The Lakeshore Midget AAA Cougars inflicted a first loss onto the St. Lazare Stallions Sat. night at des Bénévoles park in Kirkland by beating them 34-21.
St. Lazare hadn’t lost a single game since the beginning of the season and the Stallions were going for a sixth win in a row. They started the game with confidence. Serge Pilon ran from Lakeshore’s 30-yard line on a Stallions’ possession to the four-yard line two minutes into the game. Three plays later, he ran in the end zone from the six-yard line for the touchdown. The conversion kick was blocked by Lakeshore however. At 3:16, it was 6-0 for the Stallions.
On the Stallions’ next possession, they recuperated the ball at mid-field. On a third down, Pilon ran 54 yards for the touchdown. St. Lazare got then got the two-point conversion. Lakeshore waited for the second quarter to reply. From Lakeshore’s 42-yard line, running back Peter Taddeo ran to the end zone but a penalty was called on his team forcing the Cougars back to the Stallions’ 20-yard line. Seven plays later, on a fourth-and-goal, quarterback William Lemire zigzagged through defensive coverage and opened the score for Lakeshore. After the conversion, it was 14-7.
The Cougars were on the verge of making a comeback but all of a sudden their defence was put to the test. After a run by Kevin Cronn to the one-yard line, the Stallions found themselves in a first-and-goal situation. Lakeshore took a time-out and on the next play, the Stallions fumbled the ball which was recuperated by the Cougars’ Jeremy Pizzi.
This play revived the Cougars. Lemire first ran to the Stallions’ 50-yard line on a third down. Two plays later, from the 38-yard line, Lemire passed to wide receiver Christian Senechal who ran the ball into the end zone for the touchdown. With the one-point convert, the score was suddenly equal, 46 seconds before half-time.
The Stallions took back the lead ten minutes into the second half. After a Cougars’ punt, St. Lazare took possession at the Lakeshore’ s 30-yard line. Quarterback Nicolas Pilon then passed to Serge Pilon at Lakeshore’s 45-yard line. Then Glen Belvedere ran to the 30-yard line. Then, Serge Pilon ran to the 21-yard line and two plays later a pass to Alex Pilon resulted in a touchdown with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter. With the conversion field goal, the score was then 21-14.
Lakeshore counter-attacked rapidly, finding its way near the end zone moments after this. Lemire threw a pass from the Stallions’ 35-yard line that wide receiver Jerome Miller nearly caught inside the end zone but wasn’t able to control. The Stallions took back possession two plays later and managed to get to their 24-yard line for a third down. Then the Cougars’ Greg Hansen intercepted a pass at the Cougars’ 25-yard line and took it to the seven-yard line. Then on a quarterback sneak, the Cougars scored a touchdown in the dying seconds of the third down. With the conversion punt, it was back to square zero.
The Cougars finally took the lead in the first part of the last quarter in a spectacular fashion. The Stallions punted from their 43-yard line but wide receiver Jerome Miller raced 60 yards to St. Lazare’s end zone for the touchdown with 11:51 left in the game. Peter Taddeo added a touchdown and the place kicker added another point with 4:03 remaining and the Cougars got the victory.
Lakeshore coach Iian Sim was surprised by his team’s continuous come back throughout the game.
“The game went really well. The kids just started to pick it up in the second half and they took over the game. We had the punt return for the touchdown that really got the emotion going. I don’t know what took the kids so long to get going but they just turned the emotion around,” he said.
St. Lazare head coach Jim Mavrokegalos had few words to share after his team’s first defeat of the season.
“My players did as well as they could. We weren’t executing as well as them. It’s only our first loss of the year. They’re learning now,” he said.