Week 5: October 4-6
Saint John High Greyhounds beat Hampton 43-7 to improve to 2-1
Published Monday October 8th, 2007
Appeared on page B6
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John High Greyhounds defeated the rival Hampton Huskies 43-7 in 12-man Southwest Conference High School Football League action.
The Greyhounds improved their record to 2-1 while Hampton dropped to 0-3.
While both teams came into the contest looking to establish the running game, it was the Greyhounds who got the ball rolling.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game because Hampton had their backs against the wall coming in," said Saint John High coach Dave Grandy. "I thought our offensive line did a great job opening holes all day for our backs."
Greyhounds running back Evan McAulay benefitted from the hard work of the front seven with a pair of touchdowns. His backfield teammate Caleb Jones also ran for a TD.
Other SJHS offensive TDs were scored by wide receiver Chris Tilley and James Sudul who added a two-point conversion and kicked six extra points.
The Saint John defence also had a big day. Rob Fox had a fumble recovery in the end zone for TD as well as making an interception.
Tim Jackson had a pair of picks for the Greyhounds and returned a kick for a score.
"We just got out to a quick start with a score on the opening series and then the fumble recovery on (Hampton's) first drive," Grandy said.
Huskies tailback Todd Floyd had the lone Hampton TD.
In other 12-man Southwest Conference action on Saturday, the Fredericton High Black Kats shut out the Simonds Seabees 20-0 while the Oromocto Blues blanked the Leo Hayes Lions 17-0.
In Friday's 12-man Eastern Conference action, l'Odysee blanked the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 21-0, the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders downed the Riverview Royals 36-6 and the Harrison Trimble Trojans edged the Moncton High Purple Knights 21-14.
In 10-man High School Football League action, the St. Malachy's Saint got past the JMA Armstrong Cougars 14-13 on Friday while the St. Stephen Spartans beat the Harbour View Vikings 45-6 on Saturday.
Blues 'D' records gridiron goose egg
By MIKE POWER
Published Monday October 8th, 2007
Appeared on page B4
The Leo Hayes High School Lions had their two game winning streak in the provincial high school football league intercepted Saturday at Oromocto.
Oromocto High School Beaver Brokerage Blues picked off Lions' quarterback Brendon Cornford four times and slapped down his pass attempts all afternoon as they shut out the Lions 17-0.
Both teams are now 2-1 in the west conference. Fredericton High School Black Kats improved to 3-0 with a 20-0 win over Simonds High Seabees Saturday in Saint John. Kats and Lions play in the annual north-south bowl Saturday at Leo Hayes Field.
Saturday was the second meeting between OHS and Leo Hayes at MacKenzie Field. On opening weekend, the Lions beat the Blues 17-13. However that result was wiped out when Kennebecasis Valley dropped out and the schedule had to be restarted.
Two touchdowns and a field goal was all the offence Oromocto would need as they generally had the better of the visitors all afternoon, winning an exciting game by making all the key plays go their way.
"We just played up to the level we're capable," said defensive back Jordan Gardiner. "We approached this as a big game, and everything came together. Our offence was on and our quarterback has his head on today and was making the big plays and that allowed us to have a running game off the pass."
Cornford was bedevilled all day by the Blues pass defence. The OHS pass rush was pretty good but the pass coverage was tremendous. Cornford was just 3 for 19 for 39 yards and those four interceptions. To add to the misery on one of those three completions the receiver turned the ball over on a fumble.
"A lot of us played with Cornford with the Gladiators in the summer," Gardiner said referring to the local summer football program. "Our quarterback was part of that team as well and both are very similar players. So we worked on reading the field off both of them in practice and it helped us today."
On the flip side, Oromocto's quarterback Jordan Heather was at his best although the rifle armed pivot actually completed only three more passes than Cornford, completing six of 14, but that's where any similarity ends.
Heather threw for 154 yards on those six completed tosses, an average of almost 26 yards per completion. He threw one touchdown and didn't get picked off once.
