The Sabercats lost to Myers Riders in an Ontario Summer League football game

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The Sault Sabercats opened the home game of the Ontario Summer Football League season with a 21-15 loss to the Myers Riders at John Faught Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

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The game was tied 8-8 at halftime, but the Riders had two touchdown passes to take the lead to 21-8 with 11:53 remaining.

The home side responded when quarterback Gabe Barkley combined with Daniel Bumbaco for a 63-yard pass and a running play, with the Sabercats settling at the Riders 13-yard line with less than three minutes left. in the game.

Two plays later, Barkley took the ball under center and belly slapped, dragging a bunch of players into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the game.

After the convert, the ‘Cats cut the lead to 21-15.

The blue and gold then recovered the kick in play, obtaining a new series of downs at their 49-yard line.

Once again Barkley and Bumbaco combined on another long catch-and-run play, the lanky Cats receiver was taken down at the 10-yard line with 2:09 left in the game.

The Cats quarterback called his number and crashed in front for a yard, second play, pass attempt in the end zone, falling incomplete.

On third down, Barkley rolled slightly to his right but couldn’t get the ball off the ground as it was swallowed by the pass for a loss of nine yards with 1:37 left in the game.

The Sabercats got the ball back at their 35-yard line with 32.8 seconds left on the clock, but Barkley’s pass was intercepted near the halfboard with 25.4 seconds left in the game. Barkley also fumbled twice in the game, one of them at the Riders seven-yard line with 2:24 left in the second quarter.

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In total, the Cats turned the ball over four times. In the first game of the season against the Brantford Bisons, the home team turned the ball over twice in a 21-17 loss.

The game was called off after the interception because an unidentified ‘Cats player was injured on the play, with the player lying face down on the turf. An ambulance arrived shortly after and took the player off the field and to a local hospital. There is no update on the player’s condition as of press time Monday.

Barkley scored both touchdowns for the Sabercats, with Bumbaco and Jaidan Trudeau having big games on the offensive side. Trudeau also caught a long ball, a 64-yard pass and a run play along the right sideline in the second quarter. Later in the same practice, Barkley crossed the one-yard line, with the Sabercats taking an 8-7 lead with 9:31 left in the second quarter.

Riders quarterback Justin Shipley threw a touchdown, six-yard pass in the first quarter and ran one with 8:07 left in the third quarter. Shipley also had a recalled touchdown in the fourth quarter, a stifled one-yard run on an illegal block. Keyshawn Reid also scored for the visitors, a one-yard dive with 11:53 left in the fourth quarter.

With the loss, the Sabercats (0-2) are last in the AAA North division while the Riders (2-0) jump to the lead in the division race. The Sabercats are in Peterborough this weekend to take on the U18 Wolverines. Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday night.

Unwelcome helpers

Two of the Riders’ three touchdowns were the result of costly penalties on defense. Of the two majors in the second half, the offense was stopped in the second and long run but penalties from the home side allowed drives to continue, resulting in touchdowns.

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