Quarterback Mike Kanopoulos had a rushing touchdown and a field goal in the Leaside Lancers’ 10-2 victory over host East York on Friday night, ruining the Goliaths’ home coming.
The game was played in the rain, and hundreds of fans were in attendance to see the fifth annual Friday Night Lights contest.
This was Leaside’s first win over East York in what has become a yearly tilt. Both teams are now 2-1.
“It was a tough loss,” said East York coach Glen Edwards. “There are no excuses. We didn’t play well enough to win and [Leaside] did.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of what football is.”
The first half was a defensive battle for both teams and it took some trickery on behalf of the Lancers to open the scoring.
Kanopoulos rushed 59 yards on a fake punt attempt to put Leaside up 7-0 after the extra point.
East York reached the red zone a number of times, but could not take advantage on those opportunities to put points on the board.
With four minutes to go in the second quarter, the Goliaths’ offence made it all the way to the Lancers’ 10-yard line, but couldn’t reach the end zone and failed to convert the field goal.
Edwards would not use the weather as an excuse for his team’s inability to score.
“[Leaside] played in the same weather,” he said. “They executed well under the conditions and deserved the win. We didn’t play to their standards.”
Nearing the end of the first half, the Goliaths managed to stop the Lancers from expanding their lead any further.
Leaside quarterback Michael Gallagher threw the ball into the end zone, but Dameon Campbell came through with the interception. The first half ended with East York trailing 7-0.
The home team’s best chance to score came half way through the third quarter.
Calvin Tortolo threw an end-zone pass to Kyle Stanton from 15 yards out, but Stanton dropped the ball and East York remained scoreless.
Campbell gave the Goliaths some momentum at the start of the fourth quarter with a crucial punt block on Leaside’s seven-yard line. But the Goliath’s backfield had trouble moving the ball past the D-line all game long and it showed on the next play.
Dylan Duggan fumbled the ball and the Lancers recovered four yards shy of the goal line.
East York broke the shutout bid with a safety from Odisseas Stefanou with six minutes to go in the game.
Kanopolous’ field goal from five yards out put the game out of reach with 1:30 remaining.
Edwards understands each home coming game comes with a lot of pressure, but felt his team should be used to the expectations.
“This is something they have had for four years,” Edwards said. “It shouldn’t affect them, but it does. There are things we could say to tell them it’s a little different, but it’s something they should get used to.”
Earlier Friday, the East York Trojans lost to the Lancers 21-7 in junior football action.