Face Amherst in quarter-final game tonight
MONCTON, N.B. – The Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans completed regular-season play in the Moncton Minor Football Association’s Atom Division in second place.
The Spartans concluded the regular season with a 41-14 road victory over the Moncton Panthers on Sunday afternoon to finish at 7-1 (won-lost).
"Our goal at the start of the season was to be a .500 team after being 3-8 last season,” said Spartans assistant coach and defensive co-ordinator Paul Walsh. “But we have a talented bunch of kids who work hard and play as a team, which has resulted in a very good regular season.
"However, the playoffs are different, and we need to continue to improve each game if we want to be in the final. We have a long way to go yet."
Summerside scored on its opening drive as quarterback Charlie DesRoches hooked up with wide receiver Charlie Turner on a 50-yard touchdown pass. It was the first of three touchdown connections for DesRoches and Turner on the day, and the two-point convert from kicker Parker Gallant gave the visitors a quick 9-0 lead.
Moncton had an impressive drive as they marched the ball down to the Spartans’ 20-yard line, but the defence held strong to get the ball back for the offence. The Spartans responded by taking the ball down the field, and DesRoches scored on a 20-yard keeper. Gallant’s kick, gave Summerside a 17-0 lead at the half.
"We threw the ball today (Sunday) probably more than we ran it,” said Spartans offensive co-ordinator Dave Chisholm. “We have been working hard on the passing game in practice as we don't want to be one dimensional going into the playoffs.
"Our goal at the start of the season was to be a .500 team after being 3-8 last season. But we have a talented bunch of kids who work hard and play as a team, which has resulted in a very good regular season. However, the playoffs are different, and we need to continue to improve each game if we want to be in the final. We have a long way to go yet." Spartans defensive co-ordinator Paul Walsh
“We threw it 15 times and only had three incompletions, which is great execution."
Summerside recovered the opening kick of the second half, and added to its lead as wide receiver Sahib Singh took an end-around run down the left sideline for a 40-yard touchdown and a 23-0 lead.
After an interception by Gallant on the Spartans’ 30-yard line, Summerside drove the length of the field to the Panthers’ five-yard line. After trying two runs and a pass, Summerside scored on a one-yard pass from DesRoches to Turner on fourth down. Gallant’s kick gave the Spartans a commanding 32-0 lead.
Moncton scored on a nice passing play to cut the lead to 32-8 late in the second half, but the Spartans responded on a perfect 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from DesRoches to Turner to finish the Summerside scoring.
The Panthers scored on the last play of the game on a one-yard quarterback sneak.
Summerside will now turn its attention to the playoffs, which begin tonight (Tuesday) as the Spartans will travel to Moncton to play the Amherst Wolfpack in a quarter-final game. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The winner will advance to the semifinals on Sunday at 2 p.m., also in Moncton.