New Brunswick High School Football League
In the News


Week 3: September 21-22

SIDESTEPPING BLACK KAT: Niels Thakkar (6) of the Fredericton High School Black Kats goes wide to avoid the attempted tackle of Hampton Huskies' Matte Henderson during provincial high school football league action at FHS Field Saturday. Kats were 18-4 winners in what amounted to their season opener after the league reworked the schedule following Kennebecasis Valley dropping out of the circuit.

Kats dogged in win over Huskies


The Kats put the run to the dogs Saturday afternoon at Fredericton High School Field.

The FHS Black Kats handled the Hampton High Huskies 18-4 in a hard-hitting, entertaining provincial high school football league game before 250 fans.

The Kats beat the Huskies 13-0 in Hampton two weeks earlier but all Western Conference results were wiped out when the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders pulled out of the league.

But the rematch was for real and it was real tight.

The teams traded 15-play drives but had nothing to show for it. Kats' running back Devin Kearney ran into the padded goalpost and was knocked down inches from going into the end zone at the end of the first quarter.

The Huskies, starting inside their own one-yard line, had their own long drive stall at the FHS eight-yard line when Todd Floyd came up a foot short on a third-and-five gamble from the 12.

"Our kicking is not the strongest this year,'' Hampton head coach Andrew Peters said, "so we took our chances.''

The Kats caught a break with 2:40 left in the half. Huskies senior RB Caleb Shepard had a punt bounce off his kneecaps in Kats territory and Zac Cann pounced on the ball at his own 47."That was a tough break,'' Shepard said. "It would have given us momentum and put them back on their heels, but"¦''

"We had got close earlier but just couldn't punch it in,'' Grade 10 rookie Dylan DesMeules said. "That was the turning point we needed to get on the scoreboard.''

Jeff Madsen, who took over briefly for starting QB Brad Jones, hooked up with Kearney for a 33-yard pass-and-run play to the Hampton 32. Jones came back in to hit three passes, including a 10-yard touchdown strike to DesMeules with 46 seconds left in the half. Niels Thakkar's point after and Cann's booming kickoff through the end zone gave the Kats an 8-0 halftime lead.

Cann had a 16-yard field goal attempt blocked early in the third quarter, but the Kats caught the Huskies napping later. On third-and-one from the Hampton 36, the Huskies were set up for the punt return but DesMeules took the snap and cut right for 26 yards. Cann hit a chip shot FG on the final play of the quarter to open up an 11-0 lead. "We got lazy on that,'' Peters said. "We just assumed they were punting, so they caught us off guard.''

"I thought the touchdown catch Dylan made was huge,'' Kats head coach Larry Wisniewski said, "but I also think the fake punt was the defining play in the second half. There comes times when you have to make important plays and that was one. He ran the ball really well there.''

"I've never done it before, to tell you the truth,'' DesMeules said with a grin. "One of our guys, Josh Price, couldn't make it out for the punt, so they put me out there and all I knew what to do was run right.

"It worked out pretty well, I guess.''

The Huskies didn't quit. They twice forced Cann to concede two-point safeties rather than punt out of his end zone with the stiff wind in his face.

But the Kats put the finishing touches on this one with 3:30 to play. Elliott Carr recovered a fumble by Hampton QB Eoin Macintyre at the Huskies 28 and Jones capped the drive with a three-yard TD pass to Corey Janes to open up an 18-2 cushion.

The Kats outgained the Huskies on the ground, 157 to 131. Kearney finished with 61 yards on 11 carries while Thakkar chipped in with 33 yards. Shepard had six carries for 55 yards to lead Hampton. Floyd added 48 yards and McIntyre hit Matt Henderson with the game's longest pass, a 35-yarder in the waning minutes. David Dolan kept FHS drives alive with three catches for 24 yards.

"Every time we play Hampton it's this kind of football game,'' Wisniewski said. "I can't remember a game where both teams didn't bring that intensity to the field. They're a very sound football team.''

The Kats play the Saint John High Greyhounds at 7 p.m. Friday at Shamrock Park. Saint John defeated Oromocto High 28-7 in action Saturday.


Lions rule Seabees as sked begins anew


The Leo Hayes High School Lions got a second chance to make a good first impression Saturday.

They didn't disappoint.

Playing their New Brunswick High School Football League home and as it turned out, season opener, they throttled the Simonds High Seabees of Saint John 45-0 before a couple of hundred fans at Leo Hayes Field.

