Lions Thompson Shatters the Knights Hopes of a 2023 Western Bowl OFSAA Championship

After winning the 2023 NOSSA Senior Championship in Sault Ste Marie on November 11th over the LoEllen Knights of Sudbury, Ontario, the St Mary’s Knights headed south to face the South Collegiate Institute Lions of London, Ontario on Monday, November 27th at the 2023 OFSAA Football Bowl Festival. This is the Knights first OFSAA appearance since 2012 while the Lions appeared in a OFSAA championship in 2017.

At 2:51 of the opening quarter, Lions Owen Williams found the uprights for a 16 yard field goal to give South Collegiate a 3 – 0 lead. With an inception at the Knights 36 yard line, Lions Andre Thompson intercepts a St Mary’s quarterback Matti Tucker pass to rush for a South Collegiate 36 yard touchdown to increase the lead to 9 – 0. Owen Williams kicked the convert to bring the lead to 10 – 7 at 2:52 of the second quarter. With just over a minute left in the half, Kenya Nethersole runs for a Lions 28 yard touchdown carry to give the Lions a 16 – 0 lead. Williams added to the lead with the extra point to bring the lead to 17 – 0 to send the Western Bowl into the intermission with the Knights scoreless. At 5:13 of the third quarter, Lion quarterback Andre Thompson finds Chase Smith in the Knights’ end zone with a four yard pass to give South Collegiate a 23 – 0 with Williams adding the convert to bring the Lions lead to 24 – 0.  With 3:25 remaining in the third, Nate Carter kneels in St Mary’s end zone to concede for a two point safety to give South Collegiate a 26 – 0 lead. With the Lions on the Knights one yard line, Nethersole rushes for the final major of the game at 6:50 of the fourth quarter to give the Lions their first OFSAA championship since 2017 with a 33 – 0 win after a Williams’ convert.

St Mary’s Knight Marcus Palumbo told Saultsports that “I am extremely proud of the group of guys. We made it further than anyone ever thought. We were always looked on as underdogs and we delivered on multiple occasions. This season was a huge step for the program, we brought the spark back to SMC Football. I have no doubt in my mind that the Knights will be back to OFSAA next season.”


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