Leaside dominates Lawrence Park in grid semis

The Leaside Lancers keep marching on in the senior football playoffs.

Leaside quarterback Michael Gallagher threw two touchdowns and ran for another as the Lancers cruised to a 43-7 victory over the Lawrence Park Panthers in the Tier I South Region semi-final on Friday.

Receivers Abhina Archarya and Robert Miles each had touchdown receptions and running back Michael Williams added two rushing majors, capitalizing on a balanced offence.

“We’re starting to click,” said Jim Georgiadis, head coach of the Lancers. “I like the way [Gallagher] is spreading the ball around and utilizing all the receivers.”

Georgiadis stressed after the win that the team’s offensive success is a result of a group that is solid in all positions.

“The offensive line is doing an outstanding job,” he said. “We usually give a lot of credit to the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. They’re getting all the glory because they’re scoring all the points, but really it starts up front.”

Lawrence Park was held to just one touchdown, a quarterback sneak by Steve Triveria set up by a long pass to Max Triskan.

Aside from that one successful drive, the Panther’s quarterback struggled throughout the game, throwing two interceptions.

“The interceptions are key, but that’s a function of the defensive line putting pressure on the quarterback,” Georgiadis said. “Guys know you get the interceptions and score touchdowns off the interceptions, they know that’s a team effort.”

Lawrence Park’s offence was struggling heading into its match up with the top-ranked Lancers, squeaking out a 1-0 win over East York Collegiate in a quarter-final on Tuesday.

While the Lancers’ defence may not have faced the toughest challenge against the Panthers, Georgiadis believes it will be relied upon as the team moves on.

“Defence has been good all year for us,” he said. “It’s probably the cornerstone of our team.

“It’s the teams with the strong defences that will push forward and go deep in the playoffs.”

The south region final is next Friday where the Lancers are set to play Central Tech Blues after the latter upset Northern in the other semi-final.

“I know that [Central Tech head coach ] Franco has got that team prepared. That’s a team that I knew from the first week that would get better as the season went on.

“They’ve got a lot of good athletes, they’ve got a couple of game breakers on that team. We’re going to have to play a really good game to beat that team.”