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Oct 7 2022

Junior Red Knights Improve To 2-0 With Road Win Against Rams

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By Sam Laskaris

The Northern Red Knights junior football squad, which registered a lopsided victory in its season opener, had a much more challenging time in its second match of the season.

The Red Knights, however, were still able to rack up another W. Northern doubled the host Etobicoke Collegiate Rams 32-16 in a match held on Thursday afternoon.

The Red Knights had blanked the Lawrence Park Panthers 45-0 in their first contest of the season.

“It was definitely more fun to play a team when it is more competitive,” said Northern quarterback Riley Chalmers. “Last week I was taken out at the half. This week I got to play the majority of the game.”

Chalmers also said he is pleased to see his team making progress.

“It’s fun to grow as a team,” he said. “If the team wins and it’s close, it’s a lot more fun than when the team wins in a blowout.”

Despite racking up twice as many points as the Rams did, Chalmers said the Red Knights still have plenty of work to do.

“We have a lot we need to fix,” he said. “We need to work going on the counts. We had some offside penalties that we didn’t need. And we just have to work on making everything a lot more crisp. We had some sloppy plays. And we need to work on our ball security.”

Chalmers and his teammates held a slim 12-8 lead at halftime against the Rams. Northern extended its lead to 18-8 when Chalmers hooked up with Will Sievert on an 80-yard touchdown strike early in the third quarter.

“That really set the tone,” Chalmers said of Sievert’s second TD of the contest. “That was in the third quarter. We had designed that play and we were waiting all game to set up that play. When it worked, it was just magical.”

Etobicoke, however, quickly managed to cut into its deficit. After Sievert’s lengthy catch for a major, the Rams scored on the ensuing kickoff and added a two-point convert to make the score 18-16.

Northern was then able to add two more touchdowns while keeping the Rams off the scoreboard for the remainder of the match.

The Red Knights played the contest without their star running back Hayden Vincent-Francis, who had scored four touchdowns in the season opener. He sat out the game as a precaution, as he was nursing a sore ankle.

In Vincent-Francis’ absence, Miguel Collado stepped up for the Red Knights and rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

“I played halfback last week and this game they actually moved me the day before the game to tailback,” Collado said. “So, I had to learn whole new plays and execute quickly.” 

Red Knights’ head coach John Lombardi praised Collado’s efforts.

“Miguel is like a throwback athlete,” Lombardi said. “He’s so tough. He impressed me so much in rugby last year with his toughness. He’s a great kid. He listens really well. He learns very quickly and you can see the athleticism – he can run, he can catch and he can throw. Honestly, if I had to put him in at quarterback he could do it.”

Cameron MacLachlan scored Northern other’s TD. He caught a five-yard pass from Chalmers on the Red Knights’ opening drive.

Meanwhile, Northern kicker Johnny Musson earned a pair of points as he successfully kicked two extra point attempts.

The Red Knights’ next game is this coming Friday (Oct. 14) at home against the Leaside Lancers. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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