Among the things the Holy Cross Crusaders have to tidy up before they play their next football game, one thing was clear for all to see Thursday afternoon: the Crusaders have to stop giving away the football.
The Crusaders committed seven turnovers and that was undoubtedly the main reason they dropped a 25-6 decision to the Frontenac Falcons in the final game of the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior football season.
It was the fourth loss in six games this year for the Crusaders, while Frontenac won its fifth game in a row after dropping its season opener to the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers.
Next week, Holy Cross and Frontenac will meet again to determine who will challenge Regi in the triple-A final. It surely won’t be the Crusaders if they can’t take better care of the football than they did Thursday at Frontenac.
Holy Cross’s first turnover—a fumble at the Frontenac five-yard line in the first quarter—cost them what proved to be its best scoring opportunity of the game. Nonetheless, with Holy Cross dominating the line of scrimmage both ways, a pair of field goals, from 34 and 30 yards, by Brandon Robbins gave the Crusaders an early 6-0 lead.
An interception by Frontenac’s Tristan Halladay, his fifth of the year, gave the Falcons the football at the Holy Cross 17-yard line early in the second quarter, but again the Crusaders defence held fast, and Halladay subsequently missed a 22-yard field goal attempt.
The Crusaders were full value for their 6-0 lead when, with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, a fumbled punt gave Frontenac the ball on the Crusaders’ 20. Shortly thereafter, Frontenac got its first touchdown on a six-yard pass from quarterback Brendan Steele to Brennan Dennee.
On the first play from scrimmage after the ensuing kickoff, Holy Cross fumbled again, and this time, on the very next play, Falcons tailback Ethan Horbay took the ball up the middle 15 yards for a touchdown that sent his team into the break with a 14-6 lead.
Halladay booted a 35-yard field goal early in the third quarter, and then the Crusaders got their first break of the day, blocking a punt near midfield, but they could do nothing with the opportunity. Desperately trying to get back in the game, Holy Cross turned the ball over on downs on its next two possessions.
Frontenac completed scoring in the final stages of the fourth quarter, when Alec Ferland returned a punt about 70 yards for a touchdown, and Halladay scored a single when his 30-yard field goal attempt was partially blocked, but still went into the end zone.
As the county’s three triple-A teams prepare to commence their playoffs, KASSAA will decide its AA champion Saturday afternoon, when the Napanee Golden Hawks and La Salle Black Knights meet at Loyalist Collegiate. Game time is 1 o’clock.