Lions, of course won what they thought was their season opener a couple of weeks ago, defeating the Oromocto High School Blues 17-13 for their first win since October of 2005. But those results - along with their 20-7 loss to the Saint John Seabees in Week 2 - were erased when the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders withdrew from the league. All the teams were sent back to "Go" if you will, to start over.

And the Lions got going and never really stopped.

They erupted for four first half touchdowns, more than enough to ensure the victory this day.

Quarterback Brendan Cornford hit wide receiver Ryan Hearn with a 25 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter for the only major the Lions would really need. But they got lots of insurance - a two-yard quarterback sneak by Cornford; a 12-yard Tommy Broad dash to paydirt, and a 15-yard draw play to Evan Underhill after a James Wilde interception to take a 28-0 halftime edge.

Scott McIaac added a 29 yard field goal and running back Mitch Cormier rambled for 50 yards on a sweep to make it 38-0 after three quarters, and lineman Richard Brooks ripped the ball from the hands of Simonds quarterback Nick Landry in the end zone early in the fourth to complete the scoring.

The Lions' defence was rock solid too, picking off a pair of passes, the by Wilde to set up the Underhill major and another by Frank Barrett late in the second quarter. Not that the Seabees could generate much offence this day. Their only sustained drive came midway through the third quarter, the big play a 35-yard pass and run from Landry to Josh Davis.

But the drive stalled on the Lions' 26 when they turned the ball over on downs and Cornford and company moved the ball smartly up field from there, on a 19-yard hookup from Cornford to Cody Stewart and then a nine-yard gain by the dynamic Cormier to take it to center field in two plays.

That drive ended on the MacIssac field goal from 29 yards out. Cormier was the Lions' feature back on the day, accumulating something in the order of 150 yards rushing on the day, including that 50-yard ramble for the score.

Cornford looked confident and comfortable. And the defence, led by middle linebacker John Benson in particular was dominating on this day.

"For the first time in a while, I think we had a good passing offence, and we ran the ball better than we ever did before," said Cornford. "Our receivers ran good routes and caught just about everything"¦you couldn't get much better."

Practice makes, if not perfect, at least pretty darn good.

"Practising, you get more comfortable at the position and you get to know your receivers better," said Cornford, who went to quarterback camps in Antigonish, N.S. and Maine over the summer to hone his game. It shows.

"We had a hard week of practice," said Lions coach Lee Hoyt. "Offence is all about timing and all the guys were there at practice. It showed today with the way our offence was able to move the ball. I thought our quarterback played extremely well and both our running backs (Cormier and Tommy Broad) ran the ball extremely well. They had some big holes and made some good reads and blew the game open."

Hoyt was proud of the defensive effort too.

"Our defence played extremely well and our offence did what we asked them to do," he said.

Cornford, for one, didn't mind a fresh start to the season. "It's not every day you get a second chance to get your win back," he said. "I was angry at first," admitted Hoyt, who was glad to have the win against a tough Oromocto team in the bank. "But we're all playing on a level field."

Leo Hayes travels to Hampton to face the Huskies on Saturday. Huskies lost 18-4 to Fredericton High Black Kats Saturday at FHS Field. Oromocto plays host to Simonds Saturday at MacKenzie Field. Game time is 1 o'clock.

Oromocto Blues and Saint John Greyhounds at Shamrock Park on Saturday.

Special teams pace Greyhounds


SAINT JOHN - The Saint John High School Greyhounds got their season off to a winning-start on Saturday.

The Greyhounds defeated the Oromocto High School Blues 28-7 in front of a large crowd at Shamrock Park in New Brunswick 12-man Southweast Conference High School Football League action.

Tim Jackson sparked the Greyhounds with two special teams touchdowns. Jackson returned both a punt and a kick-off for scores. On offence, Caleb Jones had a 46-yard TD run while quarterback Jeremy McCauley connected with Chris Tilley for a TD. Jordan Richards scored the lone Blues TD on a one-yard run.

The 12-man division started its season for the second time because the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders pulled out of the league last week after two games. League officials revamped the schedule and each of the teams in the Western Conference will play a single round robin schedule.

In other 12-man league action Saturday, the Leo Hayes Lions shut out the Simonds High Seabees 45-0 and the Fredericton High Black Kats downed the Hampton High Huskies 18-4. On Friday, the Riverview High Royals beat L'Odysée 63-0, the Tantramar High Titans got by the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 42-7 and the Bernice MacNaugton Highlanders shut out the Moncton High Purple Knights 55-0.

