PATRIOTS TACKLE HUNGER THEN TACKLE NORTH BAY BULLDOGS FOR FOURTH WIN

Photo courtesy of Sam MacBeath
Author: News Desk

Saturday night The Steel City Patriots played host to the embattled and short benched North Bay Bulldogs in Northern Football Conference action. The Pats going into the game were looking to put on a good performance as they welcomed Purolator Courier and their Tackle Hunger program to Nelson stadium on a hot humid night.

The evening got underway as fans entered the stadium and dropped off non-perishable food items at The Purolator display and got comfortable in the stands for the game. Once the game got underway The Pats defence took over and scored 3 pick sixes in the first half on the way to a 47-0 lead over a hard-working but undermanned Bulldogs team.

In the second half The Dogs used some trickery to fool the Pats as they went for the short kickoff and recovered the ball but unfortunately couldn’t pull the trigger and score on the Pats defence. The Patriots used the game as an opportunity to get some of the back-ups into extended playing time and they came through with 15 points on two Tds by the offence and a 27 yd field goal by Adam Pallett to close out the scoring and making the final score 62-0. The score though does not indicate the type of game that was played as the Bulldogs could have gave up in the second half came out and played with everything they had from beginning to end and showed the class they have when they joined the Patriots at center field for a talk and team prayer and then joined the team back at Lotos bar and grill for some post game food and talk before heading home to prepare for this weeks test.

The Patriots now at 4-0 will travel up north to take on The Sault Steelers in Sault Ste Marie this Saturday before enjoying their bye week June 30th.

The Patriots, Bulldogs and their fans helped to takle hunger with 300 lbs of food donated to Purolator for their food drive and will be welcoming them back on July 14th at 6:00pm as they take on The Ottawa sooners at Nelson Stadium.

Source: Sam MacBeath

Late touchdowns lift Steelers

Original article:  https://www.sootoday.com/local-sports/late-touchdowns-lift-steelers-956955
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Author:  Brad Coccimiglio
Photo Credit: Donna Hopper/SooToday

A pair of late touchdowns were ultimately the difference.

A 27-yard touchdown run by Josh Gauthier with 5:14 to go in the fourth quarter lifted the Sault Steelers to a 23-10 Northern Football Conference win over the Sudbury Spartans Saturday night at Rocky DiPietro field.

The major came with the Steelers trailing 10-8 at the time in a game that saw the home side fall behind 10-0 in the opening half.

“It was key,” said Steelers Coach Brandon Lewis. “It was vintage Josh.

Gauthier finished the day with 104 yards rushing on 11 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

The victory improves the Steelers record to 2-2 after a road win last weekend in North Bay.

“Everything you do in your first year is great but when you know the type of competitors we have on our team, it’s possible for us to push the best teams in this league,” Lewis said.

Sudbury opened the scoring on a 13-yard field goal in the opening quarter by Massimo Cimino.

In the final minute of the opening quarter, Sudbury’s Sean Moore caught a two-yard pass to increase the lead to 10-0.

“The first half seemed to be very tough on us, more mentally than anything,” Lewis said. “There were some mistakes and penalties to start the game. That can take a toll. We hung in.”

Steve Hiiemaa would run the ball in from 68 yards out late in the fourth quarter to seal the Steelers win.

Hiiemaa finished the day with 130 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Offensively for the Spartans, Josh Cuomo had 55 yards rushing on 15 carries.

Defensively for the Steelers, Matt Gauthier had six tackles while Dalton Povey had 5.5 tackles. Tom Twentyman had five tackles and Jon Bujold had 4.5.

Erik Conrad and Matt Furlino had six tackles each for the Spartans, who fall to 1-3.

The Steelers return to action on June 23 against the Steel City Patriots. Kickoff at Rocky DiPietro Field is set for 7 p.m.

Gauthier Gallops to Winning Score

Original article:  http://www.thesudburystar.com/2018/06/17/gauthier-gallops-to-winning-score-2
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Author and Photo Credits:  Peter Ruicci/Postmedia Network

He’s not the player he once was.

At age 35, Josh Gauthier is no longer the record-setting, championship-winning, nearly-unstoppable running back who once wreaked havoc on Northern Football Conference defences.

But he’s still awfully good.

Gauthier ran 27 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on Saturday, as the Sault Steelers rallied from a 10-0 deficit to defeat the Sudbury Spartans 23-10 at Rocky DiPietro Field.

With the home team trailing 10-8, Gauthier ran a counter, bolting nearly untouched into the Spartans end with 5:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Alanzo Clarke ran in a two-point conversion and the Sault had a 16-10 lead.

Seeing how hard the Spartans were pursuing on power-running plays, Gauthier said he “told Ashton to call a counter,” referring to offensive coordinator Ashton Young. “I took two or three hard steps to the right and the whole defence shifted. You could run a semi through the hole.”

He didn’t need quite that much room, however.

“But once that happened I could use my wheels,” added Gauthier, who had scored earlier on a four-yard run and finished the evening with 104 yards rushing on 11 carries.

