Jr. Bulldogs overcome poor start to advance in playoffs

 

By Joel Charron

It was the worst possible start that ended in the best possible result.

The General Amherst junior football team got their first taste of the playoffs Monday afternoon, defeating the visiting St. Annes Saints 29-13.

The Jr. Bulldogs had a bit to overcome after the first quarter. After four fumbles led to two St. Annes defensive touchdowns the Bulldogs found themselves in a bit of a hole, trailing 13-0.

The Jr. Bulldogs would regroup in the second quarter scoring early in the quarter on a seven-yard strike from quarterback Sam Girard to Jarrod Manherz. Amherst completed the two-point convert with a pass to Macual Reiner as the Jr. Bulldogs cut into the St. Annes lead 13-8.

Amherst wasn’t finished there, Manherz caught his second touchdown of the game, this time from 37-yards out and Reiner would be the recipient of Girard’s third touchdown pass of the quarter, a 38-yard bomb as time expired in the first half.

After a scoreless third Amherst capped off the scoring with a David Beaudoin one-yard blast up the middle.

“In the first quarter, we weren’t ready for the game,” said head coach Dave Scott. “It took awhile for us to get going, but once we did everything was ok.”

 

Jr. Bulldogs running back Eric Wismer tries to break free from a St. Annes defenders grasp.

The Jr. Bulldogs reeled off 29 straight points and allowed no offensive touchdowns while attacking the St. Annes defense through the air, which was a change of pace for Amherst as they have kept it on the ground for the majority of the season.

“Everything has really been clicking for us the last few weeks,” said Scott. “ Our defense really played well and started to hit guys low because they (St. Annes) had a big back coming through there.”

Manherz said the team never lost hope after falling behind 13-0.

“We weren’t ready to play. I think we took them lightly at first,” said Manherz. “Coach just told us to keep our heads in the games and focus.”

Manherz credited the defense for keeping the Saints to only two touchdowns on four Amherst turnovers.

“If it wasn’t for the defense, this game could have gotten out of control really fast,” he said.

Scott admits if people would have told him that the Jr. bulldogs would advance to the second round of the playoffs he wouldn’t have believed them, especially with the teams 0-4 start.

“They are a young team with a lot of Grade 9’s and they are all starting to mature and understand what the game is all about,” said Scott. “We’re a good team and if we can take that next step we can be a great team.”

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