New Brunswick High School Football League
2008-In the News


Week 3: September 19-20

Kat on the prowL: Try as he may, Oromocto High Blues running back Mitchell Player is unable to outrun defender Tony Nash of FHS Black Kats during this sequence in Saturday’s provincial high school football league game at FHS field. Nash had a couple of turnovers as the Kats prevailed, 37-23.

Grid Kats 'Downe' Blues in 'must win'

By Bill Hunt

As the Oromocto High School Blues discovered Saturday, you can't keep a good man - or his football team - Downe.

Defensive back Patrick Downe picked off a Jesse Rae pass and returned it 50 yards for what proved to be the winning score in the Fredericton High School Black Kats' 37-23 win over the Blues in New Brunswick High School Football League action at FHS Field Saturday.

In action at Quispamsis, St. Mary's Leo Hayes Lions improved to 2-0 with a 26-13 win over Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders, fighting back from a 13-point deficit.

In a game that had scoring gusts to go with the 28-kilometer breezes out of the south, the Kats surged to a 22-0 first quarter lead. And the Blues, working with the wind in the second quarter, answered with 16 of their own.

The Blues had the wind at their back in the third quarter, and perhaps trying to make hay while the sun shone, and the wind blew, Rae, the Blues' first-year quarterback, was picked off three times in the 15 minute period, stifling any attempt to close the gap further.

"We were trying to take advantage and it just didn't go our way," said Rae, the first year quarterback pressed into service when Nathan Heather, the man the Blues had been counting on to call the signals this season, was hurt in the preseason.

"Turnovers killed us," he said.

None was more expensive than Downe's interception late in the third. He stepped in front of a pass intended for Blues' tight end Andrew Harris and scooted down the left sideline for the major. "I got a little lucky," said Downe, who didn't have much time for a detailed analysis, since he had a hockey game to play with the Darcy Simon Midget AAA Canadiens three hours later.

"I tipped it with one hand and it came down right in my hands. You couldn't ask for anything better than that. It was big. We were only winning by one touchdown so that brought us back up."

"The wind makes a big difference," said Kats coach Mike Casey. "We made a decision before we took the toss that we wanted the wind in the fourth quarter. We weren't too concerned about having to play from behind. The first quarter proved that we can move the ball."


Quarterback Jeff Madsen pretty much shredded the Blues' defense early as the Kats stunned the Blues with their early efficiency. Take the first series for instance: the Kats kicked off to the Blues, who set up first and 10 from there own 35. Running back Mitchell Player of the Blues fumbled the handoff on the first play with linebacker Josh Price recovering for the Kats. Two plays later, Madsen hooked up with receiver A.J. Durling on a 28-yard touchdown.

On the next series, Madsen hooked up with Durling on a 20-yarder to set the Kats up on the Blues' 22. Blues appeared to have them stalled on the 14 and the Kats sent out the field goal unit. But they faked it, and Charles Duplessis took it in from 19 yards out. Brent Johnson scored a two-point convert: 15-0.

Madsen to Johnson on a bomb down the right sideline that covered 75 yards set the Kats up first and goal from the two on their next possession. Madsen took it from there. The Johnson convert made it 22-0 and it looked like it might be a long afternoon for the Blues.

But, not so fast. The change of ends brought a change of fortunes.

Now it was Rae, mounting a drive that moved the Blues smartly from there own 32 with four straight completed passes capped off by a 28-yard strike to Josh Vance from the shotgun. A two-point convert made it 22-8 Kats.

More Rae surgery on the Kats' secondary - and an expensive penalty for roughing the passer that kept the drive alive - led to the Blues' second touchdown, a nine-yard pass from Rae to Rob Goodwin. A convert and a wide field goal attempt that went for a single made it 22-16 Kats.

Then came that fateful third quarter. Tony Nash, who had a strong game on the defensive side of the ball, picking up a fumble, picking off a pass and generally being around the ball all day, Jason El-Khoury and Downe all picked off passes that stopped the Blues in their tracks.

"We caught on after a while and played more of a zone," said Downe. "Our DB's (defensive backs) played really well today after we learned what they were playing."

The teams traded fourth quarter touchdowns: Jeff Khoury finding a hole and rumbling 53 yards for a Kats major that, with the convert made it 37-16; and the Blues scoring after a broken play set it up.

