Week 4: September 25-26
Dynamic duo makes it a Blue day for SJHS
By Robert Touchie
Published In the Daily Gleaner on Monday September 28, 2009
Appeared on page B3
The Oromocto Beaver Brokerage Blues High School Blues might just be hitting their stride.
The Blues won a hard fought game against the Saint John Greyhounds 23-17 in front 368 fans at Mackenzie Field in New Brunswick High School Football League play Saturday. Each team is now 2-1 on the season.
The Blues defence and special teams were stellar throughout the day, neutralizing a potent Saint John ground attack. However, the most compelling story of the day was the reemergence of the lauded Oromocto aerial assault.
Blues quarterback Jesse Rae was 17 of 28 for 217 yards with two touchdowns while his backfield of fullback Mark Mitchell (10 runs for 79 yards) and tailback Mitchell Player (14 for 69) provided balance on the ground forcing the port city team to respect the run and provide openings for their highly touted passing game.
Oromocto's dynamic receiving duo of Josh Blanchard and Nathan Heather proved unstoppable.
Heather scored three receiving TDs, and in the dying minutes of the game, nullified the last two Saint John possessions in the game by forcing a fumble and intercepting Greyhounds QB Dallas Ballard.
Blanchard kicked a 20-yard field goal, faked a field goal and hit Heather on a 30-yard TD pass to end his day with eight catches and 125 receiving yards, including deep strikes covering 35, 38, 20 and 18 yards. He provided Heather with a deep threat on the opposite side of the field, which set the table for Heather's big day.
Aside from his three touchdowns, Heather hauled in nine passes for 92 yards while getting under the skin of the Greyhounds with his abrasive style, becoming a target for a tough Saint John defence. This was exemplified best by a punishing Saint John "hi-low" tackle six minutes into the second half.
Two defenders simultaneously tackled Heather on a failed Rae pass attempt, one hitting him above and the other below the waist. The hit was loud enough to be heard throughout the field and sent Heather somersaulting through the air. To his credit, Heather was back on his feet immediately, not showing any ill-effects from a devastating hit.
"I don't show weakness and I certainly wasn't going to show it there," said Heather, a 17-year-old senior who is poised to join quarterback brother Jordan next season with the Bishop's Gaiters in Lennoxville, PQ. "We felt we had something to prove because these guys beat FHS and Leo Hayes pretty good the last two weeks and Leo Hayes beat us.
"People know who we (the Blues) are now."
Heather's first score came five minutes into the second quarter with OHS trailing 3-0 after Blanchard had snared a 20-yard pass setting up a first and ten on the 'Hounds 15. Heather beat two defenders to the ball and outran them, diving headlong into the goal line marker.
Three minutes later the Greyhounds retook the lead on an eight yard TD run from Matt Doucet, who would end his day rushing for 108 yards on 20 carries. The 'Hounds finished the drive in four plays, uncharacteristically going to the air and scoring in less than a minute propelled by Ballard passes of 40 and 20, and surprising Blues head coach Rob Wilson.
"That passing sequence surprised us and we were caught off guard," said Wilson. "SJHS threw the ball more today than I have ever seen them do in the past."
The teams would go into half with Saint John holding a 10-7 lead.
It didn't take long in the second half for the Blues aerial game to take hold.
Heather would catch a 30-yard Blanchard-thrown ball in almost the exact spot as his first half TD, three minutes into the second half on the faked field goal, this time fighting three defenders for the ball and again making the leap into the goal line pylon.
"I saw that pylon and there was no way they were going to stop me," said Heather. "I had a chip on my shoulder coming into today and our O-line gave us some time to make things happen and there was nobody on that field that could catch us today."
Wilson agreed, but also saw other areas of importance in the win.
"Our defence was awesome and our offence came to life behind an O-line that had to face a great Saint John front seven," said Wilson, who noted that although he felt Heather was the best player on the field and Blanchard was his biggest offensive weapon, it was the workman-like effort of fullback Mark Mitchell that deserved the most praise.
"It was largely unnoticed, but Mark Mitchell was amazing for us today."
The Hounds' Ballard would end his day going 10 for 19 and a TD. Marcus Rogers caught two passes for 15 yards and a TD. Doucet would return a kick 65 yards.
Saint John coach Dave Grandy, not pleased with the outcome, was gracious in defeat.
