Bulldogs capture WECSSAA Tier 3 football title with thrilling victory

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team finished atop the WECSSAA Tier 3 division thanks to a 21-16 win Friday night.

The Bulldogs finished the season a perfect 7-0 after defeating the Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex, the latter team also entering the game undefeated. The game, played in Tecumseh, saw the Bulldogs arrive late due to a busing issue but when they arrived, they were more than ready to go.

General Amherst scored on their first two possessions, the first set up by a bad snap on a Tecumseh Vista Academy punt attempt which allowed the Bulldogs to start the drive on the Vortex 23 yard line. That drive was capped with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Emmitt Rosati.

The second drive, also in the first quarter, was finished by running back Levi Reaume, who found the end zone from one yard out. That drive began after the Bulldogs defense stuffed the Vortex on a third down play and caused the ball to be turned over on downs.

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume celebrates after a first quarter touchdown Friday night at Tecumseh Vista
Academy.

After a four-yard touchdown run by Tecumseh Vista Academy in the second quarter made it a 14-7 game, the Bulldogs restored their 14-point advantage thanks to Rosati’s second touchdown of the night, this one being a one-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone.

Preston Muzzin converted all three Bulldog touchdowns.

Tecumseh Vista Academy tried to come back and put up nine points in the third quarter. The first two points came via a safety as General Amherst committed a holding penalty in their own end zone. Shortly after that, Vista got a two-yard touchdown run of their own to make it 21-16.

Though the home team could get no closer, they did make it interesting. After Vista’s offense and General Amherst penalties moved the ball deep into the Bulldogs’ territory with just under four minutes to play in the game, the Bulldogs were able to recover a fumble to stall Tecumseh’s drive. Big runs by Reaume not only moved the ball the other direction, but also helped to run out the clock and clinch the win and the division title for General Amherst.

“It’s a terrific feeling,” Reaume said after the game.

Reaume noted they rebounded after a tough 0-6 season in 2017 to a perfect season this year.

Brayden LeClerc breaks tackles of Tecumseh Vista Academy defenders after making a catch.

“It goes to show what happens when we work hard, focus and are dedicated,” he said.

The Bulldogs wanted to make sure they finished the job, he indicated, and Reaume also pointed out that it was the last drive of their high school careers for the senior players.

“This is what you are going to remember,” he said. “You are not going to remember 6-1.”

Defensive co-ordinator Joel Charron also pointed out it was a great win for the Bulldogs, especially for those players who suffered through last season.

“It’s a great win for them,” said Charron. “It’s great for the players. I’m really happy for the kids.”

Charron was pleased with how the defense played and noted they ran the ball well on offense as well.

General Amherst quarterback Emmitt Rosati gets hit as he throws during the Nov. 2 win over Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Head coach John Rudak, sopping wet after the game after having the bucket of ice water dumped on him in celebration, said the team dubbed the game the “Dave Scott Bowl,” in memory of the legendary General Amherst coach who died in Sept. 2017.

“It turned out really well. I hope he was watching,” said Rudak.

The strong start resonated on the Bulldogs’ bench, as Rudak noted the players were feeling good about themselves. However, he knew that Tecumseh Vista Academy “had a lot left” and that showed in the second half. Rudak said the Bulldogs seemingly tried to lose the game at some points with the number of penalties they took but the turnover late helped salvage the win.

This year’s Bulldogs senior team was a combination of senior and junior players and Rudak hopes to restore both junior and senior teams as early as next season. That will help make the football program more sustainable at General Amherst.

“Hopefully the enthusiasm of winning brings more players out,” he said. “That’s our objective – to play at a high level.”

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate after a 21-16 win
Friday at Tecumseh Vista Academy (above). The win gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 record and the division title.

Whether there will be one or two teams will be known next August, Rudak added, stating he can field a senior team if there are at least 25 players.

This year’s team saw fewer missed practices by the players, he added, as only work and school commitments kept them away.

Rudak also thanked his coaching staff for their work this past season, stating it was the largest staff he has ever had as a coach.

“I value all of their insight,” said Rudak.

For more photos from the football game between General Amherst and Tecumseh Vista Academy, please visit our Facebook album.

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