Week 7: October 19-20
Kats stymie Blues' Air Jordan to complete perfect season
By MIKE POWER
Published Monday October 22nd, 2007
Appeared on page B2
Circumstances dictated that the Oromocto High School Beaver Brokerage Blues find out just how good Air Jordan could be Saturday afternoon.
The answer was that the Blues aerial attack could be very good. But it was no match for the well rounded game played by the Fredericton High School Black Kats.
The Black Kats withstood Oromocto's one dimensional aerial attack to pull out an exciting 38-24 win over the Blues in the New Brunswick High School Football League regular season finale for both teams at FHS Field Saturday. The Kats scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to break open a tied game on their way to the win.
The victory gave the Black Kats an unbeaten regular season with a 5-0 mark heading into next week's playoff opener when they host the 2-3 Leo Hayes Lions in an all-Fredericton match-up. The Blues end the regular season at 3-2 and will travel to play Saint John High School, which finished second with a 4-1 record, on Friday night.
The Air Jordan attack of the Blues, powered by quarterback Jordan Heather's arm, was used, and overused, because of two things that happened in the games early moments.
First, workhorse running back Mitch Dingley hurt his knee on the second play of the game. That left OHS with few options; they pressed last year's fullback, but current defensive lynchpin, Jordan Gardiner into action but sparingly because he was needed on defence.
But more alarming for OHS was the fact they trailed 14-0 in this game just 3:11 in.
First Elliot Hicks of the Kats returned the Blues' first punt of the game 60 yards for a touchdown. Zach Cann converted, which will be something of a theme in the afternoon.
Two plays later Simon Fitzpatrick-Ng picked off Heather to set up FHS at the OHS 49. On the next play Niels Thakker shook off four tackles and exploded for a touchdown run, Cann converted to make it 14-0.
Clearly the Blues needed to do something to turn things around. Cue Air Jordan. When it was all over, the Oromocto pivot had put the ball up 39 times, connecting on 18 of those attempts. He threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns. He was also picked off four times.
"It was a frustrating day for us," said OHS coach Rob Wilson. "We lose our back on the second play of the game and right away our game plan is out the window. We don't have the depth to overcome that right now, we spend the rest of the game mixing and matching, and every time another guy comes out hurt you have to find somebody to patch the hole.
"On the field we made some bad decisions and we made some bad calls. We had some people show up today, but you have to show up as a team. Twenty-four points is good, but we feel if we had done a better job we could have won this game."
On the ground the Blues would finish with 30 yards on just eight carries. In contrast, the Black Kats rumbled for 224 yards on 24 carries led by 114 yards on 12 carries by Thakker and 102 yards on nine tries by Devin Kearney.
"This was our toughest game of the year," Hicks said. "They have a tremendous passing game and we couldn't stop it in the first half. But we settled down in the second half and went out to win the game. This was huge for us a week before the playoffs."
The blast of air provided a quick solution to the Blues' problem in the short term though. The first quarter ended 14-0 but 90 seconds into the second period Heather tossed a 16-yard scoring strike to Chris Hillier with a Matt Richard convert tacked on. Heather struck again 2:22 later with a 40-yard pass and run hook-up to Hillier for a major, Richard hit the extra point for the tie.
The wild quarter continued with a field goal from Cann at the 6:40 mark but two minutes later Heather threw to Rob Goodwin for a six-yard TD with a Richard convert to give the Blues the lead.
It still wasn't over however: the Kats answered with a march upfield that ate up 2:14 on the clock and finished with Kearney's nine-yard dash to the end zone on a draw up the middle.
Cann converted to give the Kats a 24-21 lead at the break.
The teams battled through a scoreless third quarter, setting up a showdown in the fourth quarter.
The Blues drew first blood on a 20-yard field goal into the teeth of the wind by Richard.
But Kats quarterback Jeff Madzen came back with a pair of touchdown passes.
Madsen didn't have the gaudy numbers of Heather, completing seven of 18 attempts but made the best of it with 183 yards against just two interceptions.
A 47-yard pass-and-run strike to A.J. Durling with 8:53 left on the clock provided the winning points, with the single point Cann-vert.
"We knew it was there the whole time," Madsen said.
"Our coaches kept telling us that A.J. was faster than the guys covering him, so we faked to the right and went back to the left and he was wide open."
Three minutes later Madsen was again at work in the air sending Corey Janes to the end zone with a 13-yard pass, Cann kicked the final point of the game to give the Kats a cushion to work with.