"We created turnovers and didn't capitalize, they created turnovers and they did capitalize, what can I say?" said Grandy. "Blanchard and Heather were real good for them today and they won the battles."
|Coming through: Jason El Khoury of the Fredericton High School Black Kats tries to squeeze through the defence of St. Malachy’s Saints’ Oliver Logue, left, and Alec Phinney, right, during provincial high school football league action Saturday at FHS field. Kats routed the Saints 57-0.|
Kats rebound with a vengeance
By Christopher Cameron
Published In the Daily Gleaner on Monday September 28, 2009
Appeared on page B3
After a loss to Saint John High in Week 3 of the provincial high school football league season, the Fredericton High School Black Kats rebounded in a big way, dominating St. Malachy's Saints of Saint John 57-0 Saturday at FHS Field.
It did not take long to make a statement.
An early FHS touchdown, 3:36 into the first quarter, came off a 15-yard pass from QB Jeff Madsen to receiver Robert Young. Young took the pass all the way to the end zone for a 52-yard scoring play.
After shutting down the Saints offence, the Kats worked their way back down the field with Kofi Bubar capping off the drive with a two yard TD run. The score held at 14-0 for the remainder of the first quarter.
The rest of the game the Kats seemed to put it on cruise control as they improved their record to 2-1.
Second quarter touchdowns came off a pass from Madsen to Justin Kearney taking it 43 yards to the end zone. After getting the ball back on a Saints' turnover, receiver Ryan Murphy caught a 30 yard pass, making for two touchdowns in back-to-back offensive plays.
The Kats ended their first half scoring with Jake Dewolfe taking down Saints wide receiver Steve Corkum in the end zone for a safety. Going into the half, the Kats held a commanding 29-0 lead. FHS came out in the second half determined not to let up.
The Saints made their furthest trip into the Black Kats redzone at the 15 yard line, after multiple runs by Rob Gale and a 35 yard pass by QB Jamie Logan to running back Isaiha Nice.
The Black Kats defence did not yield another yard, however. Taking over possession on their 15 yard line, the Kats' Jason El Khoury for a yard before Murphy took the second down handoff the length of the field for a 94-yard TD run.
Madsen capped off their next possession with a one play, 53-yard TD pass to Murphy for his third TD on the day. The Black Kats took a 43-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Sam Furey took over for Madsen at QB with a strong performance. Furey threw for 54 yards, with no interceptions.
Dewolfe and Bubar put the final touchdowns on the scoreboard for FHS, both on 15 yard runs.
Coach Mike Casey was pleased with the performance, after stating last week that the team had "a lot of work to do.
"We had a good week of practice and the guys worked hard," said Casey. "We still have some work to do, Oromocto has a pass-driven offence and if our guys cannot stay on top of their receivers we'll have a lot of trouble." The Kats host the Blues, also 2-1, in their next game Saturday.
Madsen and Murphy led the Black Kats offence Saturday, as Madsen threw for 167 yards and one interception, with four touchdowns.
Madsen attributes his outstanding game to his skilled offensive line.
"We have one of the most skilled lines all around I've seen at FHS," said Madsen. "I always have options to run the ball or to throw to. It makes me look better when I can look around and have multiple guys to pass to and I have protection from their defence."
Receiver Murphy tore up the field for 94 rushing yards, 147 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.
Murphy was modest when asked his performance, even the 94-yard TD run.
"We were spreading the ball around well and it wasn't just me," said Murphy. "The other guys really opened it up for me on the run and I made a mistake the play before, which gave me a little more fire to push my way down the field."
Looking ahead, Madsen feels this game will help the team's movement in a positive direction.
"We should be ready to go next week," said Madsen. "Oromocto is a good team, but after our loss to Saint John, everyone dedicated themselves to working on the little things and with another good week of practice lined up we will be ready to take on whatever they throw at us.
Casey echoed Madsen's remark of positive movement.
"They (St. Malachy's) had a good game, but we were on today and looking to come back after last week and improve," said Casey.
"These guys are getting better aevery week and we expect to give Oromocto a tough game next weekend."
Grid Sonics down high school Matadors
Published In the Times-Transcript on Monday September 28, 2009
Appeared on page B7
The Sussex Sonics improved their record to 3-0 with a 21-14 win over the Mathieu-Martin Matadors in New Brunswick High School Football League 10-man division action Saturday in Dieppe.
Sussex quarterback Aaron Tabor threw a pair of touchdown passes to Mike Brown, the second connection going for 48 yards to the end zone. Colin Urquhart ran for another score for the Sonics, who overcame a 7-1 deficit at halftime.
Jean-François Allard caught two touchdown passes for the Matadors, including a two-yard reception from quarterback Xavier Couture with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to come within seven points of Sussex.
Mathieu-Martin dropped to 0-2-1.
