In atom football action
SUMMERSIDE – In a battle of the top two teams in the Atom Division of the Moncton Minor Football Association, the Sackville Titans beat the Summerside Spartans 32-21 at Eric Johnston Field on Sunday afternoon.
In all likelihood, with two games left in the regular season, the win clinched first place in the regular season for the Titans, who improved to 6-0 (won-lost). The Spartans dropped to 5-1.
"It was a big game for both teams, and they (Titans) were the better team today (Sunday),” said Spartans head coach John Turner.
“Our boys played hard, but there were two or three plays we would like to have back.”
Summerside scored first on the opening drive, marching down the field for 55 yards and ending with quarterback Charlie DesRoches scoring on a 15-yard run to give the home team a quick 6-0 lead.
However, the Titans responded with a drive of their own to take a 7-6 lead on a quarterback keeper.
Sackville added to its lead with a long touchdown run of 50 yards to give the visitors a lead of 13-6.
The Spartans hit a big play midway through the first half as DesRoches connected with wide receiver Charlie Turner on long pass for a touchdown. With that score coming on a pass, it counted seven points and Parker Gallant’s two-point kicking convert gave the Spartans a short-lived 15-13 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, however, Sackville’s kick returner went untouched for a 60-yard touchdown. The running convert gave the Titans a 20-15 lead.
"That was a bit of a momentum changer after we just scored," added Turner.
The Spartans’ offence drove the field, and had a chance to take the lead on the Titans’ 10-yard line before halftime, but Sackville intercepted a DesRoches pass in the end zone.
In the second half, an early turnover by the Spartans and two quick touchdowns by the Titans gave the visitors a commanding 32-15 lead.
"It was the first game all season we trailed in any game, and it was good to see how the boys would respond to some adversity,” continued Turner. “They played hard to the end, and made it pretty interesting.”
"It was the first game all season we trailed in any game, and it was good to see how the boys would respond to some adversity. They played hard to the end, and made it pretty interesting.” Spartans head coach John Turner
Spartans wide receiver Sahib Singh scored on 45-yard end-around to cut Sackville’s lead to 11 points with over four minutes left.
Summerside's defence stopped the Titans and gave the ball back to the offence with just over two minutes left, and DesRoches hit Turner on a big fourth-down 30-yard pass down to the Sackville 10-yard line. But the Titans’ defence intercepted DesRoches on fourth down to end the comeback bid.
"Hats off to them (Titans) as they played well,” said Turner. “We had three turnovers, gave up a special teams touchdown and missed two two-point kicks and lost by 11.
“We can play better and have some time to get things corrected."