Week 4: September 28-29
Not fancy but Blues get the 'W'
By MIKE POWER
Published Monday October 1st, 2007
Appeared on page B4
The Oromocto Beaver Brokerage Blues had one shining moment Saturday and it was enough to get then a win.
The Blues knocked off the visiting Simonds Seabees 19-15 in New Brunswick High School Football league play at MacKenzie Field to even their record at 1-1. The Seabees proved a game bunch but still dropped to 0-2.
The other area teams both won their west division games on the road. Fredericton High Black Kats defeated Saint John High Greyhounds 35-6 at Shamrock Park while Leo Hayes High Lions shut down Hampton High Huskies 29-0 in Hampton. Both FHS and Leo Hayes are 2-0.
Blues scored the winning touchdown with 2:31 remaining in the game capping off a 90- yard drive that was far superior to anything else they did on offence on this day.
For three quarters, the game was not all that well played and after those three quarters of play Simonds was the better team, if only just.
But in the fourth quarter, it was different, for the drama if nothing else. The football was better, too. The 12-minute period was made up of three drives, two by the visitors and one by Oromocto that decided the outcome.
In a nutshell, it boiled down to one sustained up the field march by each team.
The Seabees had bounced back from a 12-0 halftime deficit to take a 15-12 lead in the third quarter. The last point came on a kickoff through the end zone late in the third just after Josh Davis of Simonds had scored his second touchdown to put his team up 14-12 with 5:21 to play in the quarter.
The stage for the final quarter was set in a rather distressing way as OHS receiver Nathan Heather had to be removed from the field by ambulance. Heather sustained a blow to the head and suffered some minor trauma to his neck. As it turned out, Heather will be fine but it still was a worrying few moments for all concerned.
When play resumed for the fourth quarter the Blues had the strong wind gusting at their back but didn't have the ball.
"We had taken the gamble of giving (Simonds) the wind in the third quarter," said OHS coach Rob Wilson. "We felt with our offence and the wind behind us, we would have a big fourth quarter. It almost backfired on us though. Obviously our offence couldn't do much if we didn't have the ball."
And that was the way it was working out. Employing their power running game by slamming Davis and his fellow backs up the gut time after time, the Seabees were grinding out yards and running down the clock.
Far worse for OHS was the fact it was becoming clear if something didn't change the Seabees were going to score again. Eight plays, all runs, put them on the OHS one yard line with a first down.
Three times Simonds launched their big front line and large size backs into the Blues line and three times they were rejected. On the third try, huge back Jared Hamm fired himself into the Blues line but before he could cross the line.
Max Taylor of OHS punched the ball from his grasp allowing OHS to recover without giving up a point.
"That was the turning point, that was the thing we needed," said Chris Hillier of OHS. "That huge stop got us fired up. It got us going. We hadn't really been there the whole game. We spent a lot of time shuffling guys around today and working things out and we never had our real focus until then."
Afer the goal-line stand, the Blues used the next series to move the ball off their goal line and ended with a punt over the heads of the Simonds receivers. Three plays later Jordan Richards intercepted a pass to put the Blues at first down on the Seabees 44-yard line.
With that break, "Air Jordan" went to work finding Hillier open and picking up a 15 yard gain when a pass interference penalty by Simonds was all that prevented a touchdown.
Two plays later, it was a 13-yard toss to Rob Goodwin followed on the next play by a 17-yard laser beam to Hillier for the major and the lead. Mathew Richard, backed by that wind, easily split the uprights for the extra point.
"The wind was a big factor out there all day," Hillier said. "Especially for us being a team that likes to throw the ball. Having that little extra lift and not the resistance of going into the wind made all the difference."
Oromocto had opened the scoring in the game just past the four minute mark when the ball bounced their way on their own muffed punt attempt. Hillier was the right man in the right place picking up the ball and running it in. The two point attempt on the convert failed.
OHS doubled its lead on a 27-yard scoring strike from Heather to Richards with a minute to go until the half. Again the two point convert failed to materialize.
Davis scored the first Simonds touchdown of the day, and their first of the season, with a 10-yard run just short of the four minute mark of the second half. He bounced back on the very next drive to again carry the ball to the end zone this time on an 11-yard run. Both scores were converted by kicker Mike Boyle.
