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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Frontenac defeated at OFSAA bowl football game

Frontenac defeated at OFSAA bowl football game

Posted: November 26th, 2013 @ 4:13pm


TORONTO - If it wasn't one thing, it was another.

There was nothing outrageously poor about the Frontenac Falcons' performance Tuesday in their OFSAA Bowl football game at Centennial Stadium, but the sum of all the little things that went wrong at one time or another was a 32-1 defeat against the Lorne Park Spartans.

The loss ended a Frontenac win streak at 28 games, dating to September, 2011. It also ended a two-year string of success in provincial competition and thwarted an opportunity for the Falcons to match Toronto St. Michael's all-time record with their seventh bowl title.

Tuesday's match was the first of nine games in a series of OFSAA bowls being held over four days this year in Etobicoke, instead of the one-day, five-game blitz typically held in the Rogers Centre. On this cold and grey - but dry - day, the Falcons would miss receivers, drop passes, fail to establish a running game and commit an uncharacteristic six turnovers. More than anything, though, it was a day of missed opportunities for the Kingston Area champions.

To wit, Frontenac intercepted two passes in the first half and was two-and-out after each one. When Lorne Park shanked a punt late in the first quarter, the Falcons got the ball on the Spartans' 30-yard line, trailing 10-0. Two plays and a sack later, Declan McCann missed a 37-yard field goal.

The Falcons got nothing from a 60-yard drive late in the first half that got as far as the Lorne Park 36-yard line before a turnover on downs.

Thanks largely to a stout effort from the Falcons defence, it remained an 11-point ball game well into the third quarter, however, and Frontenac was turning the game's momentum into its favour until Harry Robinson fumbled the football after Frontenac got as far as the Lorne Park 25. The next time the Falcons had the ball, they got to the Lorne Park 12, from where McCann missed a 20-yard field goal.

When the Spartans took just one play to turn a Rob Magee interception into a touchdown, it was 18-1 and when Frontenac failed on third-and-five from the Lorne Park 41 on the ensuing possession, the game was essentially over. Two late touchdowns on long runs added a little zest to the Spartans' victory, their first in an OFSAA game since the 2000 Metro Bowl.

"Going into half to be down only 11-0 we had a great opportunity to come back," Frontenac coach Mike Doyle said. "The fumble right near the goal line really hurt. We needed a score there badly. Not to hang it on one kid, though. We had other opportunities."

Frontenac's ground game went nowhere until they put Robinson at tailback and employed two tight ends in the second quarter. He carried the ball six straight plays and gained 37 yards. The Falcons then went to the pass and the drive fizzled.

"We needed to switch back and try to score a little faster, before the end of the half," Doyle explained. "If we score a touchdown there it's a different ball game, (but) they must have adjusted for it. They defended that tight-end set better in the second half. That forced us to throw and, quite frankly, we had opportunities in the passing game that we just didn't capitalize on."

Lorne Park, meanwhile, did make hay with its passing game, as quarterback Alex Lavric completed 17 of 28 throws for 243 yards. Two of those passes went for touchdowns to Devin Condlin, for 70 yards to open scoring in the first quarter, and 21 yards early in the fourth to make it an 18-1 game.

A Grade 11 student who was a quarterback in his junior high school days, Condlin finished the game with 175 yards receiving.

"He's a great athlete. He's got great wheels and the best hands on the team," Lorne Park coach Scott Price said. "We do those ball competitions in practice every once in a while and no one can beat him.

"He's a big-game player, as well. He likes when the crowd's out, when he can step up and raise people out of their seats. I'm sure he's going to be doing that some day at the next level."

Doyle said his team was most concerned with the highly touted Josh Perez but Condlin "turned out to be the wild card."

"He was fast, hard to cover down the middle. He had nice little moves, just enough to get some separation, and he never missed a catch."

Price said as soon as the bowl matchups were announced in the early autumn, he put the touch on a couple of former Lorne Park players attending Queen's University to have a look at the Falcons and report back to their alma mater.

"When we saw the possibility of crossover we knew there was a good chance they'd be coming out of the conference," Price said, "so we had our eye on them early in the season and we knew some of the things they do well.

"We did a good job up front. We did a good job of holding the line of scrimmage today, which we knew was going to be a key."

Indeed it was, since that's where Frontenac had what appeared to be a decisive advantage in both size and experience.

"We've got a lot of strong guys who spend a lot of time with off-season training," Price said, "and we were able to blitz. We brought some pressure today. We knew we were going to need some help up front."

Doyle said Lorne Park was typical of a Toronto high school team.

"They're athletic," he said. "No great big kids (but) good team speed, great tacklers. Certainly we never got an extra chance off a (broken) tackle.

"For them it's not about size, it's about skill and speed."

Price said the key to his team's success this year has been its versatility on offence. The Spartans' 447 yards of offence Tuesday was split almost evenly: 204 rushing, 243 passing.

"We can spread it out, we can run the ball, we can throw the ball around. We're tough to stop," Price said. "On defence we've been working toward getting better every day. To come out here and leave only one point on the scoreboard (against) a very strong football team and a great football program was a great accomplishment."

Doyle paid tribute to his team's opponent, but also to his own players.

"They're a great team," he said, "(and) it was really good to test ourselves against a Toronto school. They're very good and Kingston football's alive and well. We're right there.

"I know 32-1 doesn't really look as close as I think it was but it was close, for three quarters, anyway."
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