Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Milton Champion gets it right....hey, Northbay Nugget, take notes.

Graham Paine, Champion photographer
HE'S IN THERE: Marauder Sean Faulknor stretches across the line for Milton's first touchdown Saturday.

Marauders still unbeaten after comeback win over North Bay
By Murray Townsend, Special to the Champion
Jun 18, 2008

he new-look Marauders revealed some character -- and some characters -- on their way to a 28-19 home-field victory over the North Bay Bulldogs to improve their early-season record to 2-0.
Milton got off to a slow start, falling behind 7-0 on its first possession when a Brandon Nikiforuk pass was picked off and returned 62 yards. The Bulldogs added a field goal to make it 10-0.

When the Marauders fumbled on the one-yard line and lost the ball they started to resemble last year's edition -- but only for a short time.

They battled back on their next possession, driving from the North Bay 48-yard line. Set up by an 18-yard reception by Mike Dinsdale, Sean Faulkner topped off a lengthy drive with a 10-yard rumble into the end-zone.

Faulknor had another strong game with 74 total yards -- the same number of yards gained by all-star running back George Baiden.

Just before the half the Bulldogs took a 13-7 lead on a 12-yard field goal, but with time running out Kelly Hughes connected with Chan Flint, who caught the ball in a crowd and then left defenders far behind, racing 75 yards to the house to put Milton up 14-13.

The second half was mostly Milton. Damian Hannaford caught two touchdowns, one for three yards and one for 65 yards. Mitch Martel kicked all the extra points. North Bay added an inconsequential touchdown with no time remaining on the clock.

While the team was waiting for the offense to come alive, the defense was getting them the ball. Linebacker Craig Davoren was rock solid once again, while linemen Roger Tomlinson and Sergio Simes came up with big plays.

But overall, it was the Dennis Lyte show. The Burlington Braves junior graduate came up with a personal-high three interceptions in the second half. After his second pick-off he spread his arms wide like Kevin Costner in Bull Durham and after his third took a well-deserved bow.

"We dropped about five interceptions in the first half -- including one by me -- so we had to bring it in the second half," said Lyte.

Last season the secondary was a sore spot on the Marauders. Opponents couldn't run against the defence, but they could pass -- and pass often. Not any more, and the new secondary has meshed quickly.

"We've got a close group of guys," remarked Lyte. "One person is cheering everybody else on."

Head coach Ken Lashley doesn't want to get overly excited about the 2-0 start, suggesting there's still a lot of work to do.

"We can get a lot better. It was good for us as a team because we won in the ugliest way. These are the kind of games you have to win."

The Marauders still look to keep their unbeaten streak alive on the road Saturday, against the 3-0 Toronto Maddogs.

Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner | Blogger template converted & enhanced by eBlog Templates