With an entire position missing and some key injuries, the Sudbury Spartans fell in their quarter-final match-up against the Ottawa Sooners 40-0 Saturday. The team had to play without any of their practiced quarterbacks, a key running back, and key receiver which affected the Spartans offence and ultimately lead to them not scoring.
Riley Roy, a defensive back, ended up being the one to step up and try to fill the quarterback position despite not having taken a single snap before. He tried his best, not shying away from throwing the ball and keeping his composure on the field, despite the pressure he was under.
The Spartans defence played tremendously, holding the Sooners to only a couple of scores late into the 3rd quarter. They gave the team a fighting chance, but up against the full defensive roster of the Sooners the shorthanded offence was not enough.
The game started off great for the Spartans, with the first Sooners offensive pass attempt being picked, only 30 seconds into the game, by Joshua Girolametto. The Spartans started on the Sooners 20-yard line but could not make a first down, which brought out the field goal unit. Massimo Cimino’s kick would be wide. On the next Sooner drive the Spartan defence came out strong. With two sacks on the Ottawa quarterback Travis Campbell, the Sudbury defence showed they were here to play. The Sooners were forced to punt but would quickly get the ball back after they intercepted a passing attempt by Roy. On a long drive the Sooners eventually got the ball in the endzone on a pass from Campbell, putting them up 6-0 with 1:50 left in the 1st.
In the 2nd quarter after their offence had to punt, the Spartans defence continued their great performance, forcing a 4th down punt. This time though the punter for the Sooners faced a rough snap which lead to him instead connecting with #75 Nate Pierce to keep their drive going. This Sooners drive would end in the endzone when Remy Cimankinda took a handoff and forced his way through the Spartan defence. This put the score at 13-0 for the sooners halfway through the 2nd quarter. The Spartan defence went on to sack Campbell once more to keep the score where it was going into half-time.
After a quick 4 and out for the Spartans, they would get the ball back thanks to Ben DeBenedet who intercepted Campbell. After a long sequence, where Matt Glass put his head down and ran over and over again, the Spartans would eventually lose the ball on a turnover on downs. Now late into the 3rd quarter Brandon McDonald took a handoff at centre field for the sooners and took the ball all the way into the Sudbury endzone. With 2:13 left the score was 20-0 for the Sooners.
The Sooners went on to score three more times in the 4th quarter to put the game at its final score of 40-0.
With this loss comes the end of another great season by the Spartans, coming second in the West Division and competing with almost all the top teams in the league. This year has given them something to build off for next years season, and they only have more growing to do.