SACKVILLE, N.B. – Logan Grossman kicked the football through the end zone early on to score a single point but that was the final time the Riverview Royals even managed to advance the ball into the Titan half of the field as they were annihilated to the tune of 58-1 here Saturday afternoon at David Jardine Field before another huge supporting cast.
As a matter of fact, the Titan defense was so stingy they only occasionally gave up the ball, mostly on kickoffs, and it was usually two and out for the Guy Messervier led Royals.
The blowout came as a surprise as even die-hard Titan supporters anticipated a shootout. Instead it became so lopsided that officials ordered the second half to run non-stop on the clock.
The huge win surely brought some satisfaction to Titan coach Scott O’Neal, whose team was subjected to a close scrutiny when some teams, including Riverview, submitted a complaint to the NBIAA. In it they charged that the Titans or coaching staff are intentionally violating the rules pertaining to the Football New Brunswick head out of the game rule, the fair play rule and intent to injure.
It has been widely reported that a special committee not only cleared the Titans of all wrongdoing but said the team “plays aggressively and showed some strength in skills outside of the other teams.”
And this became blatantly obvious here on Saturday as the Titans limited the visitors to well under 100 yards of offense and a mere handful of first downs.
Meanwhile, it became almost embarrassing as tailback Oliver Longpre put up 250 yards of rushing that included no fewer than five touchdowns. Safety Lucas Cormier shifted at times over to offense and accounted for the remaining trio of majors and a two-point conversion catch while Joe Carpenter hit on all seven convert attempts.
Immediately following the kickoff the Titans took the ball to the house on six plays, covering 75 yards with few hitches along the way.
While the offense was operating like a well-oiled machine the defense was not to be left behind. Cormier, Owen O’Oneal, Jacob Estabrooks, Adryon Thompson, Mason Prescott, Riley Estabrooks, Colby Tower, Arturo Moreno de Jesus, and a big and strong defensive line played flawlessly, although taking some unnecessary penalties.
While a host of key players graduated last June the Titan coaching staff has a rebuilt squad that has driven a claim stake for another – their fourth consecutive – provincial high school championship. With a relatively easy 35-7 win over Saint John in their opener they now stand 2-0 at the top of the league and overall have put together an eight-game winning streak following a one point loss to the same Royals a year ago.
The Titans atoned for their lone defeat last season by whipping Riverview 35-0 in the playoffs and over the past four years have an amazing 30 win-one loss record.
In Justin Vogels they have the top high school quarterback in the province – a young man who earned the starting role for Team N.B. U18 last season. He has become a better than average runner and possesses a rifle-like arm.
And the two scoring stars of Saturday’s victory were both key members of Team NB – Longpre claiming the offensive MVP title and Cormier the defensive equivalent.
This Friday evening will see the Titans busing to Moncton where they will accept the challenge of the Moncton Purple Knights and you can be certain the players will be in no mood to take any prisoners. It should also prove to be their most severe challenge of the season and a victory would again make them odds-on-favorites to go all the way. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. on Rocky Stone Field.