At Shamrock Park, Black Kats broke out to a 27-0 lead at the half and coasted against SJHS. Elliot Hicks ran back kickoffs for touchdowns of 70 and 62 yards while Niels Thakkar added a 23-yard run for a major. Zac Cann kicked two field goals and two converts in the first half alone.
QB Jeff Madsen and A.J. Durling hooked up for a 69-yard touchdown for the second half score for FHS. Cann added the convert and added a 75-yard single. Thakkar had 103 yards rushing while Madsen went three of 10 for 74 yards. Elliott Carr led the Kats defensively with 13 tackles. FHS plays at Simonds Saturday at 1. Leo Hayes take on OHS at MacKenzie Field Saturday also at 1 p.m.
In East Conference action Saturday in Sackville, Tantramar defeated L'Odyssee of Moncton 46-0. Calum Hardie has 120 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Titans.
Redhawks remain unbeaten after shutout
Published Monday October 1st, 2007
Appeared on page B8
SAINT JOHN - The Rothesay High School Redhawks remained undefeated in 10-man New Brunswick High School Football league play with a 10-0 win over the St. Malachy's Saints on the weekend.
The Redhawks improved their record to 4-0 while the Saints fell to 0-3.
The defensive battle saw just one-point scored in the first half when Rothesay's Mike Cote kicked a 65-yard punt for a rouge in the first quarter.
The Redhawks pushed the lead to 4-0 early in the second half on 27-yard field goal from Cote. The final six points came after Rothesay linebacker Brian Gilliand intercepted his second pass of the season and returned it to the six-yard line. Cote ran the ball in for a touchdown and a 10-0 scored in favour of the Redhawks.
In other action, the JMA Armstrong Cougars defeated the Harbour View High Vikings 26-6.
On Friday, the Saints will host the Cougars at 6 p.m. at Shamrock Park and on Saturday the Harbour View High Vikings will travel to St. Stephen to face the Spartans at 1 p.m.
In 12-man Southwest Conference High School Football action, the Oromocto High School Blues defeated the Simonds Seabees 19-15. The Seabees Josh Davis scored two touchdowns as Simonds erased a 12-0 halftime deficit to lead 15-12 heading into the fourth quarter.
However, the Blues cameback thanks to a 17-yard TD pass from quarterback Jordan Heather to Chris Hillier. Matthew Richard would kick the extra point for a 19-15 lead and the win.
In other 12-man Southwest Conference action, the Fredericton High Black Kats downed the Saint John High Greyhounds 35-6 and the Leo Hayes Lions shut out the Hampton Huskies 29-0. In the 12-man Eastern Conference, the Moncton High Purple Knights blanked the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 14-0, the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders got past the Harrison Trimble High Trojans 22-0 and the Tantramar Titans defeated L'Odysee 46-0.
On Saturday, the Huskies will host the Greyhounds at 1 p.m., the Seabees are at home to face the Black Kats at 1 p.m. and the Lions will travel to Oromocto to face the Blues in a 1 p.m. start.
Tantramar wins again
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Monday October 1st, 2007
Appeared on page D1
SACKVILLE - Running back Calum Hardie rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns leading the Tantramar Titans to a 46-0 win over the L'Odyssée Olympiens in a New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division game here on Saturday.
Hardie also kicked four converts and was moved to slotback after his team went into the half with a 33-0 lead.
The Titans improved their record to 3-1 and moved into a tie with the Riverview High Royals (3-0) and Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (3-0) for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Olympiens dropped their record to 0-4.
Tantramar has won its last three games after dropping its season opener three weeks ago.
"I like the way we have been going and I think we're getting better each week," Titans head coach Dave Burns said.
"We executed consistently throughout the whole game and played well considering the score. Sometimes in games like this you can get sloppy, but we played well until the final whistle and managed to get all of our bench in and that's important because we'll need those guys down the stretch."
Slotback Mark MacDougall added a pair of Tantramar touchdowns, one on an 80-yard punt return and the other on a catch from backup quarterback Zack Fisher, starting for the injured Joey Burns.
The other Titan majors came from Tyler Nadolny, on a 20-yard pass from Fisher, and Kraig Crossman, on a 25-yard interception return.
Tantramar has a bye this week.
L'Odyssée plays the Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-3) Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
On Friday, Riverview High hosts MacNaughton at 3 p.m. while the Moncton High Purple Knights (2-2) take on the Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-2) in the annual Homecoming Game at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone.
Meanwhile, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars broke into the win column in the 10-man division on Saturday with a 26-6 victory over the Harbor View Vikings in Salisbury.
