The Sarnia Imperials got their Northern Football Conference (NFC) season off on the right foot after defeating the Oakville Longhorns 41 - 14 in their home opener at Norm Perry Park Saturday night.
This wasn't a tough game it was a great exhibition game but we have bigger fish to fry in this league." head coach Jake Cherski said after the game.
After the first two Imperial drives in the first quarter the Imperials took a 14 - 0 lead. The Longhorns scored a touch down in the first quarter but missed on the extra 2 point attempt and the score was 14 - 6 at the half.
In the third Sarnia scored at 11:39 but missed the extra point and went up 20 - 6. With 5:39 remaining in the 3rd Sarnia added their fourth TD and convert was good to go up 27 - 6. In the 4th they added 14 more points to the scoreboard.
The Longhorns managed to added one more TD and ran in for the extra 2 points with :44 seconds remaining in the game.
"We got to get better, I think there is lots to improve on." Cherski said "Our defence as far as our backs allowed to many passes and catches so it something we can get better and work on."
Quarterback Ricky Gorton made 6 completed passes on 18 attempts for 211 yards and 3 touch down passes and ran in for one touch down. Receivers Joe Mason score twice for a total of 82 years and Cory Johnson ran in 43 yards TD. Julian Shad ran a total of 92 yards and scored twice.
Kicker Kevin Allear converted on 5 out of 6 field goal attempts.
"I think the biggest part is that I didn't want to get caught up was in the long pass. Long pass is a long pass and there is not a lot of work to it. It was nice to see when the guys were moving the ball getting first downs. It was a lot of big play ball and that's something we have to shore up because these other teams that are going to be bigger we have to be able to run the clock and use the clock more than just playing long ball. You can't play long ball in this league."
On the defensive side Ryan Lounsbury former wide receiver picked off three Longhorn passes in his first season playing in a defensive role.
In the first game last season, Loungsbury injured his ACL which ended his playing last year.
"He's [Lounsbury] an offensive player but we changed some things around and he didn't snivel. Cherski said "He's a total team player and hat's off to Ryan for putting on his bucket and playing football. Good things happen and obviously 3 picks is not a bad day in one bowl."
Lounsbury who the team dubbed as the Boston Pizza Player of the Game contributes his teammates in the transition.
"For me it was a tough transition from offence to defence but it came naturally." Lounsbury said "I got a lot of help from the other defencemen. We are one group out there and I got to give a lot of credit to them."
#89 Ryan Lounsbury, #28 Norm Yellowman stopping Longhorns #10 from making the pass.
Lounsbury also contributes his former position with his play in this game.
"The jump ball aspect - when you are a wide receiver that's all you practice is catching the ball where most Defensive Backs you are out there batting it down. For me it was more instinct when the ball is up in the air to just out jump the other guy and I think that's what help me come down with the ball a couple of times there."
Norm Yellowman also had an impressive game with 5 quarterback sacks, 3 fumble recovery and 1 forced funble. Adam Hart tackled 4.5 times and John Bail and Chris Van Mop each had 3 tackles.
The Imperials are on the road next weekend when they go up against league rivals the Tri-City Outlaws
"Rumours that I heard they don't have as many skilled positions as we do but they have big line." Cherski said "I think in order for us to be successful we are going to have to try and infiltrate their line to get to their backfield."
"I really think it's going to be a hard game. It will be a good tell tale then we have a bye week then we play Tri City back here the following week so it will be a good three weeks coming up."