Sr. Bulldogs

Sr. Bulldogs lose 42-34 against Leamington, battle dwindling numbers

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The General Amherst Senior Bulldogs fought a tough battle in Friday’s 42-34 loss to Leamington.
The Leamington offense started the first quarter strong with aggressive plays, leading to the opening touchdown. It wasn’t until the second quarter when Amherst quarterback Emmitt Rosati came back with an answering touchdown. Amherst attempted to go for a two-point conversation, but came up short, allowing Leamington to continue their lead, closing out the first half 27-6.

The Bulldogs played a hard third quarter with two touchdowns. Rosati connected with Calvin Cribley on a 19-yard touchdown and ran one in himself. A pair of two-point conversations – a passes to Riley Thomas and Cribley) brought the Bulldogs closer.

General Amherst ended up scoring 22 points in the second half, capped by a 64-yard pass from Rosati to Levi Reaume, and that plus strong defense saw them take the lead 28-27 midway into the fourth quarter.

However Leamington came through with two late touchdowns, and despite the Bulldogs’ efforts, the Lions ultimately prevailed.

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume tackles a Leamington Lions player during their Friday night game at the Libro Centre.

“We came from two touchdowns down, we took the lead, but we just couldn’t hang on to keep pushing that ticket,” said Rudak. “But it was a fun game for most of them and it was a definite step forward.”
While Amherst wasn’t struggling with injuries this week, Rudak said he is having trouble with practice attendance which lead him to call six juniors up to join the senior team for Friday’s game.

“Definite improvement, bringing up those six juniors really helped us,” said Rudak. “It’s a bit of an epidemic of players not coming to practice and some of them don’t even let us know they aren’t coming to the game. There’s just a few little things that get you down a bit.”
Rudak said those six players will not be joining them again next week, as they want to continue to play on the junior team and according to the rules, if they play two weeks in a row with the seniors they will be considered a part of that team instead.
The Bulldogs return to the field Friday as they make the trek out to Lajeunesse for 3 p.m.

Sr. Bulldogs blanked 42-0 by Tecumseh Vista Academy

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs had their home opener last Thursday night but are still looking for their first win.

The Bulldogs welcomed the Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex to the Libro Centre but it was the visitors who came away with a 42-0 victory. The undermanned Bulldogs suffered additional injuries as the game went on and ended up dropping to 0-2 on the 2017 WECSSAA AA Tier 2 senior football season.

General Amherst head coach speaks with his team after the Bulldogs lost 42-0 to Tecumseh Vista Academy last Thursday night at the Libro Centre.

The Vortex led 7-0 after one quarter thanks to a 23-year touchdown pass on third down. A penalty wiped out a pick-six for the visitors later in the quarter. Tecumseh Vista added three touchdowns in the second quarter – a four-yard shovel pass for a score and one and 12-yard touchdown runs – and led 28-0 at the half.

A nine-yard touchdown pass and a 27-yard touchdown run in the third and fourth quarters respectively rounded out the scoring. The Vortex threatened late in the fourth quarter but Brayden LeClerc intercepted a pass to stall a Tecumseh Vista drive.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak gives instruction to Ethan Lavigne last Thursday night during the game against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Despite the loss, General Amherst head coach John Rudak saw some positives.

“Definitely, there was a lot of progress in the first half,” said Rudak. “We were a lot calmer. We were better on defense because of the fact we played calmer.”
The injuries and a lack of both depth and experience caught up with the Bulldogs, though, and Amherst was unable to rally.

“They do play with a lot of heart,” said defensive co-ordinator Joel Charron. “They don’t have a lot of experience. There’s not much more we can ask from a team with 19 guys and guys playing in their first year.”

General Amherst’s Brayden LeClerc is brought down by a pair of Tecumseh Vista Academy tacklers during first half action Sept. 21 at the Libro Centre.

Rudak said Ethan Lavigne was a standout on the defensive side of the football.

“Ethan played an outstanding game on defense,” said Rudak. “He chased down a lot of guys for us.”

Rudak added the Bulldogs “are trying to survive and get ready for Friday” when the Leamington Lions come in for a 5 p.m. game at the Libro Centre. More players are expected to come out to practice and that should give the Bulldogs a lift, Rudak added.

