Sr. Bulldogs battle Riverside but come up short



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Bulldogs battled the Riverside Rebels for the second time this season and while it was a bit closer of a game, the result was the same.

The Bulldogs lost 38-6 last Thursday evening at the Libro Centre to fall to 0-5. Despite the score, the Bulldogs did play better than they did in the first game of the season, a 41-0 loss to the Rebels Sept. 14.

Riverside used big plays to build a lead, including an 80-yard punt return touchdown and a 76-yard run in the first half and that, plus a field goal, put the visitors up 17-0 at the half. Thanks to a 23-yard pass and a two-yard run, the Rebels went up 30-0 in the fourth quarter and followed that up with a single point on a kickoff to go up 31-0.

General Amherst’s Austin Hocevar (31) tries to get around a Riverside defender. Trying to create room for his teammate is Amherst’s Ethan Lavigne (14).

Brayden LeClerc provided a highlight for the Bulldogs, as he scored on a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter but Riverside added another touchdown, this one on a 68-yard run, to round out the scoring.

General Amherst was able to move the ball at points, including a successful fake punt in the first half, but was unable to get to the end zone with the exception of the LeClerc touchdown.

“In the first half, I think we ran things a lot better,” said head coach John Rudak. “We were a lot more solid.”

With it being 17-0 at the half, Rudak said the Bulldogs believed the game was still in reach but their “bend but not break” defense allowed too many big plays.

“We have a lot of kids who haven’t played football (before this season) and are not football smart right now,” said Rudak. “It’s been difficult.”

With the Bulldogs set to face an undefeated Tecumseh Vista Academy team this Thursday afternoon in Tecumseh, Rudak wants all of his players to be ready and to come out to practice in preparation for the game. It will be the final regular season game for General Amherst.

Levi Reaume (gold jersey, #21) is tackled by a pair of Riverside defenders Oct. 19 at the Libro Centre. Riverside won 38-6.

“It’s about the team right now, not the individuals,” he said. “We have to be focused on the team. Our society seems to be based on what is good for me, at least with the youth it seems.”

Rudak even quoted Star Trek character Spock, in stating “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

The team played the previous week in Wallaceburg for the “Bronze Boot” and while they lost, assistant coach Joel Charron said it was a good experience for the players.

“(Wallaceburg) was a big, beefy team,” said Charron. “I don’t think we came prepared.”

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