"With that lead we were able to do a few things on defence you can't do in a one point game," said Hicks, a defensive back by trade "We could give (Heather) the three or four yard pass reception, we just had to keep him from throwing the big bomb. We kept his receivers pretty much under wraps for gains that wouldn't hurt us and would take time off the clock."
Limping Lions come up empty
By BRUCE HALLIHAN
Published Monday October 22nd, 2007
Appeared on page B2
Old Hee Haw singer Roy Clark enjoyed his biggest hit long before the Leo Hayes Lions football players were born. But the Lions could have paraphrased him after their performance Saturday afternoon:
Thank God, the Greyhounds are gone.
The Saint John High School Greyhounds added to the Lions' late-season woes with a 34-0 romp at LHHS field.
The Greyhounds, who led 24-0 at the half, finish the regular season with a 4-1 record. The Lions fade to fourth at 2-3. What's worse, they've been shut out the last three weeks.
In Western Conference semifinal action, Saint John High will host the OHS Beaver Brokerage Blues at 7 p.m. Friday at Shamrock Park. The Lions head to an unfriendly Jungle, taking on the FHS Black Kats at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Saturday, Saint John was dominant on both sides of the ball.
The 'Hounds amassed more than 300 yards of offence. Running back Caleb Jones rumbled for 97 yards on a dozen first-half carries. Jeremy McAulay, a senior player but first-year QB, passed for 142 yards and never looked rattled.
McAulay hit lanky receiver Nathan Munroe for 10- and 41-yard touchdown strikes in the first half to open up a 17-0 cushion. Evan McAulay, Jeremy's younger brother, had a seven-yard TD run just before halftime.
Jeremy McAulay hooked up with Chris Tilley for a 40-yard pass-and-run play for the only second-half major.
James Sudal added two chip-shot field goals and four converts.
Defensively, the Greyhounds were in QB Brandon Cornford's face all day. Cornford was sacked three times for 26 yards and threw five interceptions. He completed two passes for 29 yards to Josh Thomas with time winding down and bootlegged for 36 yards. Those were the highlights for Cornford.
The Lions' best chance to score actually came on a halfback option play late in the first half.
Down 24-0, Cornford pitched the ball to Tommy Broad, who fired a 40-yard strike to a streaking Thomas at the SJH 20-yard line. Thomas was headed for daylight but lost the ball two strides later. Rob Mackin returned the fumble to his own 40.
That's how it's been for the Lions lately.
"Very frustrating,'' Broad said. "I just don't think we came to play today - same as last week (a 21-0 loss to FHS). I don't know why. It's more mental, I think. We have all the talent but we just didn't come to play.
"When we were 2-0, we were riding on a high and we took it too easy,'' Broad said. "Saint John is a good team but I think if we came to play, we'd be right there with them.'' "It's back to the drawing board,'' LHHS head coach Lee Hoyt said. "The key for us is we have to move the ball. We never took advantage of the times we did have the ball. We get six or seven yards on first down, then the guys drop the ball on second down.
"So it's the same story,'' he said. "A lot of these wrinkles should have been worked out a long time ago.'' Already missing key defensive back James Wilde, stud linebacker Jake Thomas had to be helped off the field late in the first quarter when it was only 3-0.
Hoyt says both players will be ready for Saturday's semifinal, but their absence was felt against the Greyhounds.
"They have 45 players who all play hard,'' Hoyt said, "and that certainly makes a difference. We have key injuries at key positions. Jake's usually a good run-stopper, but as soon as they saw him leave, they went to the run. And they completed some passes that I thought, had we been aggressive, we could have taken them away.''
"Our offensive line came out strong today and our receivers were catching all the balls,'' QB McAulay said. "When our defence started shutting them down, that took their momentum and intensity away. We just continued to pound and pound and pound.'' Munroe, who rolled his left ankle and was walking gingerly after the game, is confident he'll be "good to go'' against OHS.
"Jeremy made it easy for us receivers today,'' Munroe said. "We were getting in good areas of the field (for passing plays) and he was hitting us perfectly. Our running game was awesome as well, our blocking was great and our defence wasn't letting them have anything.'' The Greyhounds beat the visiting Blues 28-7 Sept. 22.
"We played the game we wanted to play,'' Munroe said. "We wanted to show other teams that Saint John High's not messing around. We're going straight to the finals.''
The Lions are expected to be one and done, but Hoyt will try to rally his fragile felines.