"Our team is learning how and what it takes to win. We have been leading at halftime in all of our three games and just haven't closed them out," said Matadors head coach Shane Mosher.
"We're heading in the right direction. If we stay with it, keep working hard and maintain a positive attitude, we will get there."
Mathieu-Martin visits the St. Stephen High Spartans on Saturday while Sussex hosts the Kennebecasis Valley Crusaders.
Results of a 10-man division game between the l'Odyssée Olympiens and KV were not available.
Oromocto upends football Greyhounds
Published In the Telegraph-Journal on Monday September 28, 2009
Appeared on page B7
FREDERICTON - The Oromocto High Blues football team might just be hitting its stride. The Blues won a hard fought game with the Saint John Greyhounds 23-17 in front 368 fans at Mackenzie Field in New Brunswick High School Football League play Saturday. Both team come away with identical 2-1 records on the season.
Blues quarterback Jesse Rae was 17 of 28 for 217 yards with two touchdowns while his backfield of fullback Mark Mitchell (10 runs for 79 yards) and tailback Mitchell Player (14 for 69) provided balance on the ground.
Nathan Heather scored three receiving touchdowns for the Blues and in the dying minutes of the game nullified the last two Saint John possessions by forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass from Greyhounds quarterback Dallas Ballard.
Matt Doucet, who rushed for 108 yards on 20 carries for the Greyhounds, scored on the ground for Saint John High while Marcus Rogers scored the other on a passing play from Ballard, who went 10-19 in the air.
"Our defense was awesome and our offense came to life behind an O-line that had to face a great Saint John front seven," said Blues head coach Rob Wilson.
Saint John coach Dave Grandy said the Greyhounds had their chances to win the game.
"We created turnovers and didn't capitalize. They created turnovers and they did capitalize. What can I say?" said Grandy.
In other action, the Fredericton High School Black Kats dominated the St. Malachy's Saints 57-0.
Ryan Murphy scored three touchdowns for the Black Kats, (2-1). Kofi Bubar scored two majors with singles going to Justin Kearney, Jake Dewolfe, Robert Young,
"We were spreading the ball around well and it wasn't just me," said Murphy. "The other guys really opened it up for me on the run."
In Dieppe, the Sussex Regional High Sonics improved to 3-0 on Saturday in the NBIAA 10-man football league with a 21-14 win over the Mathieu-Martin Matadors.
It was the first game this year in which the Sonics were scored against. The Sonics led 1-0 on a 34-yard missed field goal attempt by Aaron Tabor in the first quarter. A late 26-yard end zone catch by the Matadors' Jean-François Allard gave Mathieu-Martin a 7-1 halftime lead. Sussex took the opening drive of the second half downfield and scored a touchdown on an 11-yard pass and run from Tabor to Mike Brown. Tabor's extra-point gave Sussex an 8-7 lead.
Sussex scored again in the third quarter on a two-yard run by Colin Urquhart. The missed convert made it a 14-7 game. The Sonics increased their lead in the fourth quarter to 21-7 on a 48-yard touchdown reception by Brown from Tabor who added the extra-point.
With time beginning to wind down in the fourth quarter, the Matadors scored on a four-yard touchdown catch by Pierre-Luc Michaud, bringing the score to 21-14. A late Matadors drive was stalled by a Sussex recovery of a fumble, allowing the Sonics to run out the clock. The Sonics return to their home field Saturday when they face their rivals from Kennebecasis High School at 1 p.m.
In other 10-man action it was St. Stephen Spartans shutting Rothesay High out 48-0 Saturday.
Kurtis Delaney racked up 161 yards on eight carries, including touchdown runs of 65 and 71 yards. Gage Ross also scored two running touchdowns. Scott Bell scored on a 75-year interception return while Cody Richard score twice, once on a 50-yard reception and another on a fumble recovery. Luke Hayre converted six of seven points after. St. Stephen (2-1) is at home Saturday to Mathieu-Martin.
|Peter Reimer, right, of the Leo Hayes St. Mary’s Lions has his arms outstretched to haul in a touchdown pass before Hampton Huskies’ defender Danny Selman can get to him during Friday’s high school football league contest under the lights at UNB’s Chapman Field. Reimer finished with three touchdowns to lead the Lions to a 35-18 victory before 530 fans.|
Lions put run to Huskies
By Robert Touchie
Published In the Daily Gleaner on Saturday September 26, 2009
Appeared on page B1
The Leo Hayes St. Mary's Lions had their star power out in full force and showed that "Friday Night Lights" football in Fredericton can be electric.
