Lions ready for playoffs

François Lemieux
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Defeat Raiders 57-0 in last regular season game

The North Shore Bantam AAA Lions outclassed the Raiders 57-0 in Châteauguay Saturday afternoon at Parc Laberge. Photo by Rob Amyot.

The North Shore Bantam AAA Lions won 57-0 against the Châteauguay Raiders Saturday afternoon at Parc Laberge in Châteauguay. Unfazed by their two recent losses, the Lions roared their way into the lead early on. Raoul Baroudi got the first touchdown followed by a conversion kick by Fransisco Galiana-Audet.

A few minutes later, quarterback Matthew Mannarino waited for the perfect occasion to throw his pass to Baroudi on a third down from the Raiders' 14-yard line for the touchdown. The conversion was good and the score was 14-0 with 8:31 still to go in the first quarter.

Three minutes later James Tyrrell added to the Lions' lead after an interception when he breezed through a hole in the Raiders' defence from Châteauguay's 10-yard line.

After a turnover on downs in favour of the Lions with 1:05 to go in the quarter, the Lions were at their 27-yard line. Shaled Sarpey-Birch ran 11 yards to the 38-yard line on the first down. Then, two plays later he rumbled in the middle, running 36 yards to the Raiders' seven-yard line. On a third-and-goal, Anthony Ragusa ran for the touchdown at 3:07 in the second quarter. The conversion kick put the score at 28-0 for the Lions.

North Shore kept the pressure throughout the rest of the second quarter. They blocked a Raiders' punt at Châteauguay's 27-yard line at 8:36. On the next play, Mannarino passed to Deion Kerr who ran for the major. After the conversion, it was already 35-0 for the Lions.

The Raiders got a little too ambitious on their next possession. They went for a pass on a fourth down that was insufficient to obtain a first down. Isaiah Atkins ran from mid-field to the end zone on the next play with 45 seconds left in the first half. Tyrrell caught Mannarino's pass inside the end zone on the next play for the two-point conversion. At half-time, North Shore was leading by 43-0.

Since the score highly favoured North Shore at that point, it was agreed the game timer would not stop in the second half. Nygel Henry ran 28 yards for another Lions touchdown at 11:20 in the third quarter. With the conversion, North Shore was taking an insurmountable 50-0 lead. Michael Sananes added another major for the Lions with a 45-yard run in the fourth quarter and the game ended with a score of 57-0 for North Shore.

Raiders' head coach Steve Dion was proud of his boys' tenure this season despite their 0-10 record.

"We stuck it through all season long. In ten games, we had an 0-10 record but the kids came to play every game. Our hats off to them because they showed up all the time even if they lost, they still tried. We were in the wrong division. It's hard to play against a team that has 150 kids that come out for tryouts while we have 30," he said.    

Jean-Marc Michel, who took over the position of head coach for the Lions when Terry Gaudreault stepped down last week, felt confident about what he had seen from his players on the field during the game.

"I wanted the guys to stay focused. We have a goal, which is to get the championship. That is all we are looking for. Châteauguay did good tonight. With the number of players they have, they did a great job. As for us, we just wanted to stay focus and get ready for the playoffs," he said.

Organizations: Raiders, The North

Geographic location: Châteauguay, North Shore

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