In the N.B. High School Football 10-man League play, the Rothesay High Redhawks improved their record to 3-0 with a 33-6 win over the Harbour View High Vikings.

Running back Mike Cote led the way for Rothesay running for two TDs of 30 and six yards and threw a 15-yard TD pass to Ben Hayward. Red Hawks' quarterback Greg Laprise threw a 30-yard TD strike to receiver Alex Kyle while Mark MacLaughlin had a one-yard TD run to cap the scoring for Rothesay. The Vikings' lone score came on a five-yard TD pass from quarterback Kyle King to tight end Blake Nice. In other action, the St. Stephen Spartans downed the St. Malachy's Saints 34-27 on Saturday.

Tantramar Titans running back Calum Hardie hangs onto the ball as Mathieu-Martin’s Julien Belliveau tries to stop him during the first half of yesterday’s New Brunswick High School Football League game in Dieppe.

Highlanders in top form

Royals, Titans also pick up high school football victories\

Times & Transcript Staff

Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders won the New Brunswick High School Football League title last year and they appear to be in championship form again.

Highlanders improved their record to 2-0 by trouncing the Moncton High Purple Knights 55-0 last night at Rocky Stone Memorial Field. They have outscored opponents 75-0.

Scott Kelly, Dylan Holohan and Eric Rioux each scored two touchdowns for the Highlanders.

Tyler Stewart and Thomas Blight also contributed majors while Blight added seven converts.

Joel Carver picked up a couple of interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Riverview High Royals improved their record to 3-0 with a 63-0 win over L'Odyssée Olympiens, who dropped to 0-3.

Olympiens coach Yvon Thibodeau was upset after the game and accused the Royals of running up the score. "They played like they were going for the Grey Cup,'' he said.

Royals coach Guy Messervier said his team didn't even pass the ball in the fourth quarter.

"No one likes blowouts,'' Messervier said. "It's not good for either team.''

Matt Turple led the Royals with six rushing touchdowns. Dan MacArthur added a pair of majors and Lance Burdock had one. Matt Archibald kicked nine converts.

Several key members of the Olympiens were sidelined with injuries.

"We had a lineup full of Grade 9 and 10s who have never played football before and Riverview has a strong, experienced team. I was proud of the way our young guys played hard for the whole game.''

In Dieppe, the visiting Tantramar Titans downed the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 42-7. Titans, who led 21-7 at the half, are 2-1 and the Matadors are 0-2.

Calum Hardie led the Titans with four touchdown runs. He also kicked six converts. Jake Mundle and Matt Landry, on a 30-yard pass from Zack Fisher, had Tantramar's other majors.

"We've established a power running game, which is what you need at this level,'' said Titans coach David Burns.

"Calum is getting great blocking from Dylan Tower, our fullback, and the offensive line is standing up and doing a great job, too,'' Burns said. "Combine that with a few passes and we've established an offence that's getting better each week. Our defence has also established itself.''

Marc Boucher, on a pass from Xavier Couture, had Mathieu-Martin's touchdown.

Matadors coach Shane Mosher said the score didn't tell the complete story.

"Tantramar has a great football team and they have a lot more experience so they were able to make some adjustments at halftime,'' Mosher said.

"Our guys are getting better every game. We are just a step or two away and our guys can sense good things are around the corner.''

Burns credited the Matadors for their improved play.

"It's good to have them back in the league and we respect the intensity they bring to the game,'' Burns said.

League play resumes next Friday with a pair of games. Mathieu-Martin meets Moncton High at 4 p.m. at Rocky Stone and MacNaughton tangles with Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-1) at 7 p.m., also at Rocky Stone.

L'Odyssée visits Tantramar on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Sackville.

In the 10-man league, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (0-2) host the Harbour View Vikings at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.

In the Western Conference of the 12-man league, the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders dropped out forcing all teams to re-start their schedules, starting this weekend.


Lions, Kats start from scratch on gridiron today


The Fredericton High School Black Kats and Leo Hayes Lions are both home to open their reworked New Brunswick High School Football League schedules today.

The withdrawal of the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders of Quispamsis after two weeks has forced the league to call a scheduling audible, if you will.

They're starting all over again -- meaning the Kats' season opening 13-0 win over the Hampton Huskies two weeks ago doesn't count.

The Lions' first regular season win in almost two years, a week one 17-13 win over the Oromocto High School Blues? Sorry.

