The North Shore Bantam AAA Lions defeated the Boucherville Grizzlis 63-20 in a game that was cut short 7:21 into the fourth quarter after Lions’ defensive backs Zack Fitzgerald Samuel Fineus collided head-on.
“The two were going for an interception and they collided. It was one of those accidents that you don’t like to see because it’s two players that are very focused and they couldn’t see each other coming. It’s very unfortunate,” said Lions’ head coach Terry Gaudreau.
They were both transported to the hospital. Both have been released since. They suffered no broken bones but both have slight concussions. Their status is uncertain for Sunday’s game against Laval according to team manager Italo Melotti.
The game had started well for the Lions. It was already 7-0 for North Shore when Adam Thaw scored a touchdown by running for four yards 9:39 into the first quarter.
An interception by Zack Fitzgerald led to North Shore’s third touchdown. He caught a long pass at the Lions’ 30-yard line and immediately brought it back seven yards ahead. Thaw ran to the 49-yard line three plays later.
Then, on a second-and-one, second-year Lions’ running back Terrance Dumont found a hole in the defence and ran 50 yards for the touchdown. After the conversion by Fransisco Galiana, it was already 21-0 with still 1:40 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing punt, North Shore went for the onside kick and the Lions recaptured at their own 47-yard line. The Lions’ offence quickly got back to work. Quarterback Justin McInnis threw a pass at Atkins, who caught it 30 yards away from the end zone and then carried it 20 yards further before being tackled. Atkins then ran to the two-yard line on the next play before James Tyrrell punched it in for the touchdown with 42 seconds left in the first quarter. After only one quarter of play, it was 28-0 for the Lions.
The onslaught continued into the second quarter. After two unstoppable 10-yard runs by Thaw to the Grizzlis’ 53-yard line, Yvan Hakizimana ran 53 yards for the touchdown on the next play. With the conversion, the score was 35-0. Boucherville replied with a touchdown by David Cellini less than a minute later but North Shore bounced back immediately thanks to yet another great individual effort by Dumont.
On a second-and-ten from the Lions’ 27-yard line, Dumont completely outflanked the Grizzlis’ defence and ran to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, a 73-yard run. All in all, Dumont ran for 131 yards during the game.
“I feel great about my performance. It’s the first time I’ve played like this in all of the season after six games. I just listened to my coaches, ran through the holes and I got the two touchdowns,” he said. “If I get the same blocking from the backs next game, I could possibly do it again,” he joked.
Five minutes into the second quarter it was 42-7 for the Lions. Grizzlis’ quarterback Antoine Côté tightened the score when he ran from the Lions’ seven-yard line on a second down for the touchdown at 8:57 making the score 42-14 after the conversion. North Shore was leading by that margin at half-time and would never look back.
Nygel Henry with two touchdowns and Shaied Sarpey-Birch with one would complete the score for the Lions while Côté would add one for the Grizzlis. The Lions are now 6-0 this season and Gaudreau feels his team is going into the right direction.
“Compared to the last game, we came out fast tonight. We executed offensively the way we wanted to. We came out, we hit fast, we hit hard and we didn’t let up offensively. Defensively, we didn’t play as well as we normally could especially in the second quarter, we got a bit sloppy more so than we had in previous games so we’re going to watch the tape of the game and correct mistakes,” said Gaudreau.
Grizzlis’ head coach Patrice Plourde knew from the get-go that by coming to Pierrefonds to face the Lions, it was going to be a tough game. Nonetheless, he was proud of how his players responded when contacted by The Chronicle Monday morning.
“After two losses during the last two weekend and a team decimated with injuries, we had asked our players to focus on execution, to limit the turnovers and to put their best effort one play at the time, one quarter after another. Our players responded well to the pressure. They have well executed some key plays that caught our opponent by surprise. I'm truly happy with what we have accomplished tonight,” he said.