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Titans trounce MacNaughton 45-0

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.

MONCTON, N.B. – The graduation of seven key members of the 2015 team appears to have had little impact on the Tantramar Titans as they continue to roll up huge scores against opposing teams while still managing to keep their points against total to a minimum.

On Friday night under the lights in Moncton, the Titan machine, led by Scott O’Neal, made short shrift of the MacNaughton team as they used everybody on the bench in putting 45 points on the boards while limiting the losers to zero and only a handful of first downs.

The result of this victory, added to their opening 40-14 win over Harrison Trimble, is further indication they have every expectation of retaining the New Brunswick High Football championship they won last fall after posting an unblemished 9-0 record, including their 18-13 triumph over Guy Messervier’s Riverview Royals in the finale.

So, are the Titans to face greater challenges? Fans will find out in two days as they will host the John Allanach-coached Moncton Purple Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. on the beautiful Alumni Field on the Mount Allison campus.

O’Neal said he was happy with the win but acknowledged the team will have to get much better this week if they hope to extend their winning streak.

But the champs will not be entering uncharted territory as they downed Saint John High 34-0 in last season’s semi finals on Alumni Field and have had an opportunity to practice on the artificial turf, and most players are familiar with the situation.

For comparison purposes, the Titans upended Moncton 34-6 during the regular season last year and then were pushed in the quarter finals to triumph 32-21 on home turf.

On Friday night under the lights in Moncton, the Titan machine, led by Scott O’Neal, made short shrift of the MacNaughton team as they used everybody on the bench in putting 45 points on the boards while limiting the losers to zero and only a handful of first downs.

The result of this victory, added to their opening 40-14 win over Harrison Trimble, is further indication they have every expectation of retaining the New Brunswick High Football championship they won last fall after posting an unblemished 9-0 record, including their 18-13 triumph over Guy Messervier’s Riverview Royals in the finale.

So, are the Titans to face greater challenges? Fans will find out in two days as they will host the John Allanach-coached Moncton Purple Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. on the beautiful Alumni Field on the Mount Allison campus.

O’Neal said he was happy with the win but acknowledged the team will have to get much better this week if they hope to extend their winning streak.

But the champs will not be entering uncharted territory as they downed Saint John High 34-0 in last season’s semi finals on Alumni Field and have had an opportunity to practice on the artificial turf, and most players are familiar with the situation.

For comparison purposes, the Titans upended Moncton 34-6 during the regular season last year and then were pushed in the quarter finals to triumph 32-21 on home turf.

Tantramar Regional High School head football coach Scott O’Neal, shown speaking to participants in the 2015 Sackille minor football spring training camp, continues to lead his team to dominant victories.

Last week’s win again demonstrates the cyclical manner in which power shifts in football leagues. For several seasons MacNaughton sported the crown and actually downed the Titans 14-13 in a barn burner for the championship during the final year of play of Michael Bohan, the young man who seldom left the field, playing multiple positions.

But last season was not a happy one for Tim Phinney – the former Mountie offensive lineman who works with the Moncton school. The score read 56-0 and combined with the most recent matchup they have been unable to scare up a single point in their two meetings with the boys from Sackville and surrounding areas.

Following the latest victory, O’Neal said it was a slow game with a lot of penalties “but we came out with a win and we will keep working to get better.”

For the large contingent of Titan fans on hand it seemed as though the red flag was thrown on every second play, with their favorites being penalized more than usual. However, the Titans play a devil-may-care smash mouth type of game and will often sustain more calls than the opposition.

Again it was Aidan O’Neal who received most of the attention. The special teams MVP in the recent U-18 Canadian championships and chosen as an All-Canadian to represent team Canada next year, simply left opposing tacklers in his wake as he put five more touchdowns on the board to go with the three he scored in the previous game. He had one run for 70 yards and is a shoo-in to become the most outstanding player in the league.

The defense turned the ball over twice and rarely allowed MacNaughton to make a first down. And the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, opening holes for the running backs.

Quarterback Justin Vogels got plenty of experience as he was inserted early and showed an accurate arm as he hit Lucas Cormier with a TD toss, while Jared Prescott notched the other. The team had problems with conversions, notching just one – an area where work is being done this week.

The Titans have now gone 11 straight games without tasting defeat. It may prove difficult to extend that streak against Moncton and will face a couple of others before meeting Riverview in the wrap-up fixture on Oct. 22 in Riverview.

The coaching staff is confident that Tantramar fans become the 13th man on the field for the Titans – they just may need that boost this Friday night – so a huge crowd is anticipated to fill the new bleachers that have just been erected.

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