A SaltWire Network Publication

Top News

Sackville's football Titans take fourth consecutive provincial title


Tantrmar squad dominates Royals in 2018 final

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Titans kept it simple and in a workmanlike way waltzed to a one-sided 42-0 victory over the Riverview Royals here Saturday afternoon to clinch their fourth consecutive New Brunswick High School football championship.

There had been considerable hype leading up to the game but it didn’t take very long for the season-long undefeated Sackville school to exert its definite superiority and by the end of the opening quarter were up by 14 and doubled their output in the second session to take a tidy 28-0 lead into the break.

An early third-quarter touchdown sent the game into straight time and they notched another major in the final quarter.

It turned into a “picnic” for speedster Oliver Longpre as he put another five touchdowns on the board while rattling off 181 yards from the line of scrimmage in addition to more than another 100 on punt returns. For this he was named Titan player of the game.

Versatile Lucas Cormier put one touchdown on the score sheet, while Joe Carpenter continued his consistency by converting all six majors – he has missed just once in more than 50 attempts during the season.

Meanwhile, the Riverview team was unable to get untracked on a rainy afternoon as quarterback Logan Grossman committed five fumbles, threw a pair of interceptions and, overall, was ineffective.

On the other hand, Titan quarterback Justin Vogels kept it simple as he threw just two passes – both completed – while utilizing Longpre and Cormier to constantly hammer up the middle or gain huge yardage on the outside.

The Titan offensive line brought a huge smile to the face of coach Joe Lafford.

“Did you see the way the guys just moved the pack and gave Vogels plenty of time?”

Meanwhile, head coach Scott O’Neal was elated and ill prepared to make too many comments. However, he did say that he has savored all four championships and declined to say if this was anything special. And he refused to even discuss going for a fifth title next year.

Veteran defensive coordinator Peter Estabrooks said this was a very special team but refused to say which of the four championship teams might be better.

“We probably have more skilled players for skilled positions than ever before,” he said, “but in the past we have had bigger and stronger linemen, which made things easier.”

Riverview coach Guy Messervier, a former Mountie teammate with O’Neal, said he has to admit the Titans have an outstanding team.

“We have had some great games with the Titans - actually the Titans hold an 11-9 advantage in recent times but their one loss in four seasons came last year to the Royals. Their last blowout loss came in 2007 to Riverview to the tune of 78-0. So it is understood why the Titan coaches relish victories over the Royals.”

But Messervier pointed out that his team has never quit like some others and are really not intimidated by the Titans, although they are never too eager to come to Sackville.

The win marked a new record for the locals. The fourth championship surpasses the trio run up from 1980 to 82 and gives them number nine in the past 49 years.

The Fredericton Black Kats lead in that department with 14 titles, followed by the Harrison Trimble Trojans with 13 and Saturday’s victory for the Titans breaks a tie with Moncton Purple Knights, who have taken the Ed Skeffington trophy eight times.

Riverview was limited to just four first downs on the day, while the winners racked up 10 and while the visitors completed a couple of long passes there was little along the ground as the Titan defensive line shut the door.

Taking the opening kickoff on their own 11, they marched down the field with smash mouth football to place the ball in the opposing end zone in 10 rushing plays and less than two minutes later Riley Estabrooks intercepted an errant pass and the home team took it to the house as Longpre collected his first major on three rushes.

The game continued in this fashion with Cormier and Longpre reeling off huge gains, either off tackle or on sweeps, and officials allowed the clock to run straight time following Longpre’s fourth score at the 3:30 mark of the third quarter.

Due to weather conditions – at game time there was heavy rain and wind – the venue was changed from the David Jardine Field to the all-weather Alumni Field at Mount Allison. By keeping their game simple, the winners prevented any turnovers while capitalizing on a series of Riverview miscues.

Close to 1,000 fans, many parked under umbrellas, braved the elements to watch a polished Titan machine rack up victory number eight on the season, including two playoff decisions – the first by a 47-7 count over Fredericton.

In its wisdom, the NBIAA termed this season a series of exhibitions in the 12-man game and declined to hand out medals or a banner for the school. This was based on the fact only seven schools participated and the rule calls for a minimum of eight. Imagine that!!

Sackville's Tantramar Titans trample Black Kats 47-7 in semi-final

Sackville's football Titans head into semifinal with unbeaten record intact

Sackville squads continue to dominate teams from much larger schools

Sackville’s football Titans will only face top teams this season

Recent Stories