Heather, back to punt the ball away for the Blues, got a bad snap from center and was forced to improvise. He went with his instincts, and, sore ribs or not, aired one out to Josh Blanchard that covered 45 yards, with another 15 yards tacked on for unnecessary roughness. Eventually, it led to a seven-yard touchdown run for Mitchell Player, but it was too little, too late for the Blues.

Casey said the Kats approached this one as a 'must win' even in Week 2 of the schedule.

He said the turning point of the game came "before we walked on the field. The kids were up. The kids knew that today was a 'must win' situation. We've been talking all week that, if you want to make the playoffs, you have to go 4-1," said Casey.

Both the Kats and Blues are now 1-1 on the season in the south west division standings. The Lions, meanwhile, improved to 2-0 on the year with their win over the 0-2 Crusaders. Hampton Huskies also remained unbeaten with a 49-7 win over the 0-2 Sussex Sonics.

In Quispamsis, Lions' quarterback Nathan Greenbank connected on a pair of touchdown passes to Cody Stewart to lead Leo Hayes. Damion Dutrisac ran in from five yards for another major. Jake Briggs intercepted two Crusaders passes late in the game to preserve the victory.

Tantramar Titans Charles Dunn, left, brushes off Harrison Trimble's Jon Daley as he avoids a tackle during the first half at Tantramar Regional High School on Saturday.

Tantramar Titans turn back Trojans 35-17

SACKVILLE - They may be young, but there appears to be plenty of fight in the Tantramar Titans.

The Titans exploded for 26 second-half points en route to a 35-17 victory over the Harrison Trimble Trojans in New Brunswick High School Football League action here on Saturday.

Tantramar improved its record to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference while Harrison Trimble dropped to 1-2.

The teams were tied 9-9 at halftime.

"We're really proud of our team. With a lot of young players, they could have easily packed it in and that was my message to them at halftime," said Titans head coach Scott O'Neal.

"I told them to come out with some pride and go for the victory and that's what they did. I think we learned a lot about our team. They showed they can deal with adversity and play with pride."

Running back Chris Wheaton ran for about 120 yards and one touchdown and also kicked three converts to spark the Tantramar offence. The Grade 12 veteran found the end zone on a four-yard run.

"It was probably his best day as a Titan. He ran, he blocked, he did everything for us," O'Neal said of Wheaton.

Running back Tyler Nadolny also rushed for a pair of touchdowns on a 15-yard run and 25-yard reverse play for the Tantramar. Quarterback Zack Fisher hooked up with receiver Mikael Peters for a 65-yard touchdown pass and Mark MacDougall also scored on a five-yard run in the win.

"We came out flat as anything and Harrison Trimble being Harrison Trimble, they're a tough team and they kept fighting," said O'Neal, who was impressed with the play of linebacker Max Milner.

"We made a few adjustments in the second half and our defence played its best game of the season and we were able to shut them down in the second half."

Trojans running back Matt Turple had a 20-yard touchdown run and quarterback John Toogood connected with Miguel Vercheure 70 yards for another score. Toogood also scored a two-point conversion in the loss.

"Tantramar has a pretty powerful running game and we just weren't aggressive enough defensively to stop the run," said Harrison Trimble head coach Mark Teed. "We have to work on consistency and cut down on our penalties and mental mistakes and not beat ourselves."

In Southwestern Conference games Saturday, the results were: St. Stephen High Spartans 61, Harbour View Vikings 0; Leo Hayes Lions 26, Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders 13; Fredericton High Black Kats 37, Oromocto High Blues 23.


Spartans dominate gridiron
St. Stephen scores early and often in 61-0 win over Harbour View; KV loses at home

ST. STEPHEN - The St. Stephen High Spartans took control early and never let up.

The Spartans spanked the visiting Harbour View High Vikings 61-0 Saturday in New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association football action.

St. Stephen (1-1) scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, the first two by Matt Wells on a two-yard run and then a 54-yard run. Scott Bell scored the Spartans' next major on a 10-yard run and Cody Boucher followed with his third straight convert, giving the hosts a commanding 21-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Boucher exploded in the second quarter, scoring his first touchdown on a 48-yard punt return and his second on a 41-yard run. He added single-points after each TD, increasing St. Stephen's cushion to 35-0. Quarterback Mike Cloney hit James Greenlee for a 10-yard reception in the end zone before the conclusion of the quarter, giving the Spartans a 41-0 lead at the half.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter as Boucher scored on a 19-yard reception from Cloney, followed by an extra point from Liam Robinson. Luke Murphy added another major after taking an eight-yard pass from Cloney.