The Lions lit up the night, and the Hampton Huskies to the tune of 35-18 in New Brunswick High School Football League action under the lights at Chapman Field Friday night.
The Lions improved their record to 2-1, opening up a 21-6 halftime lead in a game that was effectively decided in the first half.
Peter Reimer scored three touchdowns, including a 15-yard pass from Derek Broad with two minutes left in the first half to break a 6-6 tie and send the Lions on their way to the victory.
With two minutes left in the half and the game tied, Reimer caught Broad's pass on the three yard line and hopped into the end zone. He took in a two-point convert to make it 14-6. On the ensuing kickoff, the Lions' Eric McGarry recovered a Hampton fumble on the Huskies 25-yard line. That set up a 25-yard pass from Broad to McGarry and a 21-6 Lions' lead.
The Lions' defence forced eight Huskies' turnovers in all. Hampton also lost starting running back Geoff Wilson with a fractured wrist as a result of a hard hit by Lions' linebacker Mike Benson.
Hampton was led by Pete Dickison, who rushed for 28 yards on four carries. He also grabbed a 68-yard touchdown pass, in stride, from quarterback Ben Shephard. The Huskies' QB ended up four for 12 passing for 103 yards on the night, including the touchdown pass and one interception.
Chad Bradley scored the other Hampton touchdown, returning a Lions' fumble 50 yards for a touchdown with four minutes left in the first half.
"I don't feel good about this game but we had our two best defenders out and that played into the outcome," said Hampton coach Andrew Peters. "Leo Hayes played well and our kids had a lot of fun playing in front of such a large crowd on a turf field on a Friday night under the lights.
"We just have to regroup in practice this week and come out hard against the Greyhounds."
Benson and Moose Brooks were all over the field laying bone jarring hit after hit, something that seemed to play into the minds of the Hampton players.
"Mike (Benson) set the tone early and he and Moose just laid the leather to Hampton all night long," said Broad, who completed nine of 15 passes on the night for 171 yards, including three TD passes. He was picked off once.
Jason Daniels snared a 35-yard touchdown pass from Broad at the end of the third quarter to put the Lions up 28-6 and Josh Campbell ran for 56 yards on six carries and a touchdown to round out the Lions' scoring.
For a man who ran for 83 yards on the ground, including a 57-yard TD where he looked like a pinball dodging Husky defenders, and added 78 yards in reception yards, including two TDs, Reimer was humble.
"Derek just threw me a couple of good balls and made it easy for me to haul them in," said Reimer. "That 57-yard run, I didn't think I was going to make it and, to be honest, I dropped two sure interceptions."
LHHS head coach Rick Kelly had praise for his star. "Peter has great vision, great game speed, he's a difference maker and he was tonight, once again," said Kelly. "All our guys played well tonight but Peter, Mike (Benson), Derek (Broad), they showed up and led us as good leaders do. That says a lot about their character and their game."
After battling sickness all week, defensive captain Benson was just glad to get the "W".
"This feels great, we waited all year to beat these guys," said Benson. "We worked hard all week and through injury and sickness, so it feels really good."
The Lions have come a long way from the team that scored a single touchdown all season three years ago. They realize they have a lot of work to do. "I'm extremely pleased with how we are playing but I am very cautious in looking too far ahead to the rest of the season," said Kelly.
The Huskies drop to 1-2. The 1-1 FHS Black Kats take on the 0-2 St. Malachy's Saints at 1 p.m. this afternoon at FHS field. At the same time at OHS field, the 1-1 OHS Beaver Brokerage Blues will try to knock off the 2-0 Saint John High Greyhounds.
|Harrison Trimble Trojans quarterback John Toogood tries to avoid a tackle by Riverview Royals’ Cory Caissie during the first half at Riverview High School yesterday.|
Royals roust Trojans 12-1
|The Leo Hayes Lions have been preparing all week for tonight’s New Brunswick High School Football League game against the Hampton High Huskies under the lights at Chapman Field. Kick off is 7 p.m. Members of the Lions include front row, from left, Peter Reimer, head coach Rick Kelly, Derek Broad, and back row, from left, Moose Brooks and Paul Sibley. Both teams have a 1-1 record.|
Lions hope to play lights out
By Robert Touchie
Published In the Daily Gleaner on Friday September 25, 2009
Appeared on page B2
September 25, 2009 is finally here and it's a date that the Leo Hayes High School Football Lions have had circled on their calendars for many months. It's been a year, in fact.
Tonight at 7 p.m. the Lions play host to the Hampton Huskies at Chapman Field and it's important to the Lions for a couple of reasons.
