On Saturday the JV Spartans played their first game in the OPFL. They hosted the York Lions, a top contender in the league, here at the James Jerome field.
The 1st quarter had a strong showing by both team’s defensive units as any possession was either met a with a 4th down or a turnover, whether those were interceptions or fumbles. This led to some good back and forth football. Ultimately no scoring happened as a couple promising drives for the Spartans were halted by a fumbled exchange from center to QB, along with some intercepted passes thrown by York.
In the 2nd Quarter both teams’ offense started to shake off the rust and have much better showings, both in passing and rushing. The first touchdown of the game went to the Lions, who were led by some nice passing by QB Scotty Barnet, followed by him rushing the ball into the endzone himself. This would be followed by Spartans QB Devin Zloty throwing the ball to WR Blake Ramalho who ran it in for the touchdown. At this point in the season, with the Spartans only having 13 days of practice before the game, they did not have a field goal kicker which lead to all attempts being 2-point conversions. This one, however, would not be good. Later in the quarter the Spartans once again intercept a pass and picked up the ball. They scored on this drive with Zloty running the ball in. The conversion would be good leaving the score at 14-7 for the Spartans at half-time.
The 3rd quarter showed much of the same as the 1st. With the ball going back and forth and strong defense being shown by both teams. Despite a blocked pass, and a recovered fumble by the Spartans, there would be no scoring in the 3rd quarter.
Moving to the 4th, after solid play by both teams York received the ball after a turnover on downs with 1:59 left on the clock. With 4 great throws by Barnet, two to Makias Harvey-Dick, one of them being an outstanding diving catch, one to Chris Jorstad, and the final to Kyle Otero in the endzone the Lions would get a touchdown with 25 second left in the game. The following kick would be good tying the game at 14-14 which put the teams into overtime.
In overtime, both teams are given an equal number of possessions to score a touchdown, they both start their offensive drives on the 35-yard line in the opposing teams side of the field.
York had their opportunity first and capitalized on it, scoring off a pass to Jared Goldin and converting the kick to put them up by 7. It was now the Spartans’ turn on offence. With a few nice passes to Joshua Morin they faced 1st and goal, where Zloty punched the ball through to endzone. Their 2-point conversion fell just short, leading the Lions winning the game 21-20.
Despite this loss, the JV Spartans had a great showing against a strong team in their first ever game in the OPFL. This leaves nothing but excitement for the upcoming season as they are only going to grow and get better from here.
Be sure to catch their next home game on June 1st at 4pm versus North Bay at James Jerome Field.