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Aug 3 2022


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By Sam Laskaris

Nathan Greenley found himself in an unfamiliar position on Friday. But the Northern Red Knights’ running back was performing at a location he was well accustomed to. Greenley played a major role in helping the Red Knights senior boys’ football squad down the host St. Mike’s Kerry Blues 21-17.

For starters, Greenley, a Grade 12 student, caught a screen pass from Northern quarterback Josh Rosenfeld and ran 41 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.  Greenley also provided what ended up being the winning points via a two-yard run late in the game. The match held added significance for Greenley. He had played for the St. Mike’s junior squad while he was in Grade 9. He transferred to Northern the following year. “It was kind of cool returning to where I went to school and beating the team I used to play for,” Greenley said. 

Though three years have passed since he himself was at St. Mike’s, Greenley said he knew plenty of his opponents on Friday. “In the handshakes I saw a bunch of familiar faces and said hi to a bunch of kids after the game,” he said. “And I got to see my old coach so it was fun.” Helping the Red Knights earn the W, however, was especially pleasing. “It feels great to come here and win against a team that was expected to win against us,” Greenley added. Though he’s already a key part of the Northern offence, Greenley had some additional duties in Friday’s outing after a hit knocked Rosenfeld out of the match with about five and a half minutes remaining in the game.

While the Red Knights were on offence for the rest of the game, he took direct snaps and tried to gain as many yards as possible along the ground. “We’re supposed to have Anders (Hoffman) in as backup quarterback,” Greenley said of the Northern receiver. “So, it was kind of unexpected that we would just come in and run Wildcat for the rest of the game. But it worked and we came out with the victory.” Northern led 14-1 late in the second quarter. But it was actually the Kerry Blues who took a 17-14 lead into halftime.

For starters, St. Mike’s scored a 14-yard running TD. Then the Red Knights fumbled the ensuing kickoff in their end zone and the Kerry Blues were given a gift touchdown.
Northern also gave up a late safety to trail by three points at the half. But Greenley said his squad was confident it could rally from its miscues late in the second quarter. “They got a few Disney points there at the end with the fumble in the end zone,” Greenley said of the Kerry Blues. “If a team gets that and they’re up at the half, you know you can come back. It’s the fight in you.”

Red Knights’ head coach George Gretes was thrilled with the end result.
“I’m super happy with the win,” he said. “We showed we can play against some of the city’s best. “St. Mike’s has had a good season in their Independent league and we showed we can beat them at home.”

The ongoing pandemic is still having a major impact on high school sports. For the Red Knights, that means not having their usual Toronto public schools league to compete in and being forced to line up exhibition contests versus various other clubs. “It’s a nice tradition from the past,” Gretes said of the Northern/St. Mike’s battle. “We haven’t played them in years recent but it’s nice to come here and win.”

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