SJC & Wesley boys win in high schools football playoffs

footballThe five-game winning streak of Excelsior High’s “green machine” came to a screeching halt by a surprise upset at the hands (or rather feet) of the boys of St. John’s College in the first game of playoffs of the Belize District High Schools Football Competition at the M.C.C. grounds on Friday night, February 1, while Wesley College boys outlasted Anglican Cathedral College 2-1 on Saturday, February 2.
Excelsior boys entered the playoffs as the top seed with 15 pts after their fifth victory: 1-0 against the boys of Ladyville Technical High School last Tuesday.
Dimitri Fabro scored St. John’s first winning goal by converting a penalty. Excelsior’s defenders Jovan “Head” Clare, Ernest “Buju” Leslie, Enfield Martinez and Emmet Lopez tried to contain SJC’s attacks, but Raheem “Hendy” Flowers out-foxed them all when he launched a long lob that caught goalkeeper Luis Gamboa off his line. The ball dropped just under the crossbar and bounced into the empty net.
Stung into action, Tyrone Gabriel soon scored for Excelsior to trail 1-2 going into intermission and Jovan “Head” Clare sent a long pass forward for Kareem “Ton-ton” Flowers to equalize the game 2-2 after the break.
Then Fabro of SJC mounted a solo effort with a long drive up the right sideline, working his way into the penalty area where he unleashed a bullet of a shot to the far corner of the goal. He scored and again SJC led 3-2. But the Jesuit cheers were short-lived as Kareem Flowers would recover a rebound from a shot by Gabriel to embarrass goalkeeper Tyler Luis with a third equalizing goal to even the score 3-3.
Sydney “Bucket” Bradley and Rujaun Baptist tightened SJC’s defense, allowing no more goals while Rhondre Lewis mounted a drive up the left sideline. His cross into the goal area found Fabro on the right for a right-away leftie kick into the net to lead 4-3. Fabro then set table for Raheem Flowers to drive in a fifth goal for the 5-3 SJC win.
Keeron Young and Marquis Stamp scored for the Wesley boys’ 2-1 win over the boys of Anglican Cathedral College in pouring rain on Saturday morning, only Calvin “Bodies” Reneau scored for A.C.C.
The Wesley College boys entered the playoffs as the second-ranked seed with 11 pts, after they got the easy bye to their third victory by default when the boys of Sadie Vernon Technical High School forfeited their last regular season game last Monday.
The A.C.C. boys had entered the playoffs as the third-ranked seed, posting their third victory: 6-0 over the winless Nazarene high boys last Tuesday. Calvin Reneau and Francis Arana had each scored two goals, while Mynor Varela and Sergio Luna scored a goal each.
The winners face a rematch in the home -and- away series on Tuesday and Wednesday, before the finals kick off on Thursday and Friday, February 7 – 8.
The champions move on to the nationals hosted by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) in Orange Walk on February 15-16.

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