Villanova Wildcats

Jr. Bulldogs lose to Villanova 41-1

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It wasn’t a game that the General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team will consider their finest.
For the Villanova Wildcats, last week’s game will provide them with better memories.

The Wildcats knocked off the visiting Bulldogs 41-1 last Tuesday afternoon in a game played at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School. Villanova did the bulk of its scoring in the first half with General Amherst coach Dino Rosati stating his team showed some improvement in the second half.

Eric Blanchette (11, left) throws a pass during fourth quarter action Oct. 17 at Villanova. Villanova won 41-1.

“It didn’t quite go the way we wanted,” Rosati remarked after the game.

Quarterback Emmitt Rosati missed the game due to a sprained ankle with Eric Blanchette and Nolan Crain splitting time under centre against Villanova.

“They both did an OK job,” said Rosati, noting the two back-up quarterbacks picked up valuable experience they didn’t have before.

“They played pretty well for never having played that spot before,” said the head coach.

Other players managed to get on the field and get some experience as well, Rosati added.

“We got a lot of kids in there. We see some positives,” said Rosati. “We got a lot of kids some experience.”

Preston Muzzin (84) reels in a pass against Villanova during General Amherst’s 41-1 loss to the Wildcats Oct. 17.

The second half was better because of the defense, he believed.

Anthony Paossi scored three touchdowns for Villanova with Dawson Taylor, Josh Rosa and Jaxon Laramie each having one touchdown for the Wildcats.

“We had a couple of good stops on defense in the second half,” said Rosati.

The Bulldogs (0-4) host another winless team Oct. 24 as the Catholic Central Comets come to Amherstburg. The Bulldogs conclude the regular season Oct. 31 with a 4 p.m. game against Sandwich, also at Centennial Park.

Villanova girls hockey team captures SWOSSAA championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova girls hockey team is heading for OFSAA after winning the SWOSSAA “AAA/AAAA” title last Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats and the Chatham-Kent Hawks couldn’t settle things in the first three periods or in the first three overtime periods but Alessandra Schembri ended things with just 11.4 seconds left in the fourth overtime to give the Wildcats the 1-0 win.

Schembri said she pushed the puck past the Hawks’ defense and ended up on a breakaway. Stopped on her first attempt to score, she picked up the rebound and ended the game.

“Before I knew it, the puck was in the net,” said Schembri. “It was surreal. I didn’t know what happened. I was at a loss for words. I was trampled by my teammates.”

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats  gather for a group  picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats gather for a group picture after capturing the SWOSSAA AAA/AAAA title last Tuesday.

It was a fast-paced game, Schembri added, but the scoring chances were kept to a minimum.

“There wasn’t a lot of room out there but we worked hard and pushed through,” she said.

Captain Carli Dumeah motivated the team between every period, Schembri added, and “we all worked hard for her.” It was also an emotional game for the senior players, as they are in their final year of high school hockey.

Villanova head coach John Purdie pointed out that Chatham-Kent was undefeated coming into the game while the Wildcats lost only once during the season. Both teams allowed less than one goal per game during the season.

Purdie said their loss was to Chatham-Kent, a 3-1 defeat at a Christmas tournament. He said the Hawks “snuck up on us” as the Wildcats were not expecting them to be as strong as they were.

Since that game, the Wildcats made beating Chatham-Kent one of their missions this year.

“Our goal from Day 1 was to get to OFSAA and win OFSAA,” said Purdie. “We said it all year, this was a step towards the end goal.”

The Wildcats figure they can do well at OFSAA, which is March 21-24 in Mississauga. Purdie said they may be one of the smaller schools there, but they have a lot of elite players and have proven they can play with some of the best in Ontario.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

Villanova’s Allison Langille (87) drives around Chatham-Kent’s Kirsten Horney during last week’s SWOSSAA title game at the Libro Centre.

“This is the most complete team we’ve ever had,” said Purdie. “The depth of this team is amazing.”

Both goalies – Kristen Swiatoschik and Erica Fryer – give the team a chance to win and Purdie believes they could medal with either of them.