"The Kats are our cross-river rivals and the kids are always geared to play those guys,'' he said. "Today, we didn't get the job done and when you don't get the job done, the scoreboard indicates it. But we'll try all week in practice to fix things. I guarantee you that.''
In their regular season meeting two weeks ago, the Kats won the North-South Bowl for the sixth time in seven meetings with a 21-0 win at Leo Hayes Field. The winner next week will advance to the Western final against the winner of OHS-Saint John High. They'll play their semifinal Friday night in Saint John under the lights at Shamrock Park.
St. Stephen remains unbeaten with victory over Rothesay
Published Monday October 22nd, 2007
Appeared on page B6
SAINT JOHN - The St. Stephen Spartans clinched first place in the 10-man division of the New Brunswick High School Football League with another dominating effort Saturday.
This time it was a 27-0 victory over second-place Rothesay.
Brett Hooper scored three rushing touchdowns for the winners while Scott Bell added the other, also on the ground.
Gareth Whittingham booted three conversions.
With the victory, St. Stephen moved to a perfect record of 5-0 with one game remaining but clinched top spot because Rothesay (4-2) is now finished its regular season.
The other team teams in the 10-man division had the weekend off.
Meanwhile, the Saint John Greyhounds finished the regular season with a bang.
And now they look to seize on home field advantage in the opening round of the 12- man division playoffs.
The Greyhounds finished the regular season at 4-1 with a 34-0 victory over the Leo Hayes Lions Saturday to set up a playoff date with Oromocto this weekend.
Jeremy McAulay three for three touchdowns as the Greyhounds cruised to victory.
Nathan Munroe caught majors of 12 and 25 yards while Chris Tilley nabbed a pass for a 45-yard touchdown.
Evan McAulay ran in another touchdown from eight yards while kicker James Sudel booted a pair of field goals and two conversions.
The Lions dropped to 2-3 and will face Fredericton in another quarter-final contest.
In other action, Hampton (1-4) ended its year with a 43-6 victory over the Simonds Seabees (0-5).
Marcel Rochon scored four touchdowns for the winners. He ran for a pair of scores of 15 and 25 yards and added a pair of receptions for 24 and 35 yard majors.
Eion McIntyre, Todd Floyd and Caleb Shephard added other majors while Matt Henderson caught a two-point conversion.
Both teams missed the playoffs.
Titans topple Purple Knights
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Monday October 22nd, 2007
Appeared on page D3
SACKVILLE - Calum Hardie ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Tantramar Titans defeated the Moncton High Purple Knights 20-7 as the New Brunswick High School Football League 12-man division regular season concluded Saturday.
The Titans (5-1) finished in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Purple Knights (2-4) placed fifth and out of the playoffs.
This weekend's provincial quarter-finals will see Tantramar host the third-place Harrison Trimble Trojans (4-2) and the first-place Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (6-0) entertain the fourth-place Riverview High Royals (3-3).
The two winners will advance to cross-over semifinals with the Western Conference Nov. 2-3.
Hardie scored on runs of five- and 10-yards to lead the Titans over the Purple Knights. Mark MacDougall also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zack Fisher in the win.
Hardie kicked one convert for Tantramar, which led 14-7 at halftime.
Adam Proud scored the lone touchdown for Moncton High.
The J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars had a bye in the 10-man division. The Cougars (2-3), who are tied for third place, host the first-place St. Stephen High Spartans (5-0) in their regular season finale Saturday at 1 p.m. in Salisbury.
|MacNaughton Highlanders’ Will Stone works his way past Mathieu-Martin Matadors’ Julien Cormier during the second half high school football action at Mathieu-Martin field yesterday.|
Grid Trojans clinch third spot
Defending champion Highlanders finish regular season with perfect 6-0 record after slamming Matadors 60-0
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Saturday October 20th, 2007
Appeared on page C4
The Harrison Trimble Trojans are riding high into the New Brunswick High School Football League playoffs.
The Riverview High Royals not so much.
Jordan Kenny scored a pair of touchdowns and the Trojans defeated the Royals 20-10 in 12-man division action at Rocky Stone Memorial Field last night.
The win clinched third place in the Eastern Conference for Harrison Trimble (4-2). Riverview High (3-3) settled for fourth place and the final playoff berth.
Also yesterday, the defending provincial champion and first-place Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders completed the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record with a 60-0 win over the Mathieu-Martin Matadors in Dieppe.
Next weekend's provincial quarter-finals will see MacNaughton play Riverview High while the second-place Tantramar Titans face Harrison Trimble.
