The top two high school senior football teams both strengthened their grip atop Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Associations standings Thursday, each winning with relative ease.
At Odessa, the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers improved to 4-1 and took sole possession of second place with a 34-0 win over the Ernestown Eagles. In Napanee, the La Salle Black Knights, the only team to pin a defeat on Regi this year, stayed unbeaten as they dumped the Golden Hawks 23-1.
The win clinched top seed in the AA playoffs for La Salle, while Ernestown and Napanee, now both 2-3, may have opened the door ever so slightly for Sydenham to climb ahead of them in the AA bracket.
Sydenham, 1-3, can pull even with a win in Friday’s only game, with the winless Bayridge Blazers at Caraco Field, but to climb out of fourth place among the double-A schools, the Golden Eagles will have to do better than that, since they have already lost to both Napanee and Ernestown.
Ernestown closes its season against La Salle; Napanee plays Holy Cross and Sydenham visits Frontenac next week as their regular schedules conclude.
Regi scored on its first possession of the game, a two-yard dive for a touchdown by Matt Nowak. It was 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, thanks also to a touchdown by Eli Deluzio, and 27-0 at halftime.
The Panthers capped a 70-yard drive with a 29-yard TD pass from quarterback Quinton Auty to Tyrell Downer midway through the second quarter. On its next possession Regi missed a field goal, but when Ernestown was forced to punt three plays later, Chris Wylie returned it 50 yards for the Panthers’ fourth touchdown in the final minute of the first half.
After a scoreless third quarter, a 43-yard pass from Auty to Malik Downer early in the fourth put the Panthers on the Ernestown one-yard line, from where Nik Daniele scored along the ground two plays later.
After a 2-0 start, the Eagles have lost three in a row, and they’ve been shut out in the last two of them. Ernestown hasn’t scored a touchdown in its last 10 quarters of football.
On a windy day in Napanee, La Salle took control of its game in the first quarter, getting touchdowns from Denver Stephens, on a pass from quarterback Mitch Dowd, and Dowd, on a two-yard run.
Kobe Milne returned an intercepted pass for the Knights’ other touchdown, in the third quarter. Napanee got a punt single in the first quarter, but also surrendered a safety on a snap over the punter’s head in the third.