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Titans triumph over Greyhounds


SACKVILLE, N.B. – For the first half it looked like anybody’s game and hometown fans were fearing that a Titan 13 game winning streak spanning over two seasons might be in jeopardy.

Aidan O’Neal (#3), shown in this file photo, continues to lead his team this season.

But those concerns were quickly put to rest as the home team erupted for 38 second half points to easily topple the Saint John High Greyhounds 47-6 in New Brunswick High School Football League action at David Jardine Field on Saturday.

The Titans led 9-6 at intermission but it was a different team that came storming out for the second half.

Long-time coach David Burns agreed the team began the game “a little flat” and that this is not acceptable as they must play with passion if they are to be successful.

But those concerns were quickly put to rest as the home team erupted for 38 second half points to easily topple the Saint John High Greyhounds 47-6 in New Brunswick High School Football League action at David Jardine Field on Saturday.

The Titans led 9-6 at intermission but it was a different team that came storming out for the second half.

Long-time coach David Burns agreed the team began the game “a little flat” and that this is not acceptable as they must play with passion if they are to be successful.

“You saw the boys play what we call Titan football,” said Burns, who previously served for nearly 15 years as head coach. “We lacked any passion during those first 24 minutes and you saw what can happen when we aren’t on our game.”

While the first half may not have been pretty, the Titans placed an exclamation mark in the second half as they took turns finding different ways to find the opposing end zone.

But the local squad continued to rack up penalties – more than 70 yards in the first half alone. However, they have been taught to play full out from whistle to whistle and not to take time off – thus they are prone to commit fouls. And while this can be a hazard, perhaps the worse part is the indecision and game delay by the officials as they attempt to sort out the rules. The huge turnout of fans found this frustrating even though most of the calls were deserved.

Aidan O’Neal had another usual day as he ran for just over 230 yards and a trio of touchdowns, but the glory was well shared. Jeff Lafford turned the quarterbacking duties over to Justin Vogels, who reciprocated by tossing the regular signal caller a pair of TD passes, while Lucas Cormier made it look easy by hauling in a touchdown of his own. The sure toe of Aaron Rose accounted for nine points, including a field goal, while their other point came on a safety touch.

An unofficial report came out during the game that this game marked number 293 for the Titans since their creation in 1973. The victory was the 171st against 117 defeats and five ties for a winning record of nearly 60 percent.

It was obvious from the outset that O’Neal was “enemy number one” on the Greyhounds’ radar. But he managed to elude tacklers to score the opening touchown with an 11-yard dash before Saint John came back to even the score to notch one of their own. Both extra points were missed but Rose split the uprights from 26 yards to provide the edge going to the dressing room.

Fans were barely back in their seats when O’Neal struck paydirt on a 54-yard ramble and Cormier pulled in a neat toss to give the Titans 14 points in the first two minutes of the third. Things went downhill for Saint John after that and it was only a matter of how many points would go on the boards. The run continued after O’Neal headed to the bench for a well-deserved rest and athletes like Oliver Longpre and Jared Prescott took up the slack. 

The victory was the second in two years over Saint John as the Titans triumphed 34-0 in the league semi final last season under the lights on Alumni Field.

Following the game, one of the Greyhound players said the Titans, if they get to meet Leo Hayes Lions in the playoffs, should come out on top. Hayes leads the southern division, with Saint John in second followed by Fredericton Black Kats.

But first, the Titans must gear up for two serious challenges before the playoffs even begin. In just three days time – Saturday at 1 o’clock – they must find a combination to stop the resurging Odyssee Olympiens on Jardine Field. And for the wrapup, they travel to Riverview to tackle the ever-threatening Royals, who are led by former Mountie star Guy Messevier.

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