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Titans top Olympians 32-0

The Titans’ Aidan O’Neal, shown above running the ball in this file photo, continues to rack up huge yards this season.
The Titans’ Aidan O’Neal, shown above running the ball in this file photo, continues to rack up huge yards this season.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – It was no “walk in the park” but the hometown Titans put another win on the boards here Saturday as they tamed the l”Odyssee Olympians of Moncton to the tune of 32-0.

The defending New Brunswick High School Football League champions faced their strongest challenge so far as indicated by the manner in which they have demolished the opposition – piling up 284 points while allowing a mere 26 in their half dozen decisive victories. This compares favourably with the 2015 campaign when they outscored the other teams 255-30 in six league games before romping through the playoffs.

Their next and final test will come this Saturday when they travel to Riverview to tackle the Royals, who sit close with a 5-1 record. The Titans topped the Royals in last season’s championship fixture at Rocky Stone Field 18-13.

This season to date has seen Aidan O’Neal dominate in every game; and while he was an extreme presence on Saturday with 250 yards from the line of scrimmage and a ton more on returns, the Titans showed a diverse attack, which was conducted by rookie signal caller Justin Vogels. The youngster consistently hooked up with a plethora of receivers and found Lucas Cormier and Sam Alward with well-thrown balls, while rushing up the middle for one of his own. O’Neal was content with one major, the fewest he has recorded in any game this season.

The defending New Brunswick High School Football League champions faced their strongest challenge so far as indicated by the manner in which they have demolished the opposition – piling up 284 points while allowing a mere 26 in their half dozen decisive victories. This compares favourably with the 2015 campaign when they outscored the other teams 255-30 in six league games before romping through the playoffs.

Their next and final test will come this Saturday when they travel to Riverview to tackle the Royals, who sit close with a 5-1 record. The Titans topped the Royals in last season’s championship fixture at Rocky Stone Field 18-13.

This season to date has seen Aidan O’Neal dominate in every game; and while he was an extreme presence on Saturday with 250 yards from the line of scrimmage and a ton more on returns, the Titans showed a diverse attack, which was conducted by rookie signal caller Justin Vogels. The youngster consistently hooked up with a plethora of receivers and found Lucas Cormier and Sam Alward with well-thrown balls, while rushing up the middle for one of his own. O’Neal was content with one major, the fewest he has recorded in any game this season.

Tantramar Regional High School head football coach Scott O’Neal, right, has led his team to 15 consecutive wins over the past two seasons.

While Scott O’Neal’s offense was experimenting and demonstrating quality both along the ground and through the air, in spite of missing a couple of players due to injury, it was the outstanding defense that turned the tide, keeping the visitors to just one first down in the opening 12 minutes, even though they demonstrated plenty of talent and size. Obviously, much of the credit for this must go to defensive coordinator Peter Estabrooks, who has brought tremendous experience to the school program after having served in the same role for several seasons with the Mounties.

The aerial game opened a few eyes, especially about the sure handedness of young receiver Lucas Cormier, who also caught a six-pointer in the previous game, along with Alward. Neither had easy catches but showed the result of strong coaching which bodes well for a program that will be graduating a host of starters after this season. Jared Prescott is usually their primary receiver and is a good one but now they have choices, and Vogels looks like he has the talent to make use of it.

The first quarter was a bit ragged with the Titans forcing the visitors into giving up a two-point safety. And then O’Neal sent a booming punt for a single, while Vogels followed his big linemen over from the two to up the count to 10-0. Aaron Rose connected on a 22-yard field goal and Cormier snared a six-pointer to send the teams to the break with the score reading 19-0.

O’Neal was not to be denied and scampered all over the field before taking it home from one yard out, and Alward put the finishing touches on the cake with a 24-yard reception.

Quarterback David Patry was the main force for the Olympians, both with his bull-like rushes and a powerful arm - but the Titans were able to solve his threats and found the answers.

On the other side of the ball, a number of Titans rose to the challenge. Jack Estabrooks stepped up, as did Joey Becker, Zack Boudreau, Ryan Cadman and Dylan Estabrooks. Naturally, the usual stars maintained their level – linemen Zach Cormier, Isaac Humber, Dylan Estabrooks, Riley Tower and Aaron Rose.

And so much hinges on this week’s matchup in Riverview. No doubt Guy Messervier has assembled a solid and well-coached unit, one that would love nothing more than to take down the team that denied them top honours last season and the one that has ridden high all year, just having racked up their 15th consecutive victory over a two-year span.

Thus coach O’Neal would love to have the benefit of a strong rooting section in Riverview at 1 o’clock on Saturday. Another victory will guarantee home field advantage through the playoffs and the opportunity for the hundreds of Titan fans throughout the region to take in all the action at the David Jardine Field.

 

 

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