#CFCOVFL Preview: “Every game from now until the end of the season is considered a playoff game”

This week, the Niagara Spears are facing the Sault Ste. Marie Sabercats in the final week of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) season.

The Spears are coming off of a huge 34-9 victory in Week 7 against the Hamilton Ironmen at Ron Joyce Stadium, while the Sabercats will be coming in fresh and rested after a bye week.

Spears Head Coach Brian Duguay said the Spears need to come out the gate stronger.  Since the beginning of the season, the team has been trying to address the issue but again, looked flat at the start of their game against the Ironmen.

“This pattern has to stop,” said Duguay.  “We have to start playing a full game if we expect to go far into the playoffs.”

“We’ve only played two full games; Week 1 and 2. Every game from now until the end of the season is considered a playoff game.”
The Spears are currently the only undefeated team in the Adam Conference with a  6-0 record, and hope to finish the season undefeated with a win over the Sabercats this weekend.

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“To stay undefeated we need to be a lot more disciplined as a team and be prepared to have the whole team know the game plan,” said Spears linebacker Eli Sacco.  “We can’t rely on athleticism because every team in the OV has great talent.”

“We were unprepared last week due to attendance at practice. We had too many mental errors as a unit and without those our defence should never break with the talent we have.”

Spears defensive back Mikey Domanico also agreed with Sacco.

“We took too many stupid penalties at inopportune times,” added Domanico.  “We let them off the hook on third down.”

“This could haunt us come playoff time if nothing changes.”

Duguay stressed the importance of composure after the game against the Ironmen.

“We had some foolish penalties again that put us out of range or gave them first downs with good field position,” said Duguay.  “This has been a continual issue for us that we need work on.”

Scoring leaders from Week 7 include first year kicker, Owen Charnock with two field goals (30,32 yards), respectively and a perfect conversion rate. Quarterback, Blair Robertson completed 19 passes in 32 attempts for 214 yards as well as a 70-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jack Gelbart. Gelbart finished the game with seven catches for 117 yards, and a touchdown. Also, Jordan Terrio and Cam Macdonald each had rushing touchdowns.

On the defensive side, Jack Andrews led the Spears with seven assisted and four solo tackles. Kael Reilly had a solo and three assisted tackles.  Defensive back Ryan Stintson had six solo tackles.

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Another notable performance from Zyer Harris who had a 28-yard ‘pick six’.

With a win this week, the Spears will be in a good positon to receive a bye for the first week of playoffs.  Additionally, the team will have the opportunity to heal up and get focused on the next task at hand – the OVFL Championship, which they last won in 2005.

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