Sr. Bulldogs fall short against Lajeunesse despite strong second half



By Ron Giofu


It was the tale of two halves for the General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team last week.

The Bulldogs travelled to Lajeunesse last Friday afternoon and while the first half ended up being their downfall, the second half proved to be a much better one.

Lajeunesse got off to a fast start and led 14-0 before the Bulldogs’ offense even took to the field. The home team scored on their opening drive thanks to a run of 55 yards to go up 7-0 and got the ball right back thanks to a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Lajeunesse scored again thanks to a seven yard touchdown run on their next series to go up 14-0.

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume (right) runs with the ball during the second half of his team’s game against Lajeunesse last Friday.

A pair of second quarter touchdowns, including a 65-yard run on the first play of the quarter and a 27-yard touchdown pass late in the quarter, gave Lajeunesse a 27-0 lead going into halftime. The extra point was missed on the third Lajeunesse touchdown.

The Bulldogs played much better in the second half. Amherst had a lengthy third quarter drive that took up much of the quarter but fell short inside the Lajeunesse five-yard line on a third down play but their improved play paid off in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard late in the game thanks to quarterback Spencer Hawkins connecting with wide receiver Ethan Lavigne on a 21-yard touchdown pass.

General Amherst’s two-point conversion was successful as Hawkins found Calvin Cribley in the front corner of the end zone.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins (3) fires a pass during second half action Oct. 6 at Lajeunesse.

“We had a huge pick up in enthusiasm,” said General Amherst head coach John Rudak. “Everyone was very, very quiet in the first half.”

The Bulldogs were slowed by their lack of football experience, as Rudak pointed out that players like Hawkins had to continuously explain the plays to his teammates. He said the halftime message was simply for players to play their positions as they were caught looking into the backfield in the first half instead of aggressively playing their positions as they were supposed to.

“It was a very good second half by us,” said Rudak. “I was definitely impressed by Levi Reaume. He played some hard nosed football for us. Spencer also played some hard nosed football.”

While the Bulldogs don’t have a WECSSAA league game this week, they will be in action. Both the senior and junior teams will be on the road this week to battle Wallaceburg High School for the “Bronze Boot.” Rudak said they want to bring the trophy to home.

“This is the highlight of our season,” he added. “It will be sweet to bring it to Essex County.”

The next league game for General Amherst is Oct. 19 at the Libro Centre against Riverside starting at 5 p.m. They follow that up with a game at Tecumseh Vista Academy Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. in what will be their final regular season game.

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