Barrie North beats OSS 52-14
Dave Dawson/The Packet & Times Orillia Secondary School’s Liam Wilson breaks to the outside en route to scoring a 60-yard major in the second half. North dominated the contest, improving to 3-2 with a 52-14 victory.
The Barrie North Collegiate Vikings dominated both sides of the ball in their game against arch-rival Orillia Secondary School Wednesday, thumping the host Nighthawks 52-14 at the West Orillia Sports Complex.
“We definitely expect better of ourselves,” said OSS running back Liam Wilson, who scored both Nighthawks’ majors in a losing cause. “We know we can play better.”
OSS had a time-eating, 60-yard drive – on eight straight running plays – to start the game but on quarterback Scott Thompson’s first attempted pass, a Barrie North defender picked off the pass and four plays later, Elijah Kent sprinted into the end zone to start the scoring.
The Nighthawks then conceded a safety and a rouge, before Barrie North kicker Jake Julien was letter-perfect on a booming 42-yard field goal that gave the visiting Vikings a 13-0 lead. Wilson ran in his first touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7, but Gio Vargas capped off an impressive drive when he took a pitch from quarterback Zach Patfield and raced into the end zone that gave the Vikings a 20-7 lead at the half.
In the second half, everything went wrong for the Nighthawks. On a botched handoff from Thompson, linebacker Curtis Shepperdeson picked up the fumbled ball and rumbled into the end zone. While Wilson answered that score quickly with a 60-yard touchdown run, minutes later Patfield hooked up with receiver Dan Harris for a 65-yard score. Shepperdeson then ran a kickoff into the end zone and the rout was on.
Julien added a second field goal and Matthew Pigott capped his team’s dominant performance when he scored a touchdown after another botched handoff. After opening the season with two straight losses, the Vikings have found their stride, winning their third straight game to improve to 3-2 in Simcoe County Athletic Association (SCAA) action.
“Everybody really wanted this game,” said Julien, a key factor in the game with numerous booming kicks and a pair of field goals. “We really practised and trained hard this week and stepped it up another notch – the guys were really into it.”
After losing to OSS in the playoffs last year, the Vikings had something to prove, he said. “Playing these guys is big motivation because of what happened last season,” said Julien, who honed his kicking skills while playing soccer. “I think this win can be a springboard to big and better things.”
Wednesday’s lopsided defeat should be a wake-up call for the perennially strong Nighthawks, said Wilson. “Definitely, I think this is a wake-up call. We didn’t want it bad enough.”
He said the seeds for defeat were sown long before the whistle blew to start the contest. He lamented that many players have missed recent practices. “We need everyone out to practice. We need more dedication and commitment. I’ve seen this team in very good places and I know we have good players, so if we come to practice, have the right mindset and do your job on the field, I know we can be strong and have success in the playoffs.”
With the loss, the Nighthawks’ record falls to 3-2; they now are tied with Barrie North for second place. Nantyr Shores leads the league with a perfect 4-0 record. The teams will wrap up the regular season next week, with the playoffs starting the following week.