John Rudak

Bulldogs eke out road win at Brennan

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs improved to 4-0 on the season last Thursday afternoon by the smallest margin of victory possible.

The Bulldogs held on and defeated the Brennan Cardinals 22-21 in a game played at Brennan. The Cardinals trailed 22-12 early in the fourth quarter but a field goal and a touchdown put them within one point. General Amherst’s Calvin Cribley chose a fine time for his second interception of the game, as that came on the two-point attempt late in the game on the Cardinals’ last touchdown and allowed the Bulldogs to hang on for the win.

Emmitt Rosati (7, black jersey) throws a pass during the Oct. 11 win at Brennan.

Both teams scored on their opening drives with Bulldogs’ quarterback Emmitt Rosati going up the middle for a three-yard touchdown run but Brennan tied it on the next series with a 23-yard touchdown pass.

The only other first half scoring was a single by Brennan off of a punt to make in 8-7 at the half. The Cardinals added another rouge off of a missed 40-yard field goal early in the third quarter to go up 9-7 but the Bulldogs answered back as running back Levi Reaume scored on a seven-yard run and then found the end zone on the two-point attempt to put General Amherst up 15-9.

Brennan would get a 23-yard field goal before the third quarter was out to make it a 15-12 game but Rosati had a four-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 22-12. Matteo Gugliotta made all converts he attempted for the Bulldogs.

Levi Reaume finds room to run during the second half of General Amherst’s 22-21 win at Brennan Oct. 11.

The Cardinals got the next nine points but could get no closer.

“It felt good. We played pretty hard,” said Reaume after the game. “Our offense played pretty well. We executed and ran the ball well.”

Reaume called the one-point victory “a great confidence booster” as the team knows it can win a tight game.

“We’re confident in our ability for the rest of the season,” said Reaume.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said four Bulldog turnovers made the game tighter than it should have been, but credited his players for doing a good job and picking up the win.

“We did everything we could do and did a good job,” he said.

Rudak said both the offensive and defensive lines played well and agreed that the Bulldogs get a “huge amount of confidence” going into the rest of the season.

Brennan’s Dante Daniels fights off four Bulldog defenders during Amherst’s 22-21 victory.

“Hopefully that carries over into the Blenheim game,” said Rudak.

The win over Brennan was “definitely one of the most exciting games from a fan and coaching perspective.”

The game against the Brennan Bobcats will be Thursday at 3 p.m. at Centennial Park. It will be the final regular season home game of the year for the Bulldogs, who then close the regular season with two games on the road.

For more photos from the Brennan game, visit our Facebook album.

Bulldogs improve to 2-0 in WECSSAA Tier 3 football action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team is now 2-0 on the WECSSAA Tier 3 season after a convincing win last Thursday afternoon.

The Bulldogs blanked Lajeunesse 26-0 in a game played at Centennial Park. General Amherst scored on their first possession as the legs and arm of quarterback Emmitt Rosati got the Bulldogs down the field before running back Levi Reaume scored on an eight-yard run.

General Amherst’s Ethan Reaume (36) heads upfield for a big gain Sept. 27 against Lajeunesse. Amherst won 26-0.

Levi’s brother Ethan got in on the act in the second quarter, as he reeled in a 65-yard touchdown pass from Rosati. Rosati scored the Bulldogs third touchdown on a one-yard plunge late in the first half to make it 20-0.

Kicker Matteo Gugliotta had a 12-yard field goal in the third quarter and booted a 19-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Bulldogs head coach John Rudak said they executed well in just about every facet of the game, except in the penalty department. He estimated they had 150-200 yards in penalties. The discipline aspect of their game will have to be cleaned up as Rudak acknowledged that it is difficult to win consistently with that many penalties.

Rudak said they knew Lajeunesse would have trouble passing the football, so they played close to the line of scrimmage and tried to force Lajeunesse to pass the ball.

“It’s a great confidence booster,” Rudak said of the win. “From the get-go, we moved the ball very efficiently.”

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume gets tackled after gaining positive yardage during the Bulldogs’ 26-0 win over Lajeunesse Sept. 27.

The touchdown on the opening drive was “probably our best drive of the season,” said Rudak.

The Bulldogs also escaped the game with no injuries and Rudak noted they were able to get playing time to some Grade 9 and 10 players.

General Amherst will try and pick up their third straight win in their third straight home game this week. The Bulldogs will be back at the Libro Centre Friday evening for a 5 p.m. game against the Leamington Lions.

For more photos from General Amherst’s 26-0 victory over Lajeunesse, visit our Facebook album.

Bulldogs win season opener against Cardinal Carter

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs are already doing better this season than they did last year.

The Bulldogs finished 0-6 at both the senior and junior levels in 2017 but took a combined team to the Libro Centre last Thursday night and won 24-14 over the Cardinal Carter Cougars.

The teams played a scoreless first quarter but General Amherst scored three of the four touchdowns in the second quarter. Quarterback Emmitt Rosati connected with wide receiver Calvin Cribley on a 23-yard touchdown pass off of a fake field goal to open the scoring. After a 56-yard touchdown run by Cardinal Carter tied it, Rosati scored from two-yards out to put General Amherst up 14-7.

Rosati and Cribley hooked up again right before the second quarter ended, this time on a 20-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-7 Bulldogs at the half.

General Amherst quarterback Emmitt Rosati dashes through a hole during second half action in his team’s 24-14 win over the Cardinal Carter Cougars Sept. 20.

