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Photo by Laura Lennie

Photo by Laura Lennie

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals won their second straight HWCAA senior football championship on Tuesday.

Cardinals repeat as senior football champions

Peterman kicks Cardinal Newman to victory over St. Thomas More

 By Mark Newman, News Staff

Daniel Peterman’s 14-yard field goal with 12.3 seconds remaining lifted the Cardinal Newman Cardinals to a 23-21 win over the St. Thomas More Knights in the Hamilton Catholic high school senior football championship.

Newman’s win at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University Tuesday afternoon made it two championship victories in a row for the Cards over More.

Peterman said he and holder Matt Lascelle were not about to let the victory slip away.

“We said we’re not missing one today,” Peterman said. “Just concentrate and I do it.”

The game started out as a potential romp for More but turned into a nail-bitter.

Unbeaten in the regular season, the Knights jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

More quarterback C.J. Paduano hit Billy Olds with touchdown passes of 12 and 26 yards and Santino Gallo kicked both extra points.

The flat Newman squad got energized late in the second quarter.

Peterman grabbed a punt around his own 20-yard-line, headed outside to his right and ran it back 90 yards for a touchdown with 31 seconds remaining.

Matt Tornifoglia kicked the convert.

More moved the ball back downfield and Gallo’s 27-yard field goal attempt sailed wide for a single point to end the half.

The Cardinals caught fire in the second half.

Newman’s offensive line opened some huge holes for running back Eric Mezzalira, who capped a late third quarter drive with a 17-yard run for a TD.

Peterman booted the extra point.

The Cardinals added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Marquette hit Mat Metcalf with a pass around the More four-yard-line and Metcalf took the ball into the end zone.

Newman’s two-point convert attempt was no good and the Cardinals went up 20-15 with just over nine minutes to play.

More took the lead back six minutes later on a drive that began at midfield and was aided by a Paduano pass to Matt Brown and a late hit call.

The penalty moved the ball to the Newman 25 and Paduano found Matt Brown once again, this time in the end zone.

A two-point convert attempt failed and More had a 21-20 lead.

After running the ball out to the seven-yard-line on the ensuing kickoff the Newman squad found itself in huge hole with just over three minutes to play.

Even worse, a Marquette to Mezzalira hand-off came loose and the Knights recovered the ball on the Newman six-yard-line.

Amazingly, Marshall Cino ripped the ball from grasp of Knights running back Kyle Shallow on the next play and Newman regained possession on their own two-yard-line with 2:30 left to play.

With a little help from a pass interference penalty and a big pass from Marquette to Peterson, the Cardinals moved the ball down to the More seven-yard-line before Peterson kicked the winning field goal.

“For a half that we got outplayed…to come out only one score behind (in the second half) was huge,” said Newman head coach Gord Chiarot, who noted his troops made some halftime adjustments that allowed their running game to get rolling.

“It was a devastating loss for us,” said a dejected More head coach Claudio Silvestri. “Two good teams battled today. They (Newman) battled a little harder than we did and made the plays when they had to.”

Newman now goes on to face Halton champion M.M. Robinson Rams in the GHAC final on Friday at 3 p.m. at Nelson Stadium in Burlington.

Hamilton Catholic high school junior football semi-final playoff action on Friday sees More at CN at 1:30 p.m. and St. Jean de Brebeuf faces Bishop Tonnos on the STM field at 12:30 p.m.

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