Sr. Bulldogs open season with 41-0 loss to Riverside

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team is struggling to keep the number of players up and some of those players they do have suited up for the first time in a game last Thursday.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it showed in the results.

General Amherst was on the short end of a 41-0 decision to the Riverside Rebels in a game played at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The teams were scoreless through one quarter though Riverside had a touchdown called back on a penalty.

General Amherst running back Levi Reaume (left, 21) heads upfield during last Thursday’s game against Riverside.

The Rebels put up three touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to a three-yard run, a 45-yard punt return and an 18-yard pass, the latter being on the final play of the half.

General Amherst’s best chance to score came in the third quarter when they got to the Riverside four-yard line. However, a third-and-goal play ended with a sack.

Riverside tacked on three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter through a 24-yard-pass, a 60-yard punt return and a one-yard run.

The low numbers and inexperience of the players wasn’t lost on Amherst head coach John Rudak.

“That’s definitely the headline,” said Rudak.

Rudak pointed out that the Rebels recently combined their senior and junior football teams, meaning they won’t play at the junior level this season, adding that he gave consideration to doing the same thing at General Amherst. When he put a challenge out to the players about bolstering the team’s numbers, about 28 showed up for practice and Rudak shelved the plan to combine the teams at that point.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins (3) throws a pass last Thursday afternoon against the Riverside Rebels.

“That gave our team false hope because eight guys quit shortly thereafter,” said Rudak. “The best part of that is (the remaining players) don’t seem to care. They still love playing football.”

There is still a concern about the ability to finish the season as if more players quit or if some get injured, it could deplete the team’s roster too much. Rudak was encouraged that the new players now have a game under their belts.

“Their learning curve is going to be very good,” he said. “They can only get better.”

Rudak said they are still welcoming new players and if anyone wants to join either the senior or junior teams, they can attend practices at Centennial Park after school.

The Bulldogs’ next game is Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Libro Centre against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

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