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Atom Spartans host Titans in first-place showdown

SUMMERSIDE – First place is at stake as the Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans host the Sackville Titans in the final regular-season game for both teams on Sunday.

Summerside Cox and Palmer Spartans running back Ethan Haakman looks to avoid being pushed out of bounds by a member of the Moncton Panthers during a recent Moncton Atom Football League game at Eric Johnston Field in Summerside. The Spartans play their final home game of the season on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Both teams bring perfect 3-0 (won-lost) records into the game at Eric Johnston Field. The opening kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. The winning team will clinch the regular-season title in the Moncton Atom Football League.

The Spartans are looking to upset the Titans, who are always a powerhouse every season in the Atom Division of the Moncton Football Association.

"Football in Sackville is the No. 1 game in town because of Mt. A,” said Spartans head coach John Turner. “The kids over there prefer to play football to hockey, and the result is a great football program.

"We know we have to play our best game of the season if we want to beat the Titans, so we have to take care of the football, win the turnover battle and play great defence."

15 rookies

The Spartans, with 15 of their 19-player roster rookies, have surprised many teams this season, but that inexperience hasn't been an issue to date. The Summerside players are very aggressive and playing within the offensive and defensive schemes designed by the coaching staff. 

"At the beginning of the season we didn't overload the players with information, and just let their athletic ability take over,” said Spartans defensive co-ordinator Todd Williams. “But we now have slowly put in my details into our plays on both sides of the ball, and you can see the improvement every week, and we just need to keep getting better.”


Big crowd

The Spartans are hoping to attract a big crowd for their final home game and stiffest test of the season.

"Regardless of what happens Sunday, we are very pleased with how our players have improved,” said Turner. “This will be great measuring stick of how good we are and can be.”

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