Sr. Bulldogs’ season concludes with 35-0 loss to L’Essor

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A difficult season has concluded for the General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team with a frustrating loss to L’Essor.

The game, played last Friday afternoon at Centennial Park, saw the visitors come away with a 35-0 victory. General Amherst finished the year with a 1-6 record and did not qualify for the playoffs while L’Essor finished 5-2.

The Bulldogs played well for much of the first half, but a miscue allowed L’Essor to open the scoring. Jethro Oleko’s 80-yard fumble return gave L’Essor a 7-0 lead on the last play of the first quarter. They expanded their lead to 14-0 in the second quarter on a three-yard run with a 21-yard field goal putting L’Essor up 17-0 at the half.

Mitch Wright (1, left) tries to elude a L’Essor tackler during last Friday afternoon’s game at Centennial Park. L’Essor won 35-0.

Mitch Wright (1, left) tries to elude a L’Essor tackler during last Friday afternoon’s game at Centennial Park. L’Essor won 35-0.

An 18-yard touchdown run with a two-point conversion gave L’Essor a 25-0 lead in the third quarter with Daniel Thrasher connecting with Kevin Dame on a 54-yard touchdown pass later in the quarter to give the visitors a 32-0 lead after three quarters.

A 24-yard field goal rounded out the scoring in the fourth quarter.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said for the positions the two teams were in the standings, “everything we did had to come out right.” The Bulldogs made some costly turnovers in the first half and didn’t take advantage of L’Essor turnovers. In addition to the Amherst fumble that was returned for a touchdown, another Amherst fumble went into the L’Essor end zone and was recovered by L’Essor thus ending a potential scoring drive.

“Those things can’t happen especially in a game like this,” said Rudak.

While it was some of the team’s better players that made the turnovers, including Mitch Wright and Shayne Purdy, it was tough to get down on them due to the tremendous amount of effort both players give, he added.

“They play with a tremendous amount of heart and determination,” said Rudak. “Will (Borland) played with a lot of heart.”

General Amherst quarterback Will Borland (9) gets ready to throw to a receiver last Friday against L’Essor at Centennial Park.

General Amherst quarterback Will Borland (9) gets ready to throw to a receiver last Friday against L’Essor at Centennial Park.

The Bulldogs had about 20 healthy players for Friday’s game and while they can play well early, the low numbers catch up to them.

“You just get worn down,” said Rudak.

The Bulldogs have at least 12 players returning – possibly 13 – but Rudak said that has been the case in recent years.

“It’s been at that same level the last four years,” he said. “There’s not been an influx of juniors coming up. We don’t have five-year players like other schools.”
While the Bulldogs don’t have a lot of players that come back for a fifth year, many others schools have four or five players in that category, he said.

Sr. Bulldogs play hard but lose big in Essex

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs came into Friday night’s game in Essex missing four starters and players kept getting banged up as the game went on.

It showed in the result, as the Red Raiders won their homecoming game by beating the Bulldogs 64-12.

Mitch Wright, Colby Mayville, Levi Reaume and Jack Jasey were unable to play Friday night and the larger Essex squad wore down the Bulldogs as the game went on. Essex took control early, recovering the onside kick on the opening kickoff at the Amherst 26 yard line. Essex running back Nash Prieur scored his first of five touchdowns on the night on the next play.

Shayne Purdie attempts to evade a Essex tackle during last Friday night's game.

Shayne Purdy attempts to evade a Essex tackle during last Friday night’s game.

Prieur scored from 60 yards out later in the first quarter but the Bulldogs quickly answered that touchdown with one of their own as quarterback Will Borland connected with receiver Shayne Purdy on a 76-yard scoring strike. Amherst’s extra point attempt was blocked.

The Red Raiders made it 21-6 early in the second quarter on a five-yard touchdown run by Prieur but the Bulldogs hung in during the second quarter thanks to the Borland-to-Purdy connection as the combination’s second touchdown pass of the game was from 65 yards out. The two-point attempt by the Bulldogs was unsuccessful but they cut the Essex advantage to 21-12.

Essex got a 47-yard touchdown run later in the second quarter to go up 28-12 and tacked on another score on the final play of the half. As Amherst tried to strike with one second left and the ball on the Essex one yard line, Jake Maisonneuve intercepted a Borland pass in the Essex end zone and scampered 113 yards the other way to give Essex a 35-12 lead at the half.

