EAST VANCOUVER — When they are firing on all cylinders, the Notre Dame Jugglers have been the kind of team, that in 2021, seem as adept in the art of the takeaway as they are in the art of the touchdown.
“Winning starts with defence and we certainly did a great job of limiting the Boucherie attack,” admitted Jugglers head coach Denis Kelly after Notre Dame’s 49-0 win over West Kelowna’s Mount Boucherie Bears at Juggler Field in Saturday’s Subway Bowl wildcard round clash.
Kelly wasn’t kidding.
While the Jugglers continued to flex their muscle on the offensive side as they have against virtually everyone they have played this season, that aforementioned defence picked off three passes, recovered two fumbles and dictated a turnover on downs three times.
Quarterback Aiden Domino opened the scoring with rushing touchdowns of three and four yards.
Notre Dame added a third major before the quarter was over as running back Pedro Cabanas ripped off a 25-yard touchdown run. Noah Banco’s convert made it 20-0.
Wide receiver Luca Pante was next to score as he caught a 15-yard Domino pass in the end zone midway through the second quarter.
Cabanas later added another major on a 12-yard run, Notre Dame’s fifth major of the half.
In the third quarter, the Jugglers scored on two long runs. Slotback Anthony Amenta scored on a 75-yard speed sweep and backup quarterback Massimo Ryan added a 70-yard run on a keeper.
Overall, Banco was five-of-six on converts and receiver Antonio Conte ran in a two-point conversion of Cabanas’ second touchdown to round out the scoring.
Ryan, Conte and Amenta all made interceptions while Cabanas and Aiden Thomas had fumble recoveries.
Next Saturday (1:30 p.m.), Notre Dame hosts Lord Tweedsmuir at Juggler Field in a re-match of their 2019 Subway Bowl semifinal staged at B.C. Place in which Surrey’s Panthers emerged victorious.
“We have extra motivation,” said Kelly. “They will give us all we can handle because they are a talented, well-coached group.”
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