Alex Brown led the Cougars with two rushing touchdowns and an interception return for a score. Alex Killam had the other major for J.M.A. Armstrong, which was led by strong defensive performances from Zach Seely and Nick Leaman. Brandon Douthwright kicked a single and Matt Solomon had an extra point in the win.
The Cougars improved to 1-2 while the Vikings dropped to 0-3.
J.M.A. Armstrong visits the St. Malachy's Saints (0-3) Friday at 6 p.m. in Saint John.
Highlanders remain undefeated
MacNaughton runs its record to 3-0 with 22-0 victory over Trojans
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Saturday September 29th, 2007
Appeared on page C14
The Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders blanked the Harrison Trimble Trojans 22-0 in New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division action at Rocky Stone Memorial Field last night.
The win lifted the defending provincial champion Highlanders (3-0) into a tie with the idle Riverview High Royals (3-0) for first place in the division's Eastern Conference.
MacNaugton has yet to allow a point against this season, outscoring its opponents 97-0 in three games.
"What can you say about our defence? Those guys are our veterans and they are the backbone of the team and are showing it," Highlanders head coach Ed Wasson said.
"They are fast and know their jobs and responsibilities and are doing a great job for us."
Also yesterday, the Moncton High Purple Knights beat the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 14-0 at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
Last night, quarterback Scott Kelly ran for a pair of touchdowns as MacNaughton turned back Harrison Trimble. Kelly scored on one- and three-yard runs.
The Highlanders also received 22- and 25-yard field goals and two converts from Thomas Blight.
"All our coaches have been impressed with our Grade 11 kids on offence," said Wasson, whose team also forced a conceded safety.
"They are doing a great job and have been able to score some points against some pretty good teams."
Harrison Trimble's season record dropped to 1-2.
Wasson praised the Trojans defence, which played tough with a handful of goal line stands and held MacNaughton to field goals twice.
"Our defence played strong from start to finish, but on offence we just couldn't get it rolling and MacNaughton shut us down," Harrison Trimble head coach Mark Teed said.
"Defensively, I think we can ride the momentum from tonight into the Homecoming Game next Friday against Moncton High, but offensively we have to watch some tape and fix some holes," Teed said. "We're getting to the point of the season where we need to score some points and win some games in order to push for the playoffs."
Earlier yesterday, Moncton High improved its season record to 2-2 and moved into a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with the win over Mathieu-Martin.
Quarterback Justin Cormier tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Same Zeid to give the Purple Knights a 6-0 halftime lead.
Tailback Adam Proud scored on a five-yard run and Sean Middleton caught a two-point conversion pass from Zeid in the second half to secure the Moncton High victory.
"We've had two victories before in past seasons, but we've been stuck on two," said Purple Knights head coach John Allanach. "Now it's time to see if we can take the next step forward as a program."
The Matadors dropped to 0-3.
The Tantramar Titans (2-1) host the L'Odyssée Olympiens (0-3) today at 1 p.m. in Sackville.
In the 10-man division, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (0-2) are home to the Harbour View Vikings (0-2) today at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.
GREYHOUNDS ON THE GRIDIRON
Published Saturday September 29th, 2007
Appeared on page c9
Saint John High quarterback Jeremy McAulay gets set to make a pass as teammate Caleb Jones makes a block against the Fredericton High Black Kats during New Brunswick High School Football League action Friday night at Shamrock Park. The Black Kats prevailed 34-6, improving to 2-0 while the Greyhounds fell to 1-1. The rest of the 12- man action continues with three games today, including Odyssee (0- 3) at Tantramar (2-1), 1 p.m.; Leo Hayes (1-0) at Hampton (0-1), 1 p.m. and Simonds (0-1) at Oromocto (0-1), 1 p.m. The 3-0 Riverview Royals have a bye. Today’s 10-man schedule has the Harbour View Vikings (0- 2) visiting the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (0-2) at 1 p.m. in Salisbury, while the Rothesay High Redhawks (3-0) host the St. Malachy’s Saints (0-2) at Shamrock Park at 3:30 p.m. The St. Stephen Spartans (3-0) have a bye this weekend.
Rothesay continues to soar in high school football loop
Published Friday September 28th, 2007
Appeared on page B8
SAINT JOHN - Rothesay High School's 10-man football team isn't walking with a swagger just yet.