The touchdown pass was 14 yards to Jordan Richards with 3:19 remaining in the quarter. Setting up the play was a Heather to Chris Hillier pass play covering 46 yard, putting the ball deep in the Lions' zone. Two plays later, they had the major. Richards was good on the convert.
In the final quarter, with 3:55 remaining in the game, OHS put the game out of reach with its second major score. Again, it was Heather's arm setting the stage with a 22 yard hook-up to Hillier. That set up Nathan Heather for a seven yard scoring run that Richard complemented with the convert.
"OHS played well defensively," said Leo Hayes coach Lee Hoyt.
"Jordan is just a very good quarterback and today he had a team playing around him much better than the last time we saw them. Jordan makes those big plays that really turn a game around and sets up touchdowns.''
Twice the Blues had the ball inside the Leo Hayes one in the second quarter and twice a Lions defender stripped to ball and got the turn over.
OHS finally found the scoreboard with 1:09 remaining in the half, a 20 yard pass from Heather to Jordan Richards set up a 22 yard field goal by Mathew Richard which stood as the only score of the half.
At Simonds, Kats' quarterback Jeff Madsen threws touchdown passes of 10 yards to David Dolan and 28 yards to Tom Goguen as the Kats led 9-0 at the half and cruised the rest of the way.
Zac Cann kicked a pair of field goals, from 37 yards in the first half and 37 yards in the fourth quarter. He added a single point on a punt and converted one of the touchdowns.
Overall, Madsen completed 12 of 22 passes for 210 yards. Devin Kearney ran the ball 11 times for 89 yards and also caught a 23-yard pass.
Seabees gaining inspiration from Upward family's football passion
Tough task: Simonds will try to win its first game of the season against the FHS Black Kats today at 1 p.m.
Published Saturday October 6th, 2007
Appeared on page C8
SAINT JOHN - The Simonds High Seabees are looking to move onward and Upward.
Even though they're 0-2 in the New Brunswick High School Football League's 12-man division, the Seabees will have some extra adrenalin when they host the Fredericton High Black Kats (2-0) today at 1 p.m. at the Mike and Judy Upward Sports Field. The ground that was previously called Simonds High Field was renamed for good reason.
The Upwards, who donated nearly 40 years to volunteering in sports, were recognized for their contributions on Thursday. They were named as recipients of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award in April. The award is presented to individuals and groups whose unpaid, volunteer contributions provide extraordinary help or care to people in the community. The award's citation stated that the couple welcomed more than 8,000 boys and girls from different backgrounds into their football programs, teaching them to become better citizens.
The Upwards plan to attend today's game as the Seabees play their first home contest since the renaming of the field.
"We would like to honour them by putting up a good fight and playing well,'' said Simonds head coach Pat Parent.
The Seabees nearly won last weekend in Oromocto, but they couldn't seal the deal in the late going. Still, Parent is pleased with the overall effort.
"We'll take chances,'' the coach said. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We're trying different things to see what works.
"Our team is characterized by youth and speed. We don't have a tremendous amount of experience. We have a lot of young faces and this season is a building process.''
If part of that process involves winning today, Parent will need a big game from middle linebacker Chris England. Defensive backs Andy Mawhinney, Nick Dow and Nathan Boudreau are also key. Offensively, Simonds relies on fullback Jared Hamm and quarterback Chris Daigle.
Parent said the Seabees are in for a big test no matter who steps up.
"FHS has an outstanding program,'' he said. "We expect nothing but the best.''
After spending the past several seasons in the 10-man division, the Seabees are trying to re-establish an identity in the 12-man bracket.
"There have been a lot of naysayers, but I think sometimes people fail to see the big picture,'' Parent said.
Based on the Black Kats' perfect record, some would suggest they're a safe bet to win, right?
"Never,'' said FHS head coach Larry Wisniewski. "Nice try, but I don't look at it that way. I think a lot of the teams are pretty much in the same boat.
