VANCOUVER — With defence as its bellwether, the host Notre Dame Jugglers took their best opportunities and turned them into touchdowns on Saturday, finding a way to extend an incredible season which now reaches the Subway Bowl Coastal AAA semifinals this coming Saturday at B.C. Place Stadium.
“Playoff football is always a lot different and today was no exception,” said Jugglers head coach Denis Kelly after Notre Dame’s 21-7 win over Surrey’s visiting Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
“They were well-prepared and gave us problems all afternoon,” admitted Kelly. “But we made some plays when we had to.”
Key among them were the three touchdown drives engineered by Notre Dame quarterback Aiden Domino.
Near the end of the first quarter, Domino connected on a 13-yard scoring strike to Luca Pante. Noah Banco’s conversion made it 7-0.
In the second quarter, Domino found a seam in the Panther defense and scored on a 15-yard run and a 14-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Jugglers marched down the field on two separate occasions but penalties and some execution problems left them without points to show for the effort.
Finally, on the last play of the third quarter, Domino connected with wide receiver Antonio Conte and Notre Dame finally could claim a fairly comfortable lead, 21-0.
Lord Tweedsmuir, however, made some big plays of their own and scored a touchdown with five minutes to go in the game. Their onside kick was successful and they were set up with good field position.
At that point, however, the Notre Dame defense took control, first with a sack and then a big interception by Massimo Ryan. A late pick by Conte sealed the game.
Notre Dame advances to face Terry Fox in a semifinal game this coming Saturday at B.C. Place Stadium.
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