Boucher recorded his fourth TD on a five-yard run for a 60-point lead. Kurtis Delaney then missed a 20-yard field goal attempt and settled for a one-point rouge to complete the scoring. The Vikings fell to 0-2.

FHS 37, OHS 23

Defensive back Patrick Downe picked off a Jesse Rae pass and returned it 50 yards for what proved to be the winning score in the Fredericton High Black Kats' 37-23 win over the Oromocto Blues at FHS Field Saturday.

The Kats took the lead on the game's first series after taking advantage of a miscue. OHS running back Mitchell Player fumbled the handoff on the first play with linebacker Josh Price recovering for the Kats. Two plays later, FHS quarterback Jeff Madsen hooked up with receiver A.J. Durling for a 28-yard touchdown.

On the next series, Madsen hooked up with Durling on a 20-yarder to set the Kats up on the Blues' 22-yard line. OHS appeared to have them stalled on the 14 and the Kats sent out the field goal unit. But they faked it, and Charles Duplessis took it in from 19 yards out. Brent Johnson scored a two-point convert for a 15-0 lead.

Madsen found Johnson on a 75-yard bomb that set the Kats up first and goal from the two on their next possession. Madsen took it from there and Johnson's convert made it 22-0.

But Rae's 28-yard pass to Josh Vance and a two-point convert made it 22-8. A nine-yard pass from Rae to Rob Goodwin, a convert and a wide field goal attempt that went for a single made it 22-16.

The teams traded fourth quarter touchdowns. Jeff Khoury found a hole and rumbled 53 yards for a Kats major that, with the convert, made it 37-16.

The Blues scored on a seven-yard touchdown run by Mitchell Player. Both the Kats and Blues are 1-1.

Leo Hayes 26, KVHS 13

The St.Mary's-Leo Hayes Lions roared back from a 13-9 halftime deficit and recorded a 26-13 road win over the Kennebecasis Valley High Crusaders.

Quarterback Nathan Greenbank connected on two touchdown passes to receiver Cody Stewart, and Damion Dutrisac ran in from the five for the majors. Jake Briggs intercepted two Crusader passes in the dying minutes to help preserve the victory.

Odyssee Olympiens Guy Zemingui gets an arm under the chin as he tackles Riverview Royals Nico Sokolowski during the first half at Rocky Stone Memorial Field yesterday.

Knights scare Highlanders
Riverview High hammers l'Odyssée 56-0 in other game

The Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders got a scare but in the end were able to post a 17-15 victory over Moncton High Purple Knights in New Brunswick High School Football League action last night at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.

Thomas Blight's 35-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining on the clock was the difference for the two-time defending provincial champion Highlanders.

MacNaughton improved to 3-0 while Moncton High is now 1-1.

The Purple Knights led 8-0 at halftime.

Moncton High opened the scoring on a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Cormier to Dylan Rogers. Colin Monaghan kicked the one-point convert and then got a single point on a missed field goal.

In the second half, MacNaughton got on the scoreboard on a 35-yard touchdown run by running back Eric Rioux. The Highlanders failed on their two-point convert attempt.

With the score 8-6 MHS, MacNaughton quarterback Scott Kelly scored a touchdown on an eight-yard boot and Kelly then ran in a two-point convert for a 14-8 MacNaughton lead.

The Purple Knights then took a 15-14 lead on a 10-yard TD run by Matt Simon and a single-point convert by Monaghan. That set the stage for Blight's game-winning field goal with less than a minute left.

"Hats off to Moncton High," said MacNaughton head coach Ed Wasson after the game. "We knew they had a good team. . .they have really improved over last year. Both teams played with incredible heart and integrity. It was a fantastic game and perhaps we'll meet again down the road."

Purple Knights head coach John Allanach said his team expects to play well each game this season.

"We put our best foot forward tonight, but MacNaughton had the better leg in the end," he said. "We've played two regular season games and feel we've competed well in both games and we want to continue that for the rest of the season."

Wasson centred out free safety Cameron Wade as having a great game.

"He was monster out there making all kinds of tackles," Wasson said.