"We're all pretty close. No one has a dominant offensive player. Most teams are decent defensively and have reasonably good running games. All in all, it's usually just one or two touchdowns separating everyone in any game.''
Running back Devin Kearney is an important part of Wisniewski's offence, while the pivot position is manned by Jeff Madsen and Brad Jones. Key cogs on defence include linebacker Elliott Carr, along with defensive ends Zac Cann and Ryan Downe.
"The challenge will be to keep getting better,'' Wisniewski said. "I haven't been impressed with our progress so far, but the kids are trying.
"In terms of maturity and physical development, a lot of the kids are one year away from being at the level of a championship football team.''
Meanwhile, the Upwards are tickled to see the new sign overlooking the field at which they donated so much time and energy.
"It's been so gratifying,'' said Mike Upward. "Probably the best part is that we've met so many fine people. One of the things I'm most proud of is that a lot of the people who played for me are now involved in coaching.''
Meanwhile, today's 12-man docket has the Saint John Greyhounds (1-1) battling the Huskies in Hampton (0-2), while the Leo Hayes Lions (2-0) visit the Oromocto Blues (1-1). The lone 10-man affair has the St. Stephen Spartans (3-0) hosting the Harbour View Vikings (0-3).
Two 12-man games were scheduled for Friday - the Riverview Royals (3-0) hosted the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (3-0), while the Moncton Purple Knights (2-2) visited the Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-2). The 10-man contest saw the St. Malachy's Memorial Saints (0-3) welcome the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (1-2).
Highlanders remain perfect
Trimble edges Moncton High in annual Homecoming Game
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Saturday October 6th, 2007
Appeared on page C1
Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders continued their rampage in the New Brunswick High School Football League yesterday.
The Highlanders ran their record to a perfect 4-0 with a convincing 36-6 victory over the previously unbeaten Riverview Royals (3-1).
Both teams entered the game having not given up any points this season.
"It was a pretty solid effort,'' said Highlanders coach Ed Wasson.
"I'd say our offence finally came of age,'' Wasson said. "We've been waiting for the offence to hit high gear and they did. Our defence has been good all year long and they did another tremendous job.''
The game in Riverview, in front of a large crowd, did not start well for the Royals.
The Royals first punt was blocked by Thomas Blight and he ran it back about 20 yards for a touchdown for the Highlanders.
Dylan Hollohan scored a pair of majors, on short runs, to lead the Highlander on the scoreboard. Other touchdowns were scored by Bryan Warner on a 30-yard pass from quarterback Scott Kelly and Justin Baughan on a 55-yard reverse.
Blight also converted all five touchdowns and kicked a single on a missed field goal.
Matt Archibald produced all the scoring for the Royals with two field goals.
Royals coach Guy Messervier said his club never got untracked in the game but credited the Highlanders with a terrific game.
"One of our coaches said we played 'a bad game against a great team,'" Messervier said. "That about says it all.
"I thought we had a good week of practice and I thought we were ready although some of the boys were a little too loosey-goosey."
Messervier said the game could have turned out differently with a couple of breaks.
"We lost four balls to fumbles and our receivers dropped six balls that should have been caught. We also had bad field position all game and they (Highlanders) made the big plays."
Meanwhile, in the annual Homecoming Game, Harrison Trimble Trojans downed the Moncton High Purple Knights 21-14 in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
The victory evens Harrison Trimble's record at 2-2 while Moncton High slipped to 2-3.
Jordan Kenny led the Trojans with a pair of rushing touchdowns. The Trimble running back recorded his majors on runs of 65 and 5 yards.
Slotback Brett Lewis scored the other HTHS major on a 14-yard run. Lewis also kicked for the other three points.
MHS scorers were not available.
"Our defence played well," Trimble coach Mark Teed said after the game. "We had three interceptions and a fumble recovery which shows how well our defence played.
"It was a hard-fought battle and both teams played well."
Halftime score was 7-7.
"Hopefully we can build on this victory," Teed said. "We have some stuff to work on this week and hopefully continue to improve."