The Wildcats expected the SWOSSAA final to be a tight hockey game and Purdie stressed to the players to not let a bad bounce beat them. He also credited the referees, who “did a great job letting them play.” There wasn’t a single penalty called in the game.

Players come from Amherstburg, Harrow and LaSalle, Purdie noted.

“I think this is the kind of hockey team that brings communities together,” he added.

Villanova homecoming ends in 41-34 loss

 

By Jonathan Martin

St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School’s homecoming game started out with promise.

Within the first minute of play, the home team had already scored a touchdown against Vincent Massey Secondary School. An hour and a half in, Villanova was still keeping a tight grip on its lead.

By the fourth quarter, though, the tides had turned.

The Villanova Wildcats (grey jerseys) try to take the ball from the Massey Mustangs in Villanova's 2016 homecoming game.  The Mustangs swiped the victory 41-34.

The Villanova Wildcats (grey jerseys) try to take the ball from the Massey Mustangs in Villanova’s 2016 homecoming game. The Mustangs swiped the victory 41-34.

“You gotta play all four quarters and they played a bit harder,” said Villanova head coach Sean Grondin. “They started piling guys up in the box. We had one and two-play drives that go for touchdowns. Eventually, if they start stopping those two drives, then we get in a little bit of trouble.”

“We knew coming in Villanova was a tough team,” Massey coach Dan Gray said. “But our team came together, our kids played well and so we couldn’t be happier with this win.”

Gray said Massey’s plan was to block running back Jacob Savoni, which he admits they largely failed to do.

The Villanova Wildcats and Massey Mustangs did battle in WECSSAA senior football action last Friday in LaSalle. Massey won 41-34.

The Villanova Wildcats and Massey Mustangs did battle in WECSSAA senior football action last Friday in LaSalle. Massey won 41-34.

“Our plan before the win started was to throw the ball like crazy,” Grondin said. “They know who Savoni is. The city knows who Savoni is. Ultimately, with this win, it kind of curtailed that and we went with out bell cow.”

The game ended with Massey stealing the game with a 41-34 win.

Villanova’s next game will be at Windsor Stadium Oct. 28. They will play Holy Names Catholic High School.

Villanova defeats General Amherst in junior football action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats came to Centennial Park last Wednesday afternoon and came away with a 36-14 win over the General Amherst Bulldogs in junior football action.

The game was even throughout most of the first half. Villanova opened the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown pass from James Hanlon to Ethan Mackinnon but General Amherst tied it in the second quarter. Emmitt Rosati’s pass was tipped but wide receiver Cole Chittle maintained his concentration and made the catch anyway and scampered to the end zone to complete the 40-yard scoring play.

Hanlon put the Wildcats back in front with an 11-yard touchdown run before halftime.

Villanova's James Hanlon tries to break through several General Amherst tacklers during a game at Centennial Park Oct. 12. Villanova won 36-14.

Villanova’s James Hanlon tries to break through several General Amherst tacklers during a game at Centennial Park Oct. 12. Villanova won 36-14.

Villanova broke the game open with a pair of scores in the third quarter. Dom Price scored on a nine-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7 while Hanlon ran one in from ten-yards out to put the Wildcats up 28-7.

The Wildcats added a single point off a punt through the end zone early in the fourth quarter but Amherst responded later in the final quarter with a drive that was capped by a Rosati three-yard touchdown run. Another Villanova score late in the game rounded out the scoring.

General Amherst head coach Dino Rosati said he coached many of the Villanova players through the Windsor Minor Football Association and Essex Ravens programs.

“They have an experienced team,” he said. “We hung tough. We came out and played hard. I’m very happy with the effort today.”

Rosati said they will put the Villanova game behind them and work hard in preparation for this Wednesday’s game with Lajeunesse, also at Centennial Park.

“We stood our ground,” Rosati said after the Villanova game. “If a couple of breaks went our way, it would have been a different game.”

