‘Most unusual win’ for Panthers

DOWN THE STRETCH: Lawrence Park’s Ryan Cowan, #35, leaps to make a catch over East York defender Kyle Truedell during South Region quarter-final action Oct. 19.

Lawrence Park down East York 1-0 in South Region quarter-final football

Lawrence Park went into East York to play football Oct. 19 but the result was more like a soccer score.

Tied at zeroes through three quarters, the game finally saw its first and only point after a missed field goal led to a rouge.

Panthers head coach Mark Harrison said the scoreboard did not reflect the offensive prowess on the field.

“I guess that was a most unusual win,” he said. “If you look at the mileage, guys were slugging it out.

“Should we have two or three touchdowns, yeah, but I’d rather take a 1-0 win and play Friday than two touchdowns and a loss.”

Harrison added the game could have gone either way, especially since the Panthers lost an Oct. 1 regular season match 12-0 to East York Goliaths.

“If I were them I would have been thinking, ‘It’s the fourth quarter, we haven’t let them score, we’ve got to score’,” he said. “That swing pass they threw, if one of our guys fell down, it would have been all over.”

Proving the score was not indicative of the Panthers’ efforts was quarterback Steve Trivieri who was only in his second game at the position.

Making like Donovan McNabb, Trivieri piled up over a hundred yards rushing and passed for about 50 yards with one interception that happened just before halftime.

“Usually I play running back. I know how to do that better than passing the ball,” he said. “I guess that’s what I just stuck to.”

As for the excitement of a scoreless game, the Panthers play-caller said it all came down to strategy.

“Wow. At one point it could have gone either way, just towards the end it was a game of possession,” he said. “Our defence kept stopping them and our offence didn’t let go of the ball.”

A threat of a touchdown came when Trivieri called one last streak in the dying minutes of the fourth and found receiver Griffin Moore just a hop from the endzone. However, Moore stepped out of bounds before he could net a six-pack.

“That catch is a redemption. Griffin Moore was our quarterback all year,” Harrison said. “He got beaten up and our last game we put Steve in at quarterback.”

Lawrence Park ran the clock out with two QB kneels to stamp their ticket to the semi-finals, but not without some anxiety as time ticked away.

For the Goliaths, the game was never out of reach but a downcast Glenn Edwards acknowledged his play-calling was ineffective.

“As I said to the players, they didn’t lose this game. I did,” the coach said. “I just didn’t call the right plays.”

Still, he said Maled Akbari and Dante Hall had great games on both sides of the ball.

“We had opportunities, we just didn’t execute on them,” Edwards said.

While Lawrence Park advances with a team mostly  filled with grade 11s, East York will see a second year of a mass exodus. For the first time in four years they won’t see the South Region Final.

The Panthers are looking to dethrone one of this year’s undefeated teams, Leaside, Oct. 22 while Northern Red Knights square off with Central Tech Blues the same day in the South Region semis.

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