Bulldogs clinch #1 seed for playoffs

McNorgan leads Amherst in  21-0 win over St. Joe’s

By Joel Charron

Mike McNorgan made sure the St. Joseph’s Lasers knew they were playing a ferocious General Amherst Bulldog defense.

McNorgan set the tone by picking up his first of two interceptions on the day, on the opening play of the game and the Bulldogs rode their defense to a 21-0 win.

By holding the Lasers to under 10-point, not only do the Bulldogs finish the regular season 6-0, they also snatch the number one seed away from the Kennedy Clippers, who also finished 6-0.

“We’re all happy,” said McNorgan. “A couple older guys are looking  for something special this year.”

 

Mike McNorgan soars high above teammate Mike Pople (#6) and the St. Joe’s player to snag his first interception of the game on St. Joe’s first offensive play of the game.

Head coach John Rudak credited his defense with another gutsy performance, finishing with three interceptions and three sacks. Rudak said he told the Bulldogs that a team like St. Joe’s will have nothing to lose and will be pulling out the stops.

“It wasn’t an easy win,” said Rudak. “They had nothing to lose and they pumped them up. “

Rudak mentioned that the offense did have their best showing of the year but came through when the team needed a big play.

It looked as if the Bulldogs would have their way offensively, after Corey Bezaire scored on a seven yard run in their first drive, however failed to establish a rhythm.

The Bulldogs offense stalled after McNorgan’s second interception but Amherst quarterback Mike Mallender connected with McNorgan for a 35-yard touchdown pass, which was set up by a Mitch Girard interception.

With the Bulldogs leading 14-0 late in the final frame, St. Joe’s tried a fake punt but was snuffed out by Aaron Harber.

A few plays later Bezaire put the game on ice with second touchdown of the game on a nine-yard run.

Afterwards, McNorgan admits the Bulldogs over looked St. Joe’s stating it took a “total team effort.”

“It’s like a family, everyone pitches in at the dinner table,” said McNorgan. “When it comes down to it, it’s a W, but we gave them a good look at taking it from us.”

McNorgan also credited Rudak for preparing the team for their third game in eight days.

“People are going to feel fatigue and sore. He does a really good job preparing us,” he said.

Rudak said coming into the season, he knew he had a good football team and had a goal of being in the top two.

Now that they have achieved that, Rudak has set the bar higher.

“Anything but going to SWOSSA is unsuccessful,” he said.

Rudak said the Bulldogs are getting healthy with Brad Cole not needing surgery on his injured hand, while Adam Vandermuren has returned. Receiver Adam Robinson is expected back soon after dental surgery.

Amherst will play the L’Essor Aigles  in the first round of the Wilson Conference Playoffs at Centennial Park on Thursday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is 3 p.m.

 

 

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