Bulldogs’ kicker Matteo Gugliotta, who successfully converted all three touchdowns, booted a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter to put General Amherst up 24-7 but the Cougars scored on a 72-yard pass play later in the third to make it a 24-14 game.

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.

Cribley admitted to being “a little bit nervous” but believes he played well. He believed there were too many mistakes and that he has to cut down on them. As for his touchdowns, Cribley said he ran his routes and that Rosati got him the football.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak pointed out how big it was to get the win.

“That was a very important win for the program,” he said. “Last year, our team barely survived the season.”

The Bulldogs had about “nine or ten” Grade 9 players quit the team because they were worried about going against much larger players, said Rudak, but he hoped they would return next year to help the future of the football program at Amherst. General Amherst would like to eventually return to having junior and senior teams, Rudak added, but pointed out six of the eight teams in the WECSSAA Tier 3 division are combined teams.

General Amherst’s Eric Blanchette (11) avoids a Cardinal Carter tackler on his way up the field last Thursday night.

There were some “first game jitters” against Cardinal Carter, Rudak said. There were instances where there were either too many players on the field or not enough and Rudak said they also have to be more aggressive. He said their leaders stepped up and played well.

For more photos from the Sept. 20 senior football game, click here.

The Bulldogs next game is this Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. versus Lajeunesse. That game will be at Centennial Park.

General Amherst likely to field combined senior and junior team this season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

When the General Amherst Bulldogs take the field for the 2018 WECSSAA football season, they will likely be a mix of both senior and junior players.

John Rudak, who is coach of the senior Bulldogs, said he likely will have to combine both teams in order to put a team on the field this season. The juniors could be their own team as in previous seasons but Rudak said that would take an influx of players to help bolster the depth on the senior team.

Rudak pegged the chances at a combined team at 95 per cent, as of last Thursday afternoon’s practice at Centennial Park.

“So far, we’ve had 35-36 players out for all four of our practices, which is good,” he said last Thursday. “The bulk of this team is going to be junior players. We’ve got a good group of Grade 9’s.”

As players put on the pads this week, Rudak said numbers could grow into the 40’s if some players show up that have indicated they might. He was hopeful of more players at the end of the last school year, but noted that they have decided to pursue other options.

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs football team hit the field for the first time this season last week as practice has started for the 2018 WECSSAA season.

“People were interested enough at the end of last year but they changed their minds over the summer,” said Rudak.

With a combined roster, Rudak said the Bulldogs will be stronger than they were last year when the senior team went 0-6. He said there were players who weren’t dedicated to the sport last year and that there weren’t enough players so that he could substitute in people who had the dedication.

Rudak said he has no problem putting a Grade 10 player in the game over a more senior player if the younger player is more committed.

“Last year, we had no depth,” said Rudak.

Rudak added that it is nice coaching junior players, as they have fewer commitments that take them away from football. He said playing football allows young people to have fun and be competitive.

“Just to be part of something is important,” he said.

The Bulldogs won’t be the only combined team in the WECSSAA league this season, he pointed out, adding that there are schools with double the enrolment who don’t have a football program.

“We’re going to try and keep this going as long as we can,” said Rudak.

Sr. Bulldogs blanked in final game of regular season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs hung in there against Tecumseh Vista Academy but then the dam burst.

The winless Bulldogs were in Tecumseh last Thursday for WECSSAA Tier 2 senior football action and were matched up against not only an undefeated Vortex team, but a team that hadn’t allowed a point all season either. The end result didn’t change anything as Tecumseh Vista Academy blanked the Bulldogs 43-0.

The Bulldogs played well in the first half, including having a long first half drive that took a lot of time on the clock but didn’t result in any points. The game was scoreless until two minutes and 30 seconds was left on the clock in the half when the Vortex scored on a nine-yard touchdown run. They would add two more touchdowns before the first half was out, one on a 43-yard touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Dan Mailloux and the other on an 11-yard touchdown run by Mailloux. One of the converts was missed meaning Tecumseh Vista Academy had a 20-0 halftime lead.

Bulldogs’ running back Ethan Lavigne (14) tries to evade a pair of Tecumseh Vista Academy players during Oct. 26 game action.

Mailloux added a five-yard touchdown run and a one-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to bring his team’s advantage to 34-0 after three quarters. Amherst conceded a safety in the fourth quarter to make it a 36-0 game with Mailloux connecting on a 20-yard touchdown pass in the game’s final moments to round out the scoring.

“I thought we came out extremely strong,” said General Amherst head coach John Rudak. “We moved the ball on offense and were good on defense.”

Rudak said they had a good opportunity to go into halftime only trailing 7-0 but “bad things happened” and the Vortex were able to get another two scores that half.

General Amherst quarterback Spencer Hawkins throws a pass despite a Vortex defender diving for his legs during Oct. 26 action. Tecumseh Vista Academy won 43-0.

“The floodgates opened up,” said Rudak.

Rudak praised the efforts of many of his graduating players, roughly nine in all, but added some members of this year’s senior football team didn’t show the commitment needed for the team to be successful.

“What caused us not to be successful is a lack of dedication from half of the team,” he said.

The senior Bulldogs had difficulty getting their entire team to practices this season and that showed in games. Rudak said junior players they called up “saved us” and was thankful the team made it through the six game season without having to fold.

“It was definitely very trying,” he said of the 2017 season.