Even though they carry a perfect 3-0 record into Saturday's game against the winless St. Malachy's Memorial Saints, RHS head coach Bob Cote has kept his squad on an even keel.
"I think what we need to do to be successful is for all the guys to understand their jobs and to bring intensity,'' he said. "I think there's a willingness to compete from every snap to every whistle.''
That approach has carried the Redhawks to three wins, starting with a season-opening 29-26 triumph over the J.M.A. Cougars in Salisbury. The second week of the campaign yielded a 7-6 win over St. Mac's at Shamrock Field. Last weekend, RHS handled Harbour View 33-6, winning their second straight at Shamrock. And that's where they'll be again on Saturday in a rematch with the Saints. Kick off is at 3:30 p.m.
The Redhawks' offence has benefited from the efforts of running backs Mike Cote and Mark McLaughlin. Tight end Joey Bass and centre Dan Knox have also been key performers. Defensively, linebacker Brian Gilliland has been strong, as have safety Kyle Adams and cornerback Cale Ganong.
Aside from the contributions of those players, the coach believes the team's overall experience has paid dividends.
"I think one of the keys is that we have a lot of returning players,'' Cote said. "The learning curve hasn't been as steep and we've been able to work on some new things, because a lot of the guys are already aware (of previous plays). We also have guys who have the right attitude.''
Cote said he's pleased that his returnees have used their experience in ways that go beyond their on-field performance.
"What I really like is that when we get together, you can't tell who is new and who is not,'' said the coach. "It's good to see the older guys have welcomed the new guys.''
Cote said he doesn't expect his team to get new recruits from the ill-fated program at Kennebecasis Valley High School, where football had to be scrapped due to not having enough players. The Crusaders joined the 12-man division last season after competing in the 10-man circuit in previous years. Their fate for next year will be decided in November by a provincial governing body.
"I think that's just a rumour,'' Cote said when asked if KV players without a place to play would be allowed to suit up for RHS. "No one has contacted me€¦ I'm not sure what the ruling will be.''
Meanwhile, Saturday's other 10-man tilt has the Harbour View (0-2) visiting the J.M.A. Armstrong (0-2) in Salisbury.
Meanwhile, tonight's 12-man docket features three games, including Fredericton at Saint John at 7 p.m. at Shamrock.
Blues get second chance to win football home opener
By MIKE POWER
Published Friday September 28th, 2007
Appeared on page B1
The Oromocto High School Beaver Brokerage Blues will finally play their official home opener Saturday.
For the second time.
The OHS football team will have their second home opener of the 2007 season tomorrow at 1 p.m. when they host the 0-1 Simonds Seabees of Saint John at MacKenzie Field. They hope for a better result this time around.
The game will be the lone contest in the area this weekend as the other two local high school squads are on the road. The 1-0 Fredericton High School Black Kats take on Saint John High School Greyhounds (1-0) tonight at 7 p.m. at Shamrock Park. The Leo Hayes Lions, also 1-0, are in Hampton tomorrow for a 1 p.m. match with the 0-1 Huskies.
The Blues lost their first home opener to the Lions by a 17-13 score back on Sept. 7. They evened their record a week later with a win over the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders.
However those games were ruled to not exist officially any more a week later when the Crusaders decided they didn't wish to continue with the season. That decision has KV in hot water with the league because it threw the season schedule into chaos for the remaining six teams in the Western Conference.
The league ruled that all games played before KV dropped out would not count and the west would start again with each team playing a five-game schedule. Confused? Well, the best way to handle it is just to look ahead and not back.
"We don't want to get going around about our record being 0-1 or 1-2 or whatever," said senior lineman Ryan Gilks. "What works best for me is to think about game day coming up, think about the job at hand. We can't do anything about the games that have been played, only the ones ahead of us."
The Blues started, or restarted, the season last week on the road losing 28-7 to Saint John at Shamrock.
"You will look at me funny for saying it but we could have won," said OHS coach Rob Wilson. "We played a good game but at key times we made some very bad decisions and it cost us against a team that took advantage of those decisions."
One of the variables that hasn't clicked yet is the play of the offensive line, an-all veteran group with tremendous size that was supposed to dominate games and bring along a running game the Blues would need to support rifle-armed quarterback Jordan Heather.
"We haven't got it together yet," Gilks said. "Not like we can, I would say that we are still a seven out of 10 if you were rating our play, but we can still do better. We have a lot of new guys coming into the team and I think as a unit we are still coming along."
