A couple of turnovers turned a solid outing into a disappointing defeat for the St. Thomas More Knights.
Launching the 2019 senior 3-A football season, the Knights did well to contain the Notre Dame Jugglers for much of the night, and showed glimpses on offence.
It just didn’t add up to enough in a 14-3 loss.
The Burnaby squad got off to a great start, forcing their fellow honourable mentioned-ranked rival to punt early on their first drive.
Grade 11 running back Nick Osho then took the team’s first hand-off from the huddle and drove 60 yards to put STM inside Notre Dame’s 20.
Unable to push it over, the Knights grabbed the lead on Alex Cordeiro’s ensuing field-goal kick from about 30 yards for a 3-0 lead.
But the Jugglers capitalized on a mid-field interception with a minute left in the first half, with Kaelen Bosa scampering into the end zone to make it 6-3.
It stayed 6-3 until early in the fourth quarter, when the Vancouver squad added the final major of the night.
“I thought we did a lot of things well, and there were some things where we need to do better,” remarked STM coach Steve DeLazzari. “It started really well, and our defence was overall pretty solid.
“Our execution struggled in the red zone, so we need to get our passing game on track to give us that option.”
Cordeiro set the tone with nine tackles from his linebacker position. Unfortunately, the Grade 12 also suffered a broken collarbone in the game and will likely be sidelined for the next six weeks.
Kane Ferreira collected seven tackles, while Osho added five, to go with 236 yards rushing on 23 carries. It continued on from his performance in Hawaii two weeks ago, where he posted 131 yards against a tough American school.
“Heavens, (Osho) was a workhorse for us,” said DeLazzari. “He’s definitely a big part of our offence, and unfortunately we will need him to do a lot of the work after losing (Grade 12 Marc) Abboud to a broken femur (in Hawaii).”
The injuries create opportunities for some other players, DeLazzari noted, to step up.
STM will face No. 1-ranked Vancouver College on Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Burnaby Lake West complex.