Also yesterday, rookie running back Brett McNeil ran for four touchdowns as the Riverview High Royals blanked the l'Odyssée Olympiens 56-0 at Rocky Stone.

The Royals improved their record to 2-0. The Olympiens dropped to 0-3.

McNeil found the end zone on runs of two, seven, 25 and 30 yards. Fullback Tim Jay also had a strong game for Riverview High with a pair of rushing touchdowns.

"We're very happy with our running game. We have three guys in the backfield (McNeil, Jay and J.P. Bowie) and they all do a good job for us," said Royals head coach Guy Messervier.

Cameron Wilson also scored a touchdown (and two interceptions) for Riverview High while Matt Archibald kicked two field goals and seven converts.

Messervier praised the play of Bowie, a second-year Grade 11 player who led a stingy Royals defence at middle linebacker.

"He was just a monster, he really stood out for us. He's only in Grade 11 now, so I can't imagine how good he's going to be next year," the coach said.

Olympiens assistant coach Martin Dupuis gave full marks to the Royals.

"We have a fairly young squad and Riverview ran hard and took advantage of our inexperience," Dupuis said.

The Tantramar Titans (1-1) host the Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-1) today at 1 p.m. in Sackville.

The Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-2) have a bye week.

Rothesay Red Hawk Joey Bass, white jersey, is hit by Saint John High Greyhound Blake Johnstone during New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football action Friday.

Football squads roll to victories

SAINT JOHN - It was a one-sided night in the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football conference Friday.

The Saint John Greyhounds, Riverview Royals and Hampton Huskies all rolled to convincing victories on a busy slate of action on the local gridiron.

Saint John raced to a 54-0 lead the half and downed the Rothesay Red Hawks 87-0.

Saint John moved to 2-0 while Rothesay dropped to 0-2.

At Shamrock Park, Matt Doucet scored four rushing scores for the winners on runs of 50, 60, 37 and 52 yards.

Caleb Jones ran for three scores two runs of 25 yards and another for 33 yards. He also three one touchdown to Chris Tilley.

Tilley caught two touchdowns as did Cassian Ferlatte. The other majors went to Andrew Parson and Kevin Yoon.

Dan Duplessis booted nine conversions while Alex Hachey recovered two of six turnovers for the Greyhounds.

In Hampton, Mitch O'Neill ran for a pair of touchdowns of 20 and 38 yards and Ryan Fowler-Ross caught one touchdown for 30 yards and ran for another two-yard score as the Huskies cruised to a 49-7 victory over Sussex.

Corey O'Toole (four year run), Pat O'Brien four-yard run), and Greg Armstrong (50 yard fumble recovery) also scored majors while the Sussex offence conceded a safety and kicker Alex Locke nailed five conversions.

Mark Folkins scored the Sussex touchdown on a three-yard pass while Aaron Tabor booted the convert.

Elsewhere, Riverview blanked L'Odyssee 56-0.


Sussex marches ground game into Hampton for matchup with Huskies

By Kevin Barrett

When the Sussex Sonics march into Hampton today for their New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association football contest, there won't be many surprises delivered by the hometown Huskies.

Relying significantly on their thriving ground game, the Huskies figure to pound the ball rushing when the teams meet today at 4:30 p.m.

In two games, including the regular season opener last weekend in Fredericton, the Hampton duo of Corey O'Toole and Mitch O'Neill have produced 527 yards on the ground and paced a pair of victories.

"We know we can't start to slow down," said O'Neill who opened with 127 yards in a win over St. Stephen and followed with 139 yards in a victory over Fredericton last week.

"We have to go at a good pace."

O'Neill, a five-foot-11, 165-pound back says a revamped team, one that includes new muscle up front to boost the efforts of centre Travis MacKenzie and added enthusiasm from the bantam ranks, feels confident in its abilities.

O'Toole, who opened with 133 yards in Week 1 and then added 128 yards against Fredericton, is more of the tradition fullback and O'Neill fills the tailback role.

"I am play more up the middle while Mitch is a lot quicker so once he hits the outside, he is gone. He is like a rocket," said O'Toole, a Grade 11 student who didn't play last year but is cruising so far in 2008.

With some help from Mark Gallagher, the former coach of the Saint John Wanderers senior team, they have plenty of different plays and looks to confuse defences.

O'Neill also pointed to the role the defence - paced by Connor Kyle, Alex Locke and Mathew Papineau - as a dominant characteristic of the Huskies.