The Red Raiders tacked on two more touchdowns in the second quarter – one on a 49-yard run and the other a 98-yard run – with Amherst also conceding a safety on a third down play deep in the Bulldogs’ territory to make it 51-12 after three quarters.

Essex scored twice more in the fourth quarter with one being a 47-yard touchdown run that was unconverted and the other being a 42-yard touchdown run.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs were able to see some positives.

“It was a lot of heart this week,” said Purdy. “We came out against 40-50 guys and we put up a fight.”

Purdy said the game was back-and-forth during the first half and was proud of the way his team fought.

“We bent, we broke but we got back in there,” he said.

General Amherst running back Nathan Charron (13) outruns Essex defenders during  senior boys football action last Friday night in Essex.

General Amherst running back Nathan Charron (13) outruns Essex defenders during
senior boys football action last Friday night in Essex.

The Bulldogs returned to the practice field this week in preparation for Thursday night’s game versus Massey and Purdy said the Essex loss will be in the rear-view mirror.

“This is do or die for us (against Massey) and we are going to do it,” he stated.

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said Purdy and Borland played a “tremendous game” and that Ellis Rosati also had a good game. He said the team put forth a good effort but ran up against a good opponent.

“The guys played with a tremendous amount of heart,” said Rudak. “Basically, attrition wore us down.”

The game against Massey is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. and will be played at Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Sr. Bulldogs fall short against Catholic Central Comets

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs and Catholic Central Comets played an exciting but rain-soaked football game last Thursday afternoon but it was the Windsor school that came out on top.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the season after losing 27-19 to the Comets at the Libro Centre. The game was moved from Centennial Park due to the weather.

Catholic Central scored the only touchdown of the first quarter thanks to a 53-yard touchdown run and went up 14-0 early in the second on a one-yard quarterback sneak for a score. The Bulldogs fought back and made it a 14-13 game by halftime with a pair of touchdowns of their own, one converted and one not.

Mitch Wright electrified the home fans with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and the Bulldogs got a quarterback sneak major of their own thanks to the effort of Will Borland.

General Amherst’s Shayne Purdy (11, right) tries to get around a Catholic Central defender during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst’s Shayne Purdy (11, right) tries to get around a Catholic Central defender during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

The teams went scoreless in the third quarter but a key third down conversion led to yet another one-yard quarterback sneak and this one went the way of the Comets to make it 21-13. The Bulldogs answered back shortly thereafter, capping a scoring drive with a 19-yard Wright touchdown run to make it a 21-19 football game.

The play of the game came later in the fourth quarter. Just when Amherst defenders thought they had the Comets running back lined up for a loss, a lateral resulted in a 67-yard touchdown run to give the visitors the insurance they needed.

“We started out very sluggish and unmotivated in the first quarter,” said Bulldogs head coach John Rudak. “After we got into the second quarter, we played extremely well. That was one of our best quarters.”

The offense, defense and special teams played better, he said.

“There was some good improvement,” said Rudak. “We were very evenly matched with that team.”

Rudak said the weather impacted the passing game but said that wasn’t an excuse as the rain impacted Catholic Central as well.

General Amherst’s Ellis Rosati (28, centre) fights for yardage during last Thursday afternoon’s game against Catholic Central at the Libro Centre. Catholic Central won 27-19.

General Amherst’s Ellis Rosati (28, centre) fights for yardage during last Thursday afternoon’s game against Catholic Central at the Libro Centre. Catholic Central won 27-19.

The Bulldogs got down near the Comets’ 30-yard line late in the fourth quarter but a third down pass fell incomplete. Three players were banged up during the game but Rudak said all of them should be ready for this week’s game.

“We want to get more individuals involved in the game carrying the ball,” he said. Due to the wet weather, Wright and Ellis Rosati had to be counted on more often.

Despite the loss, the coaches were happy with how the team played.

“All of the coaches were pleased,” said Rudak, adding because it was a loss “it’s hard to translate that to the players.”

The Bulldogs were missing two linemen against Catholic Central but are “taking steps towards being better and healthy.”

General Amherst is on the road this Friday for a 7 p.m. game in Essex. It is the homecoming game for the Red Raiders.