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Titans topple Purple Knights 28-6

The Titans defense, shown above in action during their season-opening game in New Brunswick High School Football League action, is a key part of the team. PAMELA SCHNEIDER PHOTO
The Titans defense, shown above in action during their season-opening game in New Brunswick High School Football League action, is a key part of the team. PAMELA SCHNEIDER PHOTO

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Tantramar Titans have been constructed around a huge and powerful set of linemen, an outstanding ground attack and a defense that is promising to become part of another championship team.

And on Friday night in front of a crowd of 500 cheering fans they had little trouble in racking up their third successive victory of the campaign, this time by a convincing 28-6 victory over Moncton Purple Knights.

With running back Aidan O’Neal bulling through the opposition with relative ease, the Titans jumped to a 14-6 after 12 minutes of play and rode to the dressing room up 21-6. The high point for Moncton was stopping the Titans within their own five with seconds remaining in the opening half.

And on Friday night in front of a crowd of 500 cheering fans they had little trouble in racking up their third successive victory of the campaign, this time by a convincing 28-6 victory over Moncton Purple Knights.

With running back Aidan O’Neal bulling through the opposition with relative ease, the Titans jumped to a 14-6 after 12 minutes of play and rode to the dressing room up 21-6. The high point for Moncton was stopping the Titans within their own five with seconds remaining in the opening half.

The Knights tightened up in the second half and forced the Titans into the shadow of their own goal line, but some stout defensive work by people like Jack Estabrooks and the big line kept them scoreless and they ultimately turned the tide to score the final points of the game with just two minutes remaining.

O’Neal and Jared Prescott each notched a pair of touchdowns, while Prescott accepted a two-point conversion and Aaron Rose had a conversion.

Over the course of the game, O’Neal racked up over 200 yards along the ground. But penalties cost him another 125, including an 84-yard touchdown run. The Titans were assessed heavily for offenses from holding to roughing, otherwise they might have run the score.

The Purple Knights are the recipients of fine coaching – former Mountie players John Allanach and Peter Storey, along with former Mountie coach Kevin Artichuk, but they lacked the talent to stick with the Titans. The local squad also enjoys outstanding leadership and boasts an array of athletes who are responding to their coaching.

Tantramar Regional High School head football coach Scott O’Neal, right, says his team will continue to improve as the season goes on.

The visiting coaches were impressed by the size of the two-way linemen of the Titans – players like Zach Cormier, Tristan McCluskey, Riley Tower, Dylan Estabrooks, Simon Dean and Isaac Humber. They dominated both sides of the ball and gave the home team definite advantage.

And Jacob Hampel added to the visitors’ woes with his quickness on the end around runs that picked up huge gains.

Asked if the Knights proved to be his team’s first real challenge, coach O’Neal said, “Really not – I believe Harrison Trimble is a much stronger team.”

But he wasn’t thrilled over the way yesterday’s game unfolded.

“You could see in that first quarter how we can play,” he said, “but then we made too many mistakes.”

While he didn’t say as much, he was obviously upset over the number of fouls called against his team and promised things will improve as the season moves on.

Actually, the Titans will be at home again this Saturday when they host the Mathieu Martin Matadors in an 11:30 matchup on David Jardine Field. The early start is to allow the two teams to take in much of the Homecoming Game between the Mounties and Acadia Axemen on Alumni Field at 2 p.m.

When asked to comment, Mountie head coach Scott Brady said he enjoyed the game “but I don’t think coach O’ Neal will be too happy”.

And O’Neal wasn’t, mainly because of the lack of discipline resulting in penalty calls, nullifying huge gains. Expect a week of hard work leading up to this Saturday when another banner turnout is expected, as the local squad will be looking to chalk up another win on the road to provincials.

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