SACKVILLE, N.B. – “We played well enough to win,” said coach Scott O’Neal following the Titans’ 47-7 defeat of Fredericton Black Kats here Saturday afternoon in the semi-final playoffs leading to the New Brunswick High School football championship final next week.
“We are going to have to clean up a few things this week before taking on Riverview Royals in the final at 1 p.m. this Saturday. And it will be played on the David Jardine Field for sure.”
This was his answer when asked if it might be shifted to Alumni Field.
“Overall, I was happy with the way we played at the beginning and the end of the game against Fredericton but not at all with the middle as we simply checked out and gave up too much. Next week we are going to have to put in 48 minutes of serious football if we are to tack up our fourth provincial championship.”
The defending champs quickly put up a dozen points on Saturday and looked headed for a rout. But Fredericton had other thoughts and struck quickly in the second session as Will Hicks hit Tom Patterson over the middle and he scooted 53 yards to paydirt.
Another Titan score left the home team up 28-7 at half time. But the visitors found a chink in the Titan armor and utilized the pass to keep the winners off their game.
A third quarter field goal and then a pair of majors, a safety and a single in the fourth rounded out the scoring.
On the day, Oliver Logpre and Lucas Cormier each notched a pair of majors, Jacob Estabrooks and Owen O’Neal had one apiece, while Joe Carpenter Kicked a field goal and five conversions, while Adryon Thompson connected on a long single.
Carpenter missed a convert attempt, his first of the season as he had converted every previous attempt; his team ran up 375 points, with him contributing 49.
Longpre ran for 108 yards from the line of scrimmage and added huge numbers on punt returns only to have two touchdowns nullified by holding calls. Overall, the winners had three touchdowns called back.
On another note, after playing shutout football for 19 consecutive quarters they failed to make it 20 as the Kats got their one early in the game. In a previous meeting this year, The Titans won 52-0.
Taking the opening kickoff on the 42, the ball was given to Lucas Cormier on three consecutive carries before Longpre crossed the Kats goal line from the eight after just three minutes of play and shortly after Owen O’Neal ran five yards to set the table for the final results.
Reviewing the game, O’Neal said his defensive zone coverage must improve immensely and that will be one area the boys will concentrate on this week. Obviously he anticipates that Crossman, the QB for Riverview will attempt to hand the Titans their first loss after racking up 13 consecutive victories. The Royals are the only team to have defeated the Titans in the past four years when they hung on for a 27-26 decision on Oct. 6 last season.
So, even with a strong record against Guy Messervier’s Royals, including a 35-0 whitewashing in the league semi-finals last season, O’Neal is leaving nothing to chance and will have his charges on the field each day during the week.
Observers believe the Royals have come “light miles” since they were hammered 58-1 back on Sept.15 and are anticipating a tightly fought battle when all the chips are on the line this Saturday.
As is often said, “Be there, don’t be square.”