Sr. Bulldogs win thriller over Lajeunesse in Homecoming Game

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs had their hands full with Lajeunesse in the annual Homecoming Game last Thursday but still came away with the victory.

Derek Gignac (21) runs the ball for General Amherst during fourth  quarter action against Lajeunesse last Thursday afternoon at Centennial Park. Amherst won 41-40.

Derek Gignac (21) runs the ball for General Amherst during fourth
quarter action against Lajeunesse last Thursday afternoon at Centennial Park. Amherst won 41-40.

Nate Lovell (23) gets a rushing attempt in the Sept. 25 win over Lajeunesse.

Nate Lovell (23) gets a rushing attempt in the Sept. 25 win over Lajeunesse.

Amherst quarterback Sam Girard slings one down the field during his team's 41-40 win over Lajeunesse Sept. 25 at Centennial Park.

Amherst quarterback Sam Girard slings one down the field during his team’s 41-40 win over Lajeunesse Sept. 25 at Centennial Park.

Eric Wismer scored the only touchdown of the first quarter, as he ran 41 yards for the major. With Josh Heymans converting that touchdown, it gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.

Lajeunesse threatened but failed to score later in the opening quarter when they had a drive stall on the Amherst 10-yard line but the visitors would find the end zone early in the second quarter to cut into the Amherst lead. Lajeunesse’s two-point convert try failed and Amherst had a 7-6 lead.

Wismer found the end zone again in the second quarter, this time going 72 yards for the score. The extra point missed and Amherst had a 13-6 lead but Lajeunesse fought back with an unconverted touchdown of their own to make it a 13-12 game. The Bulldogs went into the half with a 20-12 lead after David Beaudoin scored from a yard out late in the second quarter.

Lajeunesse had a 36-yard touchdown run wiped out early in the third quarter due to an illegal block in the back penalty and ended up fumbling later in the drive. Wismer would score his third touchdown on a subsequent Amherst possession and, with the extra point, it gave the Bulldogs a 27-12 lead. The visitors scored later in the third quarter to cut the Amherst lead to 27-18 going into the chaotic fourth quarter.

Lajeunesse scored on a three-yard run early in the fourth and, with a successful two-point convert, it made it a 27-26 game but Amherst went up 34-26 when quarterback Sam Girard scored on a one-yard run.

Lajeunesse would tie the game at 34 with a 51-yard touchdown and two-point convert but Wismer would again find the end zone on a one-yard carry. Heymans made another extra point to give Amherst its 41st point and that would be the difference in the game as a 45-yard Lajeunesse touchdown run late in the game went unconverted and the visitors could not find a way to equal the score when they got the ball back with seconds to play.

“It was a lot closer of a game than we wanted it to be,” said Girard. “Allowing 40 points is tough but our offense clicked today. Offensively, it was a great game but we’ve still got to improve.”

Girard added: “It’s good to win (the) Homecoming (Game).”

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said it was a memorable game for him as well.

“I’ve never been part of a game like that,” said Rudak. “It was back-and-forth mostly on the offensive side of it.”

Rudak said the Bulldogs were very solid up the middle but believed they weren’t aggressive defensively taking on blocks.

“We were a little soft on that,” said Rudak.

Rudak stated that Wismer played well but the Bulldogs were hampered by a first-half injury to Jarrod Manherz. Manherz is possibly the Bulldogs top player on both offense and defense, Rudak added.

“It hurt to lose him but we were still able to overcome his loss which is big for us,” he said.

The Bulldogs play their first road game this Friday at 3 p.m. against Leamington. The game is scheduled to be played at Tecumseh Vista Academy.

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