Bulldogs roll L’Essor in quarter-finals

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst Bulldogs took one more step in returning to the Wilson Conference Finals by taking out the L’Essor Agles in the opening round of the playoffs last Friday afternoon.

The Bulldogs 28-0 win over the Agles at Centennial Park is the squad’s fifth shutout of the year.

Matt Duby’s 35-yard field was the only scoring of the opening frame, however, Amherst found their rhythm in the second quarter, exploding for 17 points. Corey Bezaire inched his way close to the Amherst school record of 15 touchdowns by punching in his eleventh touchdown of the season on a one-yard run to push the lead to 10-0. Duby then added his second field goal of the game, blasting the ball through the uprights from 29-yards away for a 13-0 lead.


Amherst Max Reiner gets hauled down by his neck in second quarter action.

Bezaire capped off the second frame by adding his second major of the day on an 11-yard run to extend the Bulldogs lead 20-0 at halftime.

After a long completion from quarterback Mike Mallender found the hands of receiver  Adam Robinson, who ran in deep into L’Essor territory, Spencer Petrozzi finished off the drive by finding the end zone on a three-yard run to put Amherst ahead 27-0. The Bulldogs added a single point off a 27-yard missed field goal.

The L’Essor offense had no answer for the swarming Amherst defense as the Agiles only time crossing midfield was thanks to a pair of 15-yard penalties.

Amherst lineman Chris Grondin, who has been a defensive staple all year said the defense is strong because they all understand they have to play as one cohesive unit.

“We are a family,” said Grondin. “Everyone plays like brothers out there. Everyone has each other’s back. We want to represent the town and the school well.”

Head coach John Rudak said L’Essor did a good job in the middle of the field, which forced the Bulldogs to attack the outside on the ground but noted, Petrozzi created room with a few solid runs through the heart of the  L’Essor defense.

Rudak also mentioned for the fourth week in a row the Bulldogs faced an opponent with little to lose.

“They had nothing to lose,” he said. “L’Essor took a lot of risks.”

Rudak said he has been very happy with the play of his defense all year. He mentioned that the defense gave their offense good field

position by keeping L’Essor deep in their own side on the field.

Rudak acknowledged Duby’s punting and kicking efforts, calling the fifth year player a “game changer.”

“Duby did a tremendous job,” he said. “He’s been a big asset to the team. His punting and kicking changes the way you call offensive play. It’s a great weapon to have.”

Rudak admits the Bulldogs play with a lot of emotion, which has hindered them at time with penalties.

“Things like that are going to cost you a championship. You can’t afford that type of stuff,” he said.

Amherst will now face Cardinal Carter in the semi-finals on Thursday at Centennial Park at 3 p.m.




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