At 1-0, they take on Sussex today and Kennebecasis Valley next week before dates with Leo Hayes and Oromocto wrap up the regular season.

"We are not going to play any different, we just have to get it done," said O'Toole.

Hampton last advanced to the provincial final in 2003, losing to Fredericton in the championship game.

O'Neill likes the early enthusiasm this season, especially after a 1-4 record a year ago.

"There are a lot of good players who came up from the bantam team," said O'Neill. "They added good morale. Everybody gets each other pumped up and our defense is a powerhouse."

In other action today in the southwestern conference, St. Malachy's (1-0) meets Simonds (1-0) at Shamrock at 7 p.m., just after the contest between Rothesay (0-1) takes on Saint John (1-0) at 5 p.m.

In the eastern conference, Bernice MacNaughton (2-0) tangles with Moncton at (1-0) at 7 p.m. while Riverview and l'Odyssee (0-2) meet at 4 p.m.

Saturday, Leo Hayes (1-0) travels to Rothesay for a date with Kennebecasis Valley (0-1), Fredericton (0-1) hosts Oromocto (1-0) and St. Stephen (1-0) entertains Harbour View (0-1).

In the east, Harrison Trimble (1-1) travels to Sackville for a date with Tantramar (1-1).

All of Saturday's games start at 1 p.m.


Knights up for challenge
Tomorrow's other game features Riverview High vs. l'Odyssée

By Sean Hatchard

Head coach John Allanach knows full well the kind of challenge his Moncton High Purple Knights face tomorrow in the New Brunswick High School Football League.

The Purple Knights, who are off to a 1-0 start to the season, take on the two-time defending provincial champion Bernice MacNaughton Highlanders (2-0) in an Eastern Conference matchup at 7 p.m. at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.

The Highlanders are showing championship form again. They've won their first two games of the season by outscoring their opponents 108-6.

Moncton High hasn't defeated Bernice MacNaughton since 2002 when the Purple Knights beat the Highlanders 39-14 in the provincial final.

"They're a machine right now. They've scored over 100 points and have given up just one big play. They've got speed and a veteran quarterback (Scott Kelly) who is awesome," Allanach said of the Highlanders.

"I want to see our players play their best regardless of the situation against MacNaughton. You know MacNaughton will make the big plays and they have all the momentum right now, but we have to deal with it properly.

"They've dominated us the last few games, so we have to go out there and try to hold it together for 60 minutes. We can't fold the tent or panic."

Also tomorrow, the l'Odyssée Olympiens (0-2) host the Riverview High Royals (1-0) at 4 p.m. at Rocky Stone.

The Harrison Trimble Trojans (1-1) visit the Tantramar Titans (1-1) Saturday at 1 p.m. in Sackville.

The Mathieu-Martin Matadors (0-2) have a bye week.

Bernice MacNaughton has won three New Brunswick championships in the team's first six years and has the kind of football program Allanach hopes to see some day at Moncton High.

The Purple Knights haven't made the playoffs since 2003, but hope to enjoy a turnaround season in 2008.

The team has a big roster of 60 players, including 30 returnees back from last year's squad, which went 2-4. There's also 25 future Purple Knights suiting up for the school's bantam team.

"Our kids have been doing the work.

They are encouraging their friends to come out and they should definitely get all the credit for the big roster," said Allanach, a Moncton High teacher and former Purple Knights player himself.

"We're taking steps to try to become a more successful program. If something doesn't work, we try something else. If you build it, they will come."

Moncton High is coming off a 43-0 win over Mathieu-Martin in its season opener last week. Allanach credits his offensive line with sparking the win.

"The offensive line -- as a group -- stepped it up. They're all contributing," the coach said. "They eat together and play hard together."

Allanach said his team's biggest weakness may just be thinking too much about the past.

"That's the big white elephant in the room that no one likes talking about.

We've had a hard time competing and we just haven't been a very good football team the last few years," he said.

"It's too early in this season to determine how the 2008 campaign will play out. I just want to see our players continue to grow individually as football players and as a team. My message to them is to try to get better every day and learn from our mistakes and regardless of what happens (tomorrow) night, get right back up and go back to work next week."

In a Southwestern Conference game tomorrow, the Sussex Sonics (0-1) visit the Hampton High Huskies (1-0) at 4:30 p.m.