A strong effort defensively wasn’t quite enough for the Sault Sabercats varsity team on Saturday.
A late field goal was the different in what turned into a one-point loss for the Sabercats against the Waterloo Region Predators at Superior Height.
Waterloo’s Aidan Merchant kicked a 15-yard field goal in the dying seconds of the game to give the Predators a narrow 8-7 win.
The late points spoiled what was a big effort defensively by the home team.
“They played unreal,” said Sabercats Coach Matt Premo. “They’ve been the strength of our team the last two years.
“They’re going to be one of the best defences in the league,” Premo added. “I’m really happy with the effort they put in.”
The Sabercats would take the lead as Taylor Holub caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Robinson-Wright with 4:25 to go ahead 7-5 at the time.
For much of the contest, the Sabercats struggled offensively until the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t able to move the ball on offence very well until the fourth quarter,” Premo said. “We need to be more consistent. We had too many two-and-outs. We can clean that stuff up though.”
Waterloo appeared to open the scoring on an 18-yard touchdown run by Tanner Nelmes midway through the opening quarter but a flag on the Predators negated the major.
Waterloo would score on the possession as Merchant kicked a 28-yard field goal to get on the board.
In the second half, the Sabercats surrendered a safety just under four minutes into the third quarter as the Waterloo lead increased to 5-0.
The Sabercats fall to 1-1 with the loss though it was the first game action of the season for the team. Prior to a bye week last week, the Sabercats scored a forfeit win in week one against the Brampton Bulldogs.
Offensively for the Sabercats, Greg Caruso ran the ball 25 times for 127 yards.
Jacob Jurich led the Sabercats defensively with a sack, six solo tackles and three assisted tackles. Hunter Lambert-Mousseau had two sacks and three solo tackles.
Defensively for Waterloo, Caelen Frazer (53) had nine tackles while Ben Ibrahim had six tackles.
The Sabercats return to action on June 16 at home against the Sudbury Gladiators. Kickoff at Superior Heights is set for 4 p.m.