At Rocky Stone, Kenny scored rushing touchdowns on runs of 26 and 30 yards to power the Trojans over the Royals.
Norm Keirstead found the end zone on a seven-yard run with about three minutes remaining to secure Harrison Trimble victory. Brett Lewis kicked two converts in the win.
The Trojans head into the playoffs on a three-game winning streak. They had started the season with just one win in their first three games.
"I'm pretty proud of these guys. They've worked very hard the last couple weeks to turn this around, they've really responded well," said Harrison Trimble head coach Mark Teed, whose team led 7-3 at halftime.
"They kept working hard every week and never gave up and now we go into the playoffs with a lot of momentum."
Riverview High's lone touchdown came from Matt Turple on an eight-yard run. Matt Archibald added a field goal and convert in the loss.
The Royals, who started the season at 3-0, have now lost their last three games.
"I'm pretty disappointed with the effort. On defence, we had some good moments, but just didn't shut them down. On offence, we dropped balls and didn't run holes," said Riverview High head coach Guy Messervier.
"We're frustrated. It seems us coaches are more concerned with the result than the players."
In Dieppe, quarterback Scott Kelly threw three touchdown passes and ran another in himself as MacNaughton rolled over Mathieu-Martin.
Kelly hooked up with Justin Vaughan (twice) and Dylan Hollohan in the air for majors.
Hollohan also ran for one touchdown and threw for another to Scott Fraser for the Highlanders.
Eric Rioux and Tyler Stewart also rushed for MacNaughton touchdowns. Thomas Blight kicked a 45-yard field goal and seven converts in the win.
Mathieu-Martin dropped to 0-6.
Tantramar (4-1) hosts the Moncton High Purple Knights (2-3) today at noon in Sackville.
Royals, Trojans to line up for third place
Final weekend of high school football's regular season kicks off
By Sean Hatchard
Times & Transcript Staff
Published Friday October 19th, 2007
Appeared on page D4
The Harrison Trimble Trojans and Riverview High Royals have been two teams going in different directions over the last two weeks in the New Brunswick High School Football League.
After starting the season with just one win in their first three games, the Trojans have since rallied with two straight victories.
The Royals started the season at 3-0, but have lost their last two games.
Harrison Trimble (3-2) and Riverview High (3-2) will meet tonight in their 12-man division regular season finale at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.
The winner will lock up third place in the Eastern Conference and will meet the second-place Tantramar Titans (4-1) in a league quarter-final next weekend.
The loser will settle for fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and will have to deal with the first-place and undefeated Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (5-0) in a quarter-final.
"This is a huge game for both teams. We're basically playing to determine our first-round playoff opponent and there's a lot of momentum on the line," said Trojans head coach Mark Teed.
"We know that Riverview won't want to go into the playoffs on a three-game losing streak and will be anxious to get back on the field and turn their season around. We'll be doing everything we can to ride our momentum from the last two weeks and go into the playoffs with three straight wins."
Teed said his team's turning point of the season came two weeks ago when Harrison Trimble defeated the Moncton High Purple Knights 21-14 in the annual Homecoming Game. The Trojans then rolled over the Mathieu-Martin Matadors 35-0 last week.
"That Homecoming Game was definitely a must-win for us and the guys reacted well to that. If we lost that game, getting into the playoffs would have been very hard to obtain," the head coach said.
"What's been different in the last couple weeks is that our offence has been starting to gel and our defence has maintained its level of strong play for the entire season."
Over in Riverview, the Royals are coming off a 47-35 loss to Tantramar, a game which saw Titans running back Calum Hardie rush for 375 yards and all seven touchdowns.
"We're going to make some changes on defence and move a few guys around a bit," said Riverview High head coach Guy Messervier.
"We have a lot of personnel, there's 43 kids on the team and after something like that, you have to make changes because obviously Tantramar saw something in us they could take advantage of."
The Royals' three wins have come against Moncton High, Mathieu-Martin and the L'Odyssée Olympiens (three teams who have combined for just three wins).
"The bottom line is that we haven't beaten any of the good teams yet. I don't want to take anything away from other teams, but we haven't beat any of the teams toward the top of the standings," Messervier said.
"We consider Harrison Trimble one of those good teams and now we have to go out and hope we can beat them."
Also today, Mathieu-Martin (0-5) hosts MacNaughton at 3:30 p.m. in Dieppe.
Tomorrow, Moncton High (2-3) visits Tantramar at noon in Sackville.
In the 10-man division, the J.M.A. Armstrong Cougars (2-3) have a bye this week.