NSSAFFL: Warriors, Eagles square off in Scotia Division semi-final action Saturday

The Halifax West Warriors and Auburn Drive Eagles are set to meet in Scotia Division Tier 2 semi-final action of the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL) on Saturday at Mainland Commons.  Kickoff is 5:00pm.

In their previous meeting this season, the Warriors defeated the Eagles 60-28.  However, playoffs are a different story and the Warriors expect a competitive battle on the field, yet are prepared for the challenge on the field.

“We expect our game with Auburn to be a hard fought game and much closer than the first meeting,” comments Warriors head coach Dave Kelly.  “They have a lot of kids who can go the length of the field very quickly so we have to limit their big plays.”

“We have to come and be sharp; no penalties or dropped balls.  We have to move the chains and win field position.”

Like the Warriors, the Eagles are looking forward to the semi-final rematch.

“We are looking forward to the rematch against the West,” says Eagles head coach Chris Anstey.  “As a staff and team we don’t feel we put our best foot forward in the first game, and got embarrassed as a result.”

“The best thing that may have happened to us this year is the loss to the West, despite our success in getting here, we targeted them as the team to bet before the season began and they have without question proved their worth. I anticipate Coaches Kelly and (David) Rent will have their team every bit as ready as they were in the first match up and based on the acknowledgement of our league our players should have a firm indication of the level of talent on their roster. ”

There are key factors that will determine the outcome of the semi-final game and Anstey says the Eagles are determined to put forth a strong showing.

“This game will come down to our best players’ ability to limit the explosiveness of the best high school offense in the Scotia Division,” assesses the Eagles head coach.  “If we let the West triplets (Scott Borden, Quintynn Parsons, Javon Parris) find their stride, the game will be over early.”

“However, if we except the challenge and prepare for an opponent who has proven they can beat us, we will be in a position to fight for a tight victory.   As a coach all you can ever ask is that your teams prepares, focuses and accepts the challenge they are presented as motivation. I am confident in our mindset and that we will commit to the challenge we are faced with.”

GAME TIDBITS/PREVIOUS MEETING:

HALIFAX WEST WARRIORS (HW):

2012 Record:  7-1-0, in regular season (second place)

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach:  David Kelly (9th season)

Assistants:  David Rent (offensive coordinator), Justin Rudolf (defensive line), Karim Shawwa (quarterbacks), Andrew Preston (linebackers), Ryan Sabean (running backs) and Chuck Kline (receivers)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:  Scott Borden (quarterback), Essam Talaat (offensive lineman), Josh Sampson (defensive back), Luke Byrne (linebacker), Ahmed Ramadan (defensive back), Mahmoud Altawil (defensive back), Quintynn Parsons (receiver), Terrance Bennett (offensive lineman), Kendrin Butler (defensive back)

AUBURN DRIVE EAGLES (AUB):

2012 Record:  6-2-0 in the regular season (third place)

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach:  Chris Anstey (1st season with Eagles but 12th season coaching)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:  John Cole (defensive end/fullback), Trae Colley (defensive back/offense), Josh Thomas (defensive back), Cameron Darrow (offensive line), Chris Daly (offensive line), Angus Fraser (running back, returner), Matt Cohoon (defensive lineman), Kareece Riley (receiver), Montel Thauvette (offensive lineman), Romaine Willis (defensive back)

PREVIOUS 2012 MEETING:  In a matchup at Mainland Commons, the Halifax West Warriors defeated the Auburn Drive Eagles 60-28.

Running back Javon Parris had 204 rushing yards on 14 carries and scored three majors to lead the Warriors the victory.  Receiver Quintynn Parsons scored two touchdowns (one punt return, one kick return) while amassing 113 yards on 3 receptions. Tariq Karaballi found the end zone once and had five carries for 31 rushing yards while Clarke Hannam scored a touchdown on a 12 yard reception.

Defensively for the victors, Luke Byrne caught an interception while racking up five assisted tackles and three solo tackles.  Josh Sampson also caught an interception while registering six assisted tackles and six solo tackles.  Ahmed Ramadan chipped in with seven assisted tackles and three solo tackles for the victory.

“We had to adjust to Auburn’s intensity; they started the game and were able to shut down our offense the first couple of series and scored as a result,” commented Warriors offensive coordinator David Rent after the win.  “We had to respond with a hard nose physical game and the offensive line stepped up to the physical challenge which enabled us to run the ball with our tailback Javon Parris and fullback Tariq Karaballi.”

“A lot of credit goes to the Auburn players and coaches; they caught us on our heels and took the fight to us from the opening kickoff.”

In particular, Rent was impressed with the play of the Warriors three offensive guns.

“Javon Parris and Tariq Karabelli both played excellent,” reflected the Warriors offensive coordinator.  “I was leery coming into game two this year, with starting tailback David Nesbit getting injured in game 1 as there were some big shoes to fill.”

“So far this year for two first year players, they have exceeded any expectations I had. They are both very physical runners and look to deliver a hit instead of taking one.  Quintynn Parsons had another great game, he didn’t get the ball a lot tonight but when he did he made things happen.”

While the team scored a win, there are a few areas they must improve on in the coming days as the Eagles were able to expose those weaknesses during the game.

“Offensively we had three turnovers so we need to work on ball security and making better decisions with the ball,” said Rent.  “Defensively we are a young team, and we will keep working on the basics of tackling and responsibilities for runs and pass coverage.”

(twitter: http://twitter.com/vohra_ameeta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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