“The Gauthier play was the key to the game,” added head coach Brandon Lewis, whose club won its second straight, improving to 2-2 on the season. “It was vintage Josh. He wasn’t going to be stopped by arm tackles. You get him the ball and magic happens. He’s not even in game shape and he’s still a dominant player – absolutely.”

According to Spartans head coach Junior Labrosse, Gauthier’s run was a game-changer.

“That broke our back,” Labrosse added. “They had Gauthier hidden inside. And he paused with the ball until things opened up.”

“I don’t have that top gear like I used to have,” Gauthier admitted. “I’m so far from being what I used to be. But game smarts is something I’ll always have.”

Meantime, three minutes later, the Steelers sealed the win with another impressive run. Stevan Hiiemaa broke a series of tackles and galloped 68 yards for another touchdown.

That made it 22-10 with 2:03 to go in regulation.

Cam Basham booted his second convert to wrap up the scoring.

Jesse Hill had the other point for the winners, nailing a punt 35 yards for a single just before halftime.

“It was a big character win,” said Steelers head coach Brandon Lewis, whose team plays host to the Steel City Patriots this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Rocky DiPietro Field. “We made some mistakes and took some penalties and the first half was very tough on us. But at halftime we talked about leaving the first half behind us.”

Lewis said he thought his team managed the ball better in the second half. And the Steelers defence “had a heck of a game,” he added.

“We were strong and we hit hard,” said first-year linebacker Tom Twentyman, who finished with five tackles. “We had a lot of guys playing a lot of snaps, but we dug deep and found a way. We’re getting better every week.”

En route to completing 9-of-23 pass attempts for 246 yards, Spartans quarterback Hunter Holub hit Sean Moore with a two-yard scoring strike. Massimo Cimino converted and also booted a 17-yard field goal.

“We played three-quarters of a game,” said Labrosse, whose club fell to 1-3. “We had some mental breakdowns. Our offensive line played its best game so far this season, but penalties killed us.”

Notes: Hiiemaa ran for a game-high 130 yards on 10 carries. Clarke went 2-for-7 passing for 22 yards.

On defence, Matt Gauthier had a team-high six tackles for the Sault. Dalton Povey added 5.5 while Jon Bujold was credited with 4.5 tackles. Ron Kelly had an interception.

pruicci@postmedia.com

Power Ranking 2018 – Week 5

NFC Week 5 Power Rankings

Back on NFCfootball.ca are the Power Rankings done by our NFC Insider. You, the fans, have asked that the Power Rankings which we had exclusive to social media be reinstated to the site. We heard your request and moving forward they will be published here too.

1. GTA All-Stars
2. Ottawa Sooners
3. Sarnia Imperials
4. Tri-City Outlaws
5. Steel City Patriots
6. Toronto Phantom Raiders
7. Sault Steelers
8. Oakville Longhorns
9. Sudbury Spartans
10. North Bay Bulldogs

NFC Power Ranking Breakdown

1. GTA All-Stars
Current record 4-0

The tough part of their schedule is over – they can shift to cruise control until playoffs. The only thing they have to remember is to show up to the games and put their 12 guys on the field. They will run the table – again.
……………………………………………………………

2. Ottawa Sooners
Current record 2-2

Ottawa needs to focus on one thing – playoffs and GTA. They need to vastly improve to make a run at a Championship. Let’s wait and see how the next few weeks work out for them.
…………………………………………………………..

3. Sarnia Imperials
Current record 2-2

The Imp rolled over Tri City this week and looks like they finally got their offense moving. If they have hopes of making a deep playoff run – they are going to need to keep getting better each and every week.
……………………………………………………………

4. Tri City Outlaws
Current record 2-2

The Outlaws have lost two in a row. Both were teams ranked higher than them. They need to get their offense going or things will unravel quickly.
…………………………………………………………….

5. Steel City Patriots
Current record 4-0

These are power rankings not standings. This Patriot team will go 5-0 before they face a higher ranked opponent. That’s the schedule they were given. Unfortunately, you don’t move up hanging 62 points on North Bay – even 9th ranked Sudbury hung 62 on the Bay. You move up by playing higher ranked opponents. You will get your opportunity the last 3 weeks of the season. Patience, patience….
……………………………………………………………

6. Toronto Phantom Raiders
Current record 3-1

The Raiders won a tough one against a hungry Longhorn squad. A much improved team over the past few seasons. Kudos for turning the program around. Now you have 4 tough opponents in a row.
………………………………………………………….

7. Sault Steelers
Current record 2-2

They have essentially won the North after taking care of North Bay and Sudbury back to back. Excellent season after taking a leave of absence. More good things to come from this program and staring at .500+ season.
…………………………………………………………….

8. Oakville Longhorns
Current record 0-4

The Horns stuck around with a much improved Raider team for 4 quarters. That type of effort moves you up in the rankings. Oakville will improve each week.
………………………………………………………….

9. Sudbury Spartans
Current record 1-3

Looks like offensive woes are hurting the Spartans every week. It’s going to be a long season if things don’t change quickly. Now the three-time defending Champs are rolling into town. Keep your chins up and working on it.
………………………………………………………….

10. North Bay Bulldogs
Current record 0-4

The wheels have fallen off the Bulldog bus. Each week has its own challenges. Most importantly is building for the future – using each game as a learning experience.