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Oct 15 2022

Blues Defeat Red Knights In Exhibition Contest

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By Sam Laskaris

The Northern Red Knights senior football squad suffered its first loss of the season on Friday.

But fortunately for the Red Knights, their 24-14 setback against the visiting Upper Canada College Blues, will not affect them in their own league standings.

That’s because the match was an exhibition one between the Red Knights, members of Toronto’s five-team public schools league, and the Toronto-based Blues, one of four clubs that are participating in a circuit for Independent schools this season.

The Red Knights’ offence had its share of difficulties getting on track in Friday’s outing. Northern’s lone offensive touchdown came in the fourth quarterback when quarterback Lenox Nizami connected on an 11-yard touchdown strike with receiver Mazin Cukic.

The Red Knights’ only other TD in the contest was in the second quarter when Sheadenn Bowerbank took a kickoff return in for a major.

Liam Trail connected on both of his point after attempts to round out Northern’s scoring.

“We couldn’t really get it going on offence,” said Cukic, a 15-year-old Grade 11 student. “And we were changing between our backups and our starters. We didn’t have a strong start and everything fell apart, in the second half too.”

Cukic said it is best to simply forget about Friday’s match.

“We just move on,” he said. “We move forward and we get ready for the next game and don’t worry about this game.”

The Red Knights, who are sporting a 2-0 league record, are back in action this coming Friday, Oct. 21. Northern will host Etobicoke’s Richview Saints in a tilt that has an opening kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m.

The most notable shuffling on Northern’s offence was with its quarterbacks. Since Nizami, the team’s top pivot, is still nursing an upper-body injury, the club extensively utilized backup QB Dan Mick throughout the match.

There were many instances Nizami and Mick were being used on alternating plays.

“Lenox’s injury has held him back from throwing a little bit so I expected he’d be out there for more run plays and I’d be out there for throwing plays,” Mick said. “We were kind of expecting that, especially with it being an exhibition game as well.”

Mick didn’t buy into the argument that perhaps his teammates didn’t enter the game with a serious approach since it was simply an exhibition contest.

“We still want to win every game that we play,” he said. “We want to leave our all on the field all of the time and we just couldn’t do that today.”

Mick threw a handful of interceptions in the game.

“I didn’t execute today,” he said. “I’d love to be better, especially when it counts.”

Mick is hoping the Red Knights can rebound in their next tilt against the Saints.

“The whole team as a collective unit we need to come together,” he said. “We need to be really good and today we just didn’t have it. Next week we have to get that fire back.”

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