LONGTIME FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS HONOURED
Published Friday October 5th, 2007
Appeared on page B7
Longtime football supporters Mike and Judy Upward, centre, are joined by members of the Simonds Seabees football team in front of the new score clock and sign for the newly christened Mike and Judy Upward Sports Field. The field was renamed to honour the Upward's contribution to football. The Upwards were also honored Thursday with a Governor General's Caring Canadian Award for 40 years of welcoming more than 8,000 boys and girls from different backgrounds into their football programs, teaching them to become better citizens through sports. As coaches and community leaders in Saint John, they have supported their players, often providing financial aid and equipment, cleaning uniforms, as well as driving children home after games and practices. Their tireless work and dedication to the advancement of football for youth has contributed to developing sportsmanship and enhanced the quality of life of young people throughout New Brunswick. The $15,000 score clock was funded by the Upwards, Simonds High School, Fundy Minor Football, Tim Hortons and a number of other local businesses. Mayor Norm McFarlane presented the national award on behalf of Gov. Gen Michaëlle Jean.
Olympiens emotional after first high school football win
L'Odyssée turns back Mathieu-Martin Matadors 21-0 in battle of last-place teams
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Friday October 5th, 2007
Appeared on page D3
It took into their third season for the L'Odyssée Olympiens to win their first New Brunswick High School Football League game, but that didn't dampen the celebration last night.
The Olympiens blanked the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 21-0 in 12-man division action at Rocky Stone Memorial Field for their first victory since they joined the league in 2005.
"This was a pretty emotional game and there's not really any words to express what this means to our team," said L'Odyssée head coach Yvon Thibodeau.
"Just to see the look in the kids' eyes after the game -- everyone was crying -- and understand just how meant this meant to them."
The Olympiens improved their record to 1-4 while the Matadors dropped to 0-4 in a game that was a battle to get out of last place in the Eastern Conference.
Thibodeau said it was the first time two French high school football teams met in a game east of Quebec.
"It's a page out of history," he said.
L'Odyssée built up a 14-0 halftime lead en route to the win. Grade 10 quarterback Sebastien Dion and Grade 10 running back Jean-Claude Leblond each ran for touchdowns for the Olympiens.
Fullback Claude-Christophe Thibodeau rushed for the other score.
"This was a big spirit builder for our kids considering 70 per cent of them are in Grades 9 and 10 and they made most of the plays," Thibodeau said.
"Mathieu-Martin played pretty good, but we executed and didn't make a lot of the mistakes we made earlier in the year."
L'Odyssée went a combined 0-13 over its first two seasons.
"They came out more fired up and played more aggressive than I've seen them play in this league for the last two years," Matadors head coach Shane Mosher said of the Olympiens.
"For the last two weeks we were telling ourselves that this was game that if we play well, we should have a good chance of winning.
"As a team, we're pretty disappointed and we have to get better."
Meanwhile, a pair of games will be played today. The Riverview High Royals (3-0) host the Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (3-0) at 3 p.m. in Riverview and the Moncton High Purple Knights (2-2) and Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-2) meet in the annual Homecoming Game at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone.
In the 10-man division, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (1-2) visit the St. Malachy's Saints (0-3) tonight at 6 p.m. in Saint John.
Hampton Huskies look to outrun Greyhounds in football action
Published Thursday October 4th, 2007
Appeared on page B8
SAINT JOHN - On Saturday, the Hampton Huskies will try and do something they haven't done in three years - beat the Saint John Greyhounds in New Brunswick 12-man Southwest Conference High School Football League action.
The Huskies are 0-2 this season and will look to right the ship against the 1-1 Greyhounds in a 1 p.m. start in Hampton.
Saint John moved up to the 12-man division from the 10-man league in 2004 and have won every game against the Huskies since. It's a statistic not lost on Huskies coach Andrew Peters.
"We've had quite a rivalry with them going back to the AA (league) days," Peters said. "We've got a lot of respect for them and we haven't beaten them in quite a while."