First, the Lions get to do what every high school football team dreams of doing - getting a shot at playing under the "Friday Night Lights."
More importantly, the Huskies are the team that knocked off the Lions 10-7 last year in the first round of the New Brunswick High School Football League playoffs, a pill that is still not easy for the Lions players to swallow.
"Oh yeah, we've been thinking about it and we really cannot wait to get out there to play those guys," said Lions defensive captain and senior linebacker, Mike Benson.
"They beat us on what came down to 20 yards and a fumble and that is hard to take because we know now and we knew then that we were better than them."
The intense Benson is, according to coach Rick Kelly, a storyline all unto himself.
"Mike could be playing CIS football right now, I have no doubt of that," said Kelly, whose team heads into the tilt at 1-1. "He's the best defensive player in the N.B. high school league - period.
"He's a great kid. I can't say enough good things about him. When he's out on the field he's literally another coach out there for us. Mike Benson is a supreme talent for this team."
Thus far the six-foot-three, 220-pound Benson has proven to be the backbone of the defence for the Lions, but sees himself as more of a cog in the wheel.
"Everyone is on board, we're working hard as a group and we want to get a roll going after the win last week (14-13 against the Oromocto High School Beaver Brokerage Blues)," said Benson who also excels for the Lions rugby, hockey and volleyball teams. "We'll definitely be ready for Hampton."
After the win over the Blues, the Lions hope the Hampton game will prove they can execute and avoid costly mistakes that have plagued them in their first two games.
"We've been focusing in practice all week on repetition and maintaining consistency," said the offensive line anchor, Grade 11 Paul Sibley. "We couldn't be any more pumped to be playing under the lights on a Friday night."
Sibley, a junior checking in at six feet and 230 pounds, says that he doesn't think playing at a larger venue such as Chapman Field will distract or take away from the Lions' focus.
"We're all familiar with the field and some of us have played there, but it won't matter because we're all going there for one reason - to win the game."
One man who promises to gain a lot of attention from the Huskies is the dangerous Peter Reimer.
"I'll just be doing the best I can to help the team win," said the modest senior Reimer, who is eyeing the University of Calgary as a possible landing spot a year from now. "We just want to work hard, play a good team game and try and come away with a win."
Reimer, of course, was a one-man wrecking crew against the Blues racking up over 300 total yards in a windy and wet affair at Lions field, but it's not Reimer coach Rick Kelly has been focusing on this week to prepare to defeat the Huskies.
"They run the ball well and basically send a lot of people in one direction or another," said Kelly. "We know we have to tackle really well to combat that attack and we've dedicated an hour of each of the last two practices solely to sharpening up our tackling.
"Peter will be important on both sides of the ball, but it will take a team effort to win against Hampton, and we have to have contributions from everyone, not just Peter."
Kelly mentions Jason Daniels, Moose Brooks, Benson, Reimer and quarterback Derek Broad as key players for this game, with each having an ability to change the game themselves on any given play.
"Derek is a guy who has the ability to light up the night if he's focused," said Kelly. "He can deliver the mail and spread that ball around when he gets the time in the pocket and our offensive line can keep the pressure away from him."
Fourth year senior Moose Brooks, at six-foot-four and 225 pounds, knows a thing or two about pressuring the quarterback, and the polite, soft-spoken defensive lineman is itching to inflict some damage on the Huskies' offensive stars, but not at the cost of taking penalties.
"I've been playing here for four years now and we've come a long way as a team in that time," said Brooks. "Jake Thomas brought me into football and I think he'd be proud of the way we've come together here this year. We've played with heart and with passion and most importantly we have played as a team.
"The only thing we need to be careful of is not making mental errors, taking penalties and losing sight of our goal, which is winning as a team."
Brooks has his sights set on playing CIS football next season; with hopes to hook up with an old friend.
"I'd love to go down to Acadia and play with Jake," said Brooks. "I know that a lot of players here feel that way because he's made a big difference to a number of us by introducing us to the sport and it's really changed our lives in a lot of positive ways."
"I'd like to be an Axemen when I graduate in two years, but for this week we're all focusing on the task at hand - making sure we beat Hampton and have some fun on Friday night under the lights."
The Huskies also have a 1-1 record. The 1-1 FHS Black Kats host 0-2 St. Malachy's at 1 p.m. Saturday at FHS field. At the same time in Oromocto, the 1-1 Blues will battle the 2-0 Saint John High Greyhounds.
Moncton High leads the Eastern Conference with a 2-0-1 record.