Tri­tons, Knights ready for bat­tle

The Barrie Examiner - - SPORTS - twit­ter.com/stephen_sweet

Lar­mon’s hope is that his defenders can ad­just to the Knights quickly enough be­fore they wind up in trou­ble.

“The first quar­ter will be a feel­ing-out phase, and you don’t want to be down two touch­downs af­ter the first quar­ter while you’re fig­ur­ing them out, so you have to do it quickly,” Lar­mon said. “We have to fig­ure out how they’re mo­tion­ing, what kinds of sets they’re go­ing to bring, and make ad­just­ments ac­cord­ingly.

“Those guys have played enough foot­ball that they can do that.”

One of the more in­trigu­ing matchups on Thurs­day will be St. Joan of Arc’s front four go­ing up against the Nan­tyr Shores of­fen­sive line.

If the Knights can break through with reg­u­lar­ity to stop the run game, things could get in­ter­est­ing.

“Our D-line is the strength of our team, and hope­fully we can get some pres­sure on their quar­ter­back and get them into sec­ond and long, which I think is go­ing to be a key,” Ni­co­letta said. “Their run­ning game is so strong and their o-line is so dom­i­nant that, in or­der for us to have any chance, we have to have good play from our de­fen­sive line.”

While Nan­tyr Shores has a num­ber of im­pres­sive ath­letes car­ry­ing the ball, it isn’t afraid to air things out ei­ther, al­though of­ten this sea­son, it hasn’t re­ally come to that.

“Some­times, teams will fo­cus on tak­ing away our run­ning game, but our throw­ing game, which I’d say is un­der-uti­lized, (has) a num­ber of re­ceivers that can catch and run with the ball af­ter the catch,” Lar­mon said.

“I’m not re­ally con­cerned about what they’ll try to take away from us, I’m more con­cerned about what we’ll do with the op­por­tu­nity.”

St. Joan of Arc has some play­mak­ers of its own, and if it can es­tab­lish the run early, it might be able to spread out the ex­cel­lent Tri­tons de­fence enough to put up some points.

“Of­fen­sively, I think we have to be bal­anced against Nan­tyr,” Ni­co­letta said. “If we can do that, we’ll have some sort of a chance.

“We need to con­tain their run game that (was) so dom­i­nant against Bear Creek,” Ni­co­letta added. “If we can get them in sec­ond and long, hope­fully, we can

We’d cer­tainly like to leave it on a high note, but ei­ther way, this is a phe­nom­e­nal group and we’re proud of them, re­gard­less.”

Clark Lar­mon

have a chance of win­ning.”

While St. Joan of Arc has won four of the last five GB­SSA ti­tles, Nan­tyr Shores has no se­nior cham­pi­onships to its name.

Their only foot­ball ti­tle was a ju­nior one, earned in 2014 by many of these same play­ers.

“When we won our cham­pi­onship when most of them were in Grade 10, our theme was fam­ily,” Lar­mon said. “My fa­ther had just passed away, so I didn’t make the semi­fi­nal game. They as­sured me that they’d win to get us there.

“Af­ter we won, we all hud­dled up and I let them know what it meant to me,” Lar­mon added. “This group of ath­letes and kids doesn’t come around very of­ten. We’re ei­ther go­ing to win or lose to­gether, and that’s im­por­tant.

“We’d cer­tainly like to leave it on a high note, but ei­ther way, this is a phe­nom­e­nal group and we’re proud of them, re­gard­less.”

The con­test will be played at J.C. Massie Field in Bar­rie be­gin­ning at 2 p.m., Thurs­day.

MARK WANZEL/PHOTO

Jor­dan Austin of the Nan­tyr Shores Tri­tons slips his way through the Bear Creek Ko­di­aks de­fence dur­ing last week’s Sim­coe County Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion cham­pi­onship game at J.C. Massie Field in Bar­rie. The Tri­tons won, 38-0, and will now play Bar­rie’s St. Joan of Arc Knights for the Ge­or­gian Bay Sec­ondary School As­so­ci­a­tion (GB­SSA) ti­tle on Thurs­day.

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