Sr. Bulldogs season come to premature end following loss to Villanova


Bulldogs-wildcats Cutline: With a Villanova defender wrapped around his waste Amherst’s Kyle Lawrence fights for a few extra yards in the first quarter.


By Joel Charron


The General Amherst senior boys football team lost a lot more than just their 58-7 loss to the Villanova Wildcats Friday evening.

Due to a high number of injuries and not enough depth on the team, head coach John Rudak made a tough decision to forfeit the remainder of the season.

“It’s not a decision I came to lightly,” said Rudak. “This is the first time this has happened in my coaching career.”

Amherst went into Friday night’s tilt at the United Communities Credit Union Complex against their rivals already banged up and by near the end of the game the bench resembled a MASH unit.

Villanova out guns a blazing, intercepting Amherst quarterback Ryan Gignac on the first play of the game.

The Wildcats scored first on a one-yard run and then shortly after on a 60-yard punt return touchdown but would miss an extra point for a 13-0 first quarter lead.

Amherst did manage to get on the board with Kyle Lawrence punching it through on a four-yard run and convert the point after to cut into the lead 13-7.

However that would be as close as Amherst would get. Villanova extended the score with a 40-yard run and a 21-yard run and lead 27-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs’ Jesse Prentice intercepted his third pass in two games but Amherst was unable to capitalize on Villanova’s mistake.

The Wildcats added a 25-yard field goal and a one-yard touchdown run to lead 37-7 at the half.

Villanova increased their lead in the second half, scoring on a one-yard run, 5-yard run, 50-yard punt return and a single point off a miss 30-yard field goal.

Amherst’s top two defensive players were held out of the second half because of injury and several more went down as well.

Rudak said he was filling the empty positions with player that had never played certain positions before.

Rudak notified the team about his decision Monday afternoon.

“There were a few kids that understood what the meeting was about and there were other kids that were stunned about this happening,” he said.

Fifth year student Joel Wismer said he’s disappoint to see his final year of high school football end in forfeit.

“It’s definitely a major disappointment. I was really looking forward to playing my final year,” he said. “There not enough numbers so I guess this is how it ends for me.”

Wismer said when Rudak told the team it wasn’t a “happy feeling” but had a feeling this was coming.

“I knew we were short staffed, especially on the line,” said Wismer. “I think we all knew it was coming sooner or later because of safety reasons.”

Wismer stressed he understands Rudak’s decision to forfeit the season.

“I don’t blame anyone,” he stated. “We were short staffed and injuries caught up to us. It sucks but we just got the short end of the rope this year.”

Although the season is finished, Rudak said there is still football available for those who want to participate. He plans to use the senior team as a scout team to help the juniors to prepare for their game midst their undefeated season.

“Our junior team has a good chance to be really successful so why not try to help that part,” he said.




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