While the outcomes have been one-sided, the games have not and Greyhounds head coach Dave Grandy said his squad isn't taking anything for granted.
"The games always come down to the wire," Grandy said. "We've been fortunate enough to be on the right side of it lately."
Despite the 0-2 start for Hampton, Grandy know his team is in for a battle.
"They're a better team than their record," he said. "They're backs are up against the wall and we expect them to come out flying."
Hampton has only scored four points in their two losses and will look to change their offensive strategy Saturday.
"We've thrown a lot, but we want to establish the running game against Saint John," Peters said.
Hampton will look to tailback Todd Floyd to spark the ground attack.
"(Floyd) is extremely fast and we're looking for a break-out game from him," the Huskies sideline boss said.
The Huskies will also need big efforts from two guys playing ironman football. Quarterback Eoin MacIntyre is also Hampton's middle linebacker while fullback Caleb Sheppard pulls double-duty as an outside linebacker.
On the Greyhounds side of the ball, they too will look to pound the ball with the running game.
"We always look to establish the run game first and hopefully it's a nice day and we can open up the passing game," Grandy said.
Saint John will look to the backfield tandem of Evan Doyle and Caleb Jones to pick up yards on Saturday.
With both teams looking to run and speedy solid tacklers on both defenses, the game is shaping up to be another close one.
"I expect a hard-hitting physical game," Grandy said.
In other 12-man high school action, l'Odysee hosts Mathieu-Martin today at 7 p.m. On Friday, Bernice MacNaughton travels to Riverview to take on the Royals at 3 p.m. while Harrison Trimble hosts Moncton High in a 7 p.m. start. On Saturday, the Simonds Seabees host the Fredericton Black Kats at 1 p.m. and the Oromocto Blues host the Leo Hayes Lions at 1 p.m.
In the 10-man league, the St. Malachy's Saints host JMA Armstrong at Shamrock Park beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday the Harbour View Vikings travel to St. Stephen to face the Spartans at 1 p.m.
Trojans, Knights prepared for Homecoming Game
Important games slated on N.B. high school football schedule
By Sean Hatchard
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Thursday October 4th, 2007
Appeared on page D1
Mark Teed played four seasons as an offensive lineman for the Harrison Trimble Trojans and will never forget the emotion and intensity that came with suiting up in the annual Homecoming Game against the rival Moncton High Purple Knights.
Now as head coach of the Trojans, Teed hopes his players feel the same way, too.
Harrison Trimble and Moncton High meet in the annual Homecoming Game tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field in New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division action.
"It was always a huge game and I remember all the alumni and former players coming back to watch the game," said Teed, the first-year head coach whose team has dominated the Homecoming affair in recent years.
"(Former Trojans head coach) Perry (Kukkonen) always stressed that though you are the one playing now, there were a lot of guys that came before you and were part of the tradition. There's always a lot of excitement in the schools with pep rallies and it's a big deal to everyone."
Another battle will be held in Riverview tomorrow with first place in the Eastern Conference on the line when the Riverview High Royals (3-0) host the defending provincial champion Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (3-0) at 3 p.m.
In league play tonight, the Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-3) take on the L'Odyssée Olympiens (0-4) at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone.
Moncton High and Harrison Trimble always circle the date of the Homecoming Game on their schedules, but this year's contest has extra special meaning. Both the Purple Knights (2-2) and Trojans (1-2) are battling for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Even though it's just after the midway point of the season, we're in a situation where we need wins to keep pace with Moncton High," said Teed, whose team fell 22-0 to MacNaughton last week for its second straight loss.
"Moncton High is in the same situation as us and I know (head coach) John Allanach will have them ready for us."
The Trojans are looking for a breakout game from their offence, which has put up just 27 points in three games.
"Our defence, despite our record, has played three solid games, but our offence has to get going. We've been working on it and I think we're in a better position offensively right now than we have been all season," Teed said.
The Purple Knights, in sole possession of fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, are coming off a 14-0 win over Mathieu-Martin last week.