Of course, neither does their 20-7 loss to Saint John last week. And the Blues' 12-6 win over the Crusaders last Saturday? The team doesn't exist any more, so neither do the results.

League fathers have come up with a format that will see the six remaining teams in the league's Western Division -- including the Kats, Lions and Blues -- play a five-game round robin schedule over the remaining five weeks of regular season action -- beginning today at 1 p.m. on both the north and south sides of the Saint John River.

Head coach Larry Wisniewski's Kats, who blanked the Huskies n what turned out to be an exhibition game with meaning, get another crack at Hampton in "The Jungle" this afternoon.

Meanwhile, across the river at Leo Hayes High School, the Lions will host the Simonds High Seabees of Saint John in another 1 p.m. kickoff.

Oromocto Beaver Brokerage Blues, 12-6 winners over the Crusaders in what turned out to be their final game of the season, are in Saint John to face the Greyhounds today at 3:30 p.m.

With the Crusaders out of the loop now, six teams remain in the Western Division of the circuit.

The Kats are home today, but won't be back to the Jungle until they finish the regular season schedule with consecutive home games, Oct. 13 against Leo Hayes in the annual North-South Bowl, and Oct. 20 against Oromocto High.

The Lions are home today and, according to the revised schedule posted on the NBIAA website, host Oromocto High Oct. 6 in their only other home game.

They're in Hampton and at Fredericton to complete the newly-reworked six game regular season schedule.

Members of the Mathieu-Martin Matadors football team go through footwork drills at practice yesterday. Matadors host the Tantramar Titans in a New Brunswick High School Football League game tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Dieppe.

Titans back on track

Trio of high school football games scheduled for tomorrow

By Sean Hatchard
Times & Transcript Staff

Shut out 20-0 by the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders in their season opener, head coach Dave Burns and his Tantramar Titans went back to practice to reload and regroup.

The Titans rebounded to beat the Harrison Trimble Trojans 14-0 in Week 2 and receive a confidence boost in the New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division.

"I think that showed a lot of character by our players and a lot of hard work by our coaching staff to fix the mistakes we made in our first game," Burns said last night.

"Now, we're focusing on fine-tuning things and getting better each week to make sure we get into the playoffs. We've played two good teams and we're pretty happy to be 1-1 at this point of the season."

Tantramar (1-1) visits the Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-1) tomorrow at 5 p.m. in Dieppe.

Also tomorrow, the L'Odyssée Olympiens (0-2) host the Riverview High Royals (2-0) at 4 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field and Bernice MacNaughton (1-0) and Moncton High Purple Knights (1-1) clash at 7 p.m., also at Rocky Stone.

Burns said his team's opening week loss to the defending provincial champion Highlanders has proved to have been beneficial.

"We knew going in that MacNaughton is a well-coached and good football team and we thought it would be a good way to start the season," he said.

"We also knew it was going to expose us in some areas that we didn't really know we were weak in and it gave us an opportunity to go back the following week and fix things.

"We moved Dylan Tower to fullback and (former receiver) Calum Hardie to full-time tailback and that gives us a power running game. We also had to improve defensively from that first game and I thought we played really well on the defensive side of the ball against Trimble."

Titans starting quarterback Joey Burns will miss tomorrow's game with a sprained ankle. He will be replaced by backup Zack Fisher, who came on for Burns in the win over the Trojans.

The Matadors are coming off a 49-0 loss to Riverview High last week. It was their first game in the league after a two-year absence.

"We don't know much about Mathieu-Martin this year, but traditionally they are an emotional team that takes a lot of pride in its football," Burns said.

"I know (Matadors head coach) Shane Mosher has a good looking résumé coming out of Ontario and also coaching at Mount Allison and (former head coach) Terry Kennedy is back with them as well, so we know they'll get the coaching and we expect a much-improved team from last week. They have always been a determined bunch."

Meanwhile, Riverview High heads to Rocky Stone tomorrow to face L'Odyssée and has looked very impressive in rolling through its opponents through the first two weeks of the season.

The Royals thumped Moncton High 46-0 in their season opener and then blanked Mathieu-Martin 49-0 last week to grab the early lead atop the seven-team Eastern Conference.

Harrison Trimble (1-1) has a bye this week.

Meanwhile, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (0-2) have a bye this week in the 10-man division. They resume play Sept. 29 by hosting the Harbour View Vikings (0-1) at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.