General Amherst's Tyler Bratt (right) goes up for a reception against a Villanova defender in the fourth quarter of last Wednesday afternoon's game at Centennial Park. Villanova won 36-14.

General Amherst’s Tyler Bratt (right) goes up for a reception against a Villanova defender in the fourth quarter of last Wednesday afternoon’s game at Centennial Park. Villanova won 36-14.

The running game has been performing well in recent games, he added, with Justin Guy playing well at running back. He said between the running game, the passing game and improving defense, they have a shot at the WECSSAA AA title.

“They’ve got quite a bit better from the first game until now,” said Rosati.

Following the Oct. 19 game with Lajeunesse, the Bulldogs conclude the season with a pair of road games. The Bulldogs play at Sandwich Oct. 26 and conclude the regular season versus Holy Names at Windsor Stadium Nov. 2.

Sr. Bulldogs rally comes up short against Villanova

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs didn’t give up against the Villanova Wildcats but their efforts at a comeback fell short.

The Bulldogs lost a 23-12 decision to the Wildcats last Thursday evening at Windsor Stadium. The Bulldogs trailed 16-0 at halftime but managed to claw back to make it a 16-12 game in the fourth quarter before Villanova scored an insurance touchdown.

General Amherst running back Mitch Wright (right) prepares to stiff-arm Villanova's Tristan Grondin during action Sept. 22 at Windsor Stadium.

General Amherst running back Mitch Wright (right) prepares to stiff-arm Villanova’s Tristan Grondin during action Sept. 22 at Windsor Stadium.

The teams were scoreless through one quarter, with Villanova missing a 35-yard field goal attempt. The Wildcats scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter as well as a field goal. Zach Coste scored on a run from 13-yards out to put the Wildcats up 7-0 with Jacob Savoni returning a punt 50 yards for a touchdown later in the quarter.

The General Amherst bench was furious with the latter touchdown, believing the officials didn’t call a block in the back infraction on Villanova.

Villanova also got a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter, with that coming between the two touchdowns.

The third quarter was scoreless but Ellis Rosati’s interception late in the quarter gave the Bulldogs some momentum heading into the final 12-minute quarter. Rosati stayed on the field on offense and got some big gains on the ground before Mitch Wright finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown plunge. A two-point convert attempt was unsuccessful.

The Bulldogs took advantage of another Villanova turnover soon after the Wright touchdown. The Wildcats fumbled and after the General Amherst offense retook the field, quarterback Will Borland connected with Wright on a 34-yard pass. The Bulldogs kept going down the field with Borland capping that drive with a seven-yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked.

Villanova was able to recover the onside kick and scored on the ensuing drive. Savoni rounded out the scoring with a 26-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds left.

“In the first half, we made several mental mistakes especially on one drive where we controlled the ball on two-thirds of the field,” said General Amherst head coach John Rudak. “A couple of mental mistakes cost us.”

Rudak liked how his team fought back in the second half.

“I think if we had a chance to play these guys again, it would be a different story,” said Rudak.

The Bulldogs’ defense was tremendous on first down, Rudak stated, but “unfortunately (Villanova) converted” on too many second-and-long situations.

Rudak called on his players to work on their own time to improve and work on their skills. He added that some players were missing from Thursday’s game due to injury, including some key linemen.

Villanova's Jacob Savoni fights off General Amherst's Spencer Hawkins last Thursday at Windsor Stadium.

Villanova’s Jacob Savoni fights off General Amherst’s Spencer Hawkins last Thursday at Windsor Stadium.

Villanova coach Mike Coste also noted his team was shorthanded, as the Wildcats had 17 players. He said they “all played their butts off,” adding they only had six available linemen for the game.

“It was a well played game,” said Coste. “The kids played hard on both sides.”

“I’m proud of the kids for what they did.”

The Bulldogs are now 0-2 on the season while Villanova improved to 1-1. Both teams have their home openers Thursday at 3 p.m. with Villanova hosting St. Anne and General Amherst hosting Catholic Central. The Amherst game will be played at Centennial Park.