Week 4: September 26-27
Saint John High improves to 3-0
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Oct. 1
Appeared on page B12
ST. STEPHEN - The Saint John High Greyhounds trailed early, but not often.
After surrendering the game's first touchdown, the Greyhounds didn't give up another point to the St. Stephen High Spartans on Tuesday in a 35-7 New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association football win. St. Stephen's Scott Bell scored a major on a 12-yard run and the Spartans added a single point for an early 7-0 lead. But the Greyhounds answered when Matt Doucet scored two touchdowns, the first on a 30-yard run and the second from 18 yards out. Quarterback Caleb Jones also scored two TDs. Andrew Parsons added another. Saint John's other highlights included Dave Flood's blocked punt and Chris Freake's interception.
The Greyhounds improved to 3-0, while St. Stephen dropped to 2-1.
|HE CAN PLAY DEFENCE, TOO: Oromocto High School Blues’ Nathan Heather shows good tackling form as he puts the hit on St. Mary’s Leo Hayes High Lions running back Cody Stewart during south west high school football conference action at Leo Hayes Field Saturday. Heather had a big day offensively with a couple of TDs leading the Blues to a 21-8 victory.|
Heather return gives Lions the BluesBy Mike Power
Published in the Daily Gleaner on Sept. 29
Appeared on page B3
For a guy who thought his football season might be over three weeks ago, Nathan Heather had a pretty good day Saturday.
Heather of the Oromocto Beaver Brokerage Blues broke a rib in the opening game of the season, an exhibition game loss to St. Malachy's High School, and was told he would be out four to six weeks.
Three weeks later, the combination quarterback/punter/receiver/linebacker played a key role in the Blues' 21-8 win over the Leo Hayes Saint Mary's Lions at Leo Hayes Field.
Heather played defence, some wide receiver and punted a lot for OHS in the first three quarters of Saturday's game. Then with his team looking for something to turn around a game that was slipping away quickly, Heather stepped in at quarterback to relieve rookie Jesse Rae and scored the winning touchdown with a roll out.
The win knocked the Lions from the ranks of the undefeated and, when combined with a 38-1 win by Fredericton High School Black Kats over Sussex High Sonics at Sussex Saturday, created a logjam for second place in the south west Conference.
The Blues, Black Kats and Lions all sit at 2-1 now. The Hampton High School Huskies continue to lead the division with a 3-0 record after a 41-13 win over Kennebecasis Valley.
Saturday's game at Leo Hayes was played in the rain which plagued the area over the weekend. The first half in particular was a soggy mess although the precipitation slowed to a slight drizzle and skies brightened a bit for the second half.
There really wasn't much either team could do in the opening half. The rain pretty much took skill out of the mix. Not unexpectedly, all the scoring in the half came as a result of rain induced mistakes.
After a quarter and a half of three and out drives by both teams, the Blues got a break when Sheldon Borden scooped up a fumble to set up OHS at the Leo Hayes 32-yard line.
The Blues capitalized by going with the power player offence. That would be six straight up the gut carries, five of them by Mitchell Player, more a tractor more than a racehorse and perfect for the muddy conditions.
Player ran for 25 yards on his five carries including an eight-yard thump for the touchdown just a little before the midway mark of the second quarter. Rae converted for the 7-0 lead.
The only other point scored before the half, again by OHS, came on an attempted 30-yard field goal by Heather inside the final minute, set up by another LHHS fumble. The kick was short but bounced into the end zone for a single point.
The second half was a whole different scenario. The Lions launched an early offensive drive keyed by a 40-yard run by Alex Martin to pin the Blues deep in their end. They didn't score on the drive but kept the visitors backed up deep in their own end for all of the third quarter and the first half of the fourth.
The saving grace for the Blues was Heather's punting. His team's offence couldn't get the Lions foot off of their throat, but Heather kept them at bay with punts consistently between 30 and 40 yeads under pressure.
"I understood how important those kicks were going to be," Heather said. "I just used my experience to get the ball out there as far as I could, to do it the best I could. The coaches kept talking to me, getting me focused to get it done."
Finally, though, the Leos broke through. Big running back Damion Dutrisac exploded for a 25 yard scoring run and followed up with a run for the two point conversion to tie the game with a little more than seven minutes remaining.