With Heather back plus his top receivers and the entire line the Blues were supposed to be able to score and score a lot. It was the young defence that was the preseason concern. After three games the Blues have scored 32 points, a respectable total, but not the kind of numbers that were anticipated. Those results have the coaching staff wondering if they took the offence for granted.
"We came into the year with everybody assuming our offence would be there from the start," Gilks said. "People were saying the defence would need a lot of work because of all the new guys on D, but I think we needed a little more work than we thought.
"Right now we have the ability to run the ball, but we can be better at it. We've been working hard on the plays and you can see the improvement."
Highlanders put perfect football record on the line
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Thursday September 27th, 2007
Appeared on page D1
The defending provincial champion Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders will look to keep their perfect record alive in the New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division tomorrow.
MacNaughton (2-0) plays the Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-1) at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
The Highlanders, who have outscored their opponents 75-0 this season, sit in a tie for second place in the seven-team Eastern Conference and are the only remaining unbeaten team in the conference besides the first-place Riverview High Royals (3-0).
The Royals, who have a bye this week, have scored 158 points and have yet to give up a point in three games.
The Trojans are coming off a bye week.
Also tomorrow, the Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-2) will be seeking their first win of the season when they visit the Moncton High Purple Knights (1-2) at 4 p.m. on Rocky Stone.
On Saturday, the Tantramar Titans (2-1) host the L'Odyssée Olympiens (0-3) at 1 p.m. in Sackville.
The Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders withdrew from the division's Western Conference after Week 2 because of a lack of players. They had lost their first two games of the season.
The Crusaders joined the 12-man loop after winning the 10-man division championship in 2004 and 2005.
The KV withdrawal forced the league to revamp the Western Conference schedule, which started from scratch last weekend.
Meanwhile, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars are back in action this weekend in the 10-man division after a bye week.
The Cougars (0-2) host the Harbour View Vikings (0-2) at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.
Lack of players shelves Crusaders football for 2007
Published Tuesday September 25th, 2007
Appeared on page B6
QUISPAMSIS - The fate of the Kennebecasis Valley High School football team for next year will be decided in November by a provincial governing body after a lack of players forced the school to pull out of the New Brunswick High School 12-man Football League last week.
Peter Atkinson, faculty advisor for the team, said the Crusaders, which joined the 12-man loop last season after winning the 10-man division in 2004 and 2005, couldn't get enough students interested in playing this year.
"At the beginning of the year, before school started, we only had about 14 or 15 players coming out to practice on a regular basis," he said.
Peter Corby, the executive director of the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association, said his organization was given a heads up about the situation over the summer.
"Concerns were raised in August about the numbers of kids coming out," he said. "All of a sudden, we didn't hear any more about it and assumed things were OK."
Once the school year began, the core group of KVHS players went on a recruiting mission in the school and were successful in pushing the total number of players to 25.
The Crusaders fielded a team for the first two games of the season - losses to Saint John and Oromocto - but not all of those recruited decided to stick with the program.
"A lot of the guys they recruited hadn't played before and didn't know about the commitment it takes," Atkinson said. "Some of them stuck around, but not enough."
This left KVHS with the only decision available - to notify the NBIAA the team could not get enough players to field a team for the 2007 season.
As a result, the league revamped its schedule for the southwest conference, essentially starting from scratch last weekend.
"It was really disappointing, especially for the guys who were really committed to the team," Atkinson said.
While the loss of the season is hard to swallow for the team, school and players; the punishment from the NBIAA could be more severe. According to NBIAA regulations, schools can withdraw from activities up to seven calendar days from the opening of school due to unforeseen circumstances occurring over the summer. However, if a school team withdraws after deadline, such as the KVHS football team, they can be fined up to $200 and receive a possible suspension from participating in the activity the following year.
Corby said a decision has not been made and the NBIAA executive committee has not met to discuss the matter.
"We have lots of time to decide this matter, but it will probably be decided at the next executive committee meeting in November," Corby said.
The school will be given the chance to speak on their behalf before the final decision is made.
Teams' dropping out of competition is nothing new for the NBIAA as three hockey teams folded last season including Simonds, John Caldwell and Nackawic high schools.
However, this is the first time Corby can recall a football team dropping out.
The Crusaders finished 1-6 in the 12-man league last season, their first year in the league.