Glorious weather, unseasonably mild for late October, and a raucous assembly of students welcomed the Glengarry Gaels to the gridiron for their Tuesday noon start, the high school football season finale hosting the unbeaten St. Joseph’s Panthers, from Cornwall. It was expected to be a tough test, with the Gaels facing a strong opponent, whilst battling a short roster. The kids did what they could to encourage their Gaels, but the challenge was too great, as the boys succumbed to the Panthers 36-4 to end the SDGAA season with a record of 1 win and 3 losses.
St. Joseph’s capitalized on its opening drive, marching the field for a touchdown and a convert to take a 7-0 lead. The Gaels responded, moving the ball, but settled for a single point rouge on a missed field goal.
Early in the second quarter, the Panthers again struck for a converted TD. St. Joseph’s soon added another, increasing their lead to 21-1.
The Glengarry boys got a second-quarter drive going, featuring plays that included a reverse to Tyler Golarz and a pass from quarterback Ethan Attridge to Jared MacLeod – both for first downs. The drive stalled, capped off by a 36-yard field goal from Logan Keurentjes.
Later in the period, the Panthers settled for a rouge when a field goal attempt missed, with 32 seconds remaining in the half. The quarter ended with Golarz making a beauty catch in traffic at the buzzer.
A muffed snap set up St. Joe’s with great field position early in the third quarter for another quick touchdown, as the Panthers stretched their advantage to 29-4.
Glengarry’s offence continued to get some ball movement, including a 15-yard catch by Alex Urquhart and a run by MacLeod – again both for first downs. However, the Gaels weren’t able to threaten to score, as fatigue and injuries settled in, with some players forced to play out of position to fill in for others.
The Panthers added a final major and conversion to round out the scoring.
Looking back on the day, Keurentjes, whose high school football career came to an end with the conclusion of the contest, reflected, “It was a great game. I had to play as hard as I could because it was the last game I’ll ever play.”
St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, will be hosting the SD&G championship game on November 8. the semifinal is slated for November 1, when Holy Trinity will take on La Citadelle.
The Glengarry Gaels team is a co-operative effort between GDHS and VCI. By league rules, the Gaels have been barred from playoff eligibility in recent seasons, regardless of their record.
This has been a somewhat turbulent high school football season, with two teams, Tagwi and CCVS, dropping out during the campaign. There was also a one-week hiatus for UCDSB schools due to workplace job action.