And they kept coming. On the next drive, they marched the ball to the Oromocto 31 yard line, but on a second and nine, Heather stepped in front of a pass from Nathan Greenbank for an interception.
Two series later, pushed back by a 45-yard Heather punt to their own 20, the Lions fumbled a handoff and suddenly the Blues, who looked dead in the water moments earlier, had the ball on the Leo Hayes nine.
"They didn't stop us today, we stopped ourselves," said LHHS coach Rick Kelly. "We made key mistakes deep in our own end. We turned the ball over and you can't do that. When the game is on the line, you have to do what you can to protect the football. The turnovers are what cost us the game."
And so it went, Heather took over at quarterback and three plays later rolled to his right for the winning touchdown. Mitch Dingley converted to make it 15-8. "We really didn't want to use the kid in that role today," said OHS coach Rob Wilson. "With him just really coming back from injury, we didn't want to chance it if we didn't have to. But it was just the move to make at the time."
Heather wasn't done. Inside the final minutes with Leo Hayes driving, he again picked off Greenbank, this time at midfield, and rambled all the way to the end zone for a second touchdown making the final score 21-8 when the convert was blocked.
"I saw the end zone all the way," Heather said. "I've been so hungry to get to the end zone this season after sitting out those weeks with my rib. I'm just so fortunate that it worked out I was able to get in twice today."
At Sussex, the Black Kats broke out to a 27-1 lead at the half and coasted to their win over the Sonics. Kats scored three times in the first quarter with QB Jeff Madsen finding Tony Nash in the end zone for the first score and then going in from two yards out for the second TD. John Morse ran for a three-yard score later in the quarter.
Madsen found A.J. Durling on a 15-yard pass play for a touchdown in the second quarter. Sussex scored its only point on a single in the second quarter.
Jeff Khoury added a 20-yard field goal for the Kats in the third quarter with their final scoring coming via an interception by Pat Downe of an Aaron Tabor pass in for the TD. Brett Johnson had three converts for FHS with Khoury adding another. The Kats also scored a pair of single points in the fourth quarter to finish out the scoring.
|Leo Hayes Lions quarterback Damion Dutrisac gets sacked by Oromocto Blues’ Brandon Courtney during Saturday’s action at the Leo Hayes field in Fredericton. The Blues prevailed 21-8.|
St. Mac's get balanced scoring, and a lot of it
|MacNaughton Highlanders; Jordan Haley loses the ball as he is tackled in the end zone by Tantramar Titans; Marc McDougall in the first half at Rocky Stone Memorial Field yesterday.||Moncton High Purple Knights; Dylan Rogers looks over his shoulder at L'Odyssee Olympiens; Nicholas Melanson as he runs 45 yards for a touchdown during the first half at Rocky Stone Memorial Field yesterday.|
Highlanders hammer Titans
|Simonds Seabees receiver Corey Cyr, left, reaches for a pass as he's covered by Harbour View's Jonathan Jean.||Simonds Seabees defender Mitchell Moore, lefts, focused on Harbour View's Brett Saunders during New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football action on Friday night.|
Ground game powers Simonds
Published in the Telegraph-Journal on Sept. 27
Appeared on page C7
SAINT JOHN - The Simonds Seabees moved to 2-1 in the New Brunswick High School Football League with a 30-0 victory over the Harbour View Vikings at the Mike and Judy Upward Field Friday.
Justin Hanson led the winners with a pair of rushing touchdowns while quarterback Dalton Globe threw for approximately 140 yards and ran for another major. He added a two-point conversion.
Jake Balemans added the other major on the ground while Brandon Donovan and Steven Seward each picked up two points for safeties on defence.
Kyle Bonnevie snatched a pair of interceptions and had five tackles on defence.
Harbour View dropped to 0-3.
Elsewhere, Corey O'Toole rushed for five touchdowns as Hampton downed Kennebecasis Valley 41-13. O'Toole ran for scores of 38, 85, 28, 22, and 18 yards and Mitch O'Neill added a run-scoring dash of 40 yards. Alex Locke booted five conversions.
Eleswhere, Riverview blanked Mathieu Martin 57-0 and Moncton blanked L'Odyssee 38-0.
Action resumes today with four games at 1 p.m.
Sussex hosts Fredericton, St. Malachy's travels to Rothesay, Saint John makes the trek to St. Stephen and Leo Hayes hooks up with Oromocto in Fredericton.