Meanwhile, the Royals and Highlanders meet for first place tomorrow in Riverview.
Riverview High, MacNaughton and the Tantramar Titans (3-1) sit in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Royals and the Highlanders have been the class of the conference this season. Riverview High has outscored its opponents 158-0 while MacNaughton has been almost as good at 97-0.
The Royals have had an easier schedule and blew by Moncton High, Mathieu-Martin and L'Odyssée, three teams who have combined for just two wins.
"This is our first big test of the year and should serve as a measuring stick for us," said Riverview High head coach Guy Messervier.
"We're going in preparing to win, but like I said to the players, it's a bump in the road. It's not a playoff game and we don't want to make it into anything bigger than it is."
The Highlanders hope to use their veteran-laden defence to slow down the streaking Royals.
"(Middle linebacker) Ed McNally is playing in MVP form for sure and the rest of the Grade 12 guys behind him are executing the way they are supposed to be," said MacNaughton head coach Ed Wasson.
"We feel pretty good coming in, we couldn't have really done any better than we've done so far this season. This is a big game for Riverview and we're expecting a hard-hitting, low scoring game."
Tantramar (3-1) has a bye this week.
In the 10-man division, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (1-2) visit the St. Malachy's Saints (0-3) tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Saint John.
KV youngsters deserve credit but school dropped ball in football fiasco
Published Tuesday October 2nd, 2007
Appeared on page B3
First on the docket in the old Schoolyard for this year is football: high school football that is.
My gosh, it's only Oct. 2 and we're well into it. We've already had a season turn into a preseason and a second season start.
If you came in late, the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders dropped out a couple of weeks in and threw the western conference into chaos. The league schedule had to be tossed out and restarted. Some teams are playing two home games and three on the road as the schedule went from six games each to five, an uneven number.
For the most part the way the league handled the situation was pretty well done. It was a no-win situation but they brought it back to being stable and as fair as possible.
As for KVHS, they really need to have their ears boxed.
The story was that a dozen or so kids desperately wanted to play football. They had a team last year after all. Sadly, they didn't have enough players to field a team.
So, to their credit, the players went out and beat the bushes and found another 10 guys who were willing to give it a go. Good for the kids for fighting to keep the sport alive. They obviously love the game and weren't going to let it go without a fight.
However after two games, and two losses, some of the recruits changed their minds. It seemed the whole thing was more than they expected and the commitment was too much.
Again, we're talking 16 or 17 year old kids here so you have to expect things like this. We would like teens to have a full understanding of responsibility and commitment, but in the real world it isn't always like that. They are still learning the ropes of life. Teenagers often let us down, but they learn from it and life goes on.
The mistake here was made by the school. They have to take responsibility for, I think, letting their hearts overrule their heads in this case.
The administration at KV obviously didn't want to slam the door in the face of the kids who had worked so hard to keep the team alive.
Instead of looking at this with a cold hard gaze, they decided to go with the feel-good aspect of the kids saving the team and were left holding the bag.
I've seen it before. In 1997, Oromocto High School was literally minutes from folding its football team. Coach Mike DeMello and Athletic Director Larry Wood were ready to drop the axe on an undermanned program. They didn't want to but they felt they had to.
The OHS folks would not commit to the league without feeling confident in the belief they had a team to play.
A preseason deadline was set and only at the last minute did the players convince DeMello to back them. But the commitment from the players was a firm one. As it turned out, the Blues went to the provincial finals that season.
And still with football. The Leo Hayes Lions have to love the whole starting over thing.
The Lions were a so-so 1-1 when the reboot button was hit on the schedule. They had scored 24 points and given up 33, OK but not great.
Since the restart, however, the Lions are 2-0 having outscored opponents 74-0. Very interesting.
We could write more about the quality of opponents played in each of the four games and the lack of balance in the league in that department. And maybe we will next week.
For now, however, let's just let the Lions roar about their record. They deserve it.
Mike Power can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly column dealing with school-related activities appears Tuesdays.