points, with field goals of 21 and 22 yards.

The Falcons will now advance to play the Thousand Islands Pirates of Brockville in an eastern Ontario final that will determine which team will represent the Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association in an provincial bowl game in Toronto later this month.

That game is scheduled to be played in Brockville on Nov. 14.
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