#CFCHSFB PREVIEW (ROPSSAA): “Big hits…close game” expected between CFC#23 Ravens & Panthers

The Ravens and Panthers look to renew their rivalry in week 1 of ROPSSAA play

Friday, September 25, 2015, will be the start of the ROPSSAA football regular season for two ROPSSAA North teams looking to take the next step within their league ranks. Week 1 will feature the St. Marguerite d’Youville Panthers traveling to St. Roch (CFC #23) to take on the Ravens.

After several years of productive teams, the Panthers missed the playoffs last season with their first losing record. While the Panthers may not have got the results on the scoreboard last season, the team is fostering talent in the hopes of competing with the elite teams in ROPSSAA this season. Head coach for the St. Marguerite d’Youville Panthers, John Paul Falacho talked about how much it has helped his Panthers to have more coaches on hand to develop the talent on his roster.

“This year we have more coaches on board, especially for the offensive and defensive lines,” said Falacho. “We focus predominately on the lines because without those positions, you can’t win football games.”

“So we’re always going to try to get those positions better. We’ve always had athletes, so it’s a matter of teaching these guys routes and holes they need to run through. So as long as we have the blocking ability we should be fine.”

St Roch has become a formidable force within ROPSSAA football since the school’s inception in 2009. The Ravens are coming off back-to-back appearances in the ROPSSAA semi-finals in 2013 and 2014. Last year’s defeat at the hands of defending ROPSSAA Champions Lorne Park has St. Roch ready to take the next step in the team’s development.

“It comes down to discipline, focus and execution. If we can execute, then I think we’ll be better,” says Ravens Co-Head Coach Neil Majoros who is looking to have the team start the season on the right foot.

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The Panthers and Ravens have played several great games against each other over the years, so both teams are aware of what their opponent likes to do from a scheme perspective. Jon Beresford, Co-Head Coach of St Roch, is expecting d’Youville to execute a more physical brand of football and is preparing his team accordingly in order to rise to the necessary level of physicality needed to play against the Panthers.

“They are known as smash-mouth football, so they come right at you,” said Beresford.  “With a couple ROPSSAA Championships, they were and still are known as the big boys of the north.”

“We’ve seen their double wing offence a few times now, but I think our team is ready and prepared for that good group though.”

Conversely, Falacho knows St Roch will prove to be a tough matchup for his Panthers. Also, Falacho is not taking lightly the fact that the Ravens will try to prepare a game plan to halt the double wing offence.

“Roch is a great team. In the past, we’ve had their number,” said Falacho.  “Two years ago, we only beat them by a couple points. Last year we got our butts handed to us.”

“They are more geared to a spread offence and can run the ball out of tight. So we’ve tried to incorporate defenses to stop what they are good at. And I’m sure they are coming up with ways to stop our double wing system, so we have other things we can get into. But in the end, it’s a matter of if our guys are all going to do their job. This is what we’ve promoted to these guys, so if they do that, then we should be successful.”

With the excitement of the start of the season, playing a home opener and going against your rival has Majoros believing the Ravens will need no extra motivation for their week one matchup against the Panthers. As well, Majoros is aware of what both teams have done head-to-head and is expecting nothing less than an intense and tough contest the two rivals have been known to showcase.

“d’Youville is probably our biggest rival in Brampton now,” added Majoros. “We’ve had some pretty memorable games throughout our short history.”

“The Panthers are hard working and well coached so we’ll expect some big hits and a close game.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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