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Ernestown subdues Napanee in a game with touchdowns galore

October 9, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Touchdowns came fast and furious Thursday afternoon.

On a cool, windy and sometimes rainy afternoon, two teams that collectively scored 22 points in their first four games of the year scored three touchdowns in four plays, in a matter of less than a minute.

Eventually the Ernestown Eagles were the only team that could maintain the pace, as they prevailed 43-14 over the Napanee Golden Hawks in a Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior football game in Odessa.

The home team led 20-0 when the game was interrupted for half an hour while paramedics were summoned to tend to an injured Napanee player. When play resumed, Napanee drove the football deep into Ernestown territory, only to turn it over on downs near the Eagles’ 10-yard line.

It appeared to be more of the same for Napanee, which had been dominated in the early part of the ball game, but instead it was a harbinger of a revival for the Hawks, who stopped Ernestown, had a good punt return and then scored a handful of plays later on a two-yard run by Colsen Bertrand.

On the ensuing kickoff, Ernestown fumbled and Napanee’s Ryan Weaver recovered the ball in the end zone for another touchdown. Ernestown, which appeared poised to turn the game into a rout, instead suddenly found its lead cut to just six points.

Nobody scored on the subsequent kickoff, but on Ernestown’s first play from scrimmage Konner Burtenshaw went 100 yards for a touchdown that re-established a comfortable lead. The next time the Eagles had the football, Spencer Giffin went 61 yards for a TD that effectively put the game away.

“There was a bit of concern” after the two quick Napanee touchdowns, Ernestown coach Lou Bilkovski admitted.

“It was crazy,” he said, “(but) the guys settled down, and that speaks to the character of the team that they’d say let’s not get down on ourselves.

“Konner’s an exceptional athlete. Our plays aren’t designed to go 60 yards on every carry but the (offensive) line did an awesome job for us.”

Jake Dawson scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns for Ernestown, which got its first TD from Caleb Parlane and its last on a 30-yard run by Braden Drysdale in the fourth quarter. Josh Campbell kicked a 20-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, ran for one two-point convert and kicked two others as the Eagles evened their record at 2-2.

“Any time you win it’s a good thing,” Bilkovski said, “but I was disappointed with how many mistakes we were making, and the penalties that we were getting was a concern because I always stress disciplined football.

“They were overly excited, I think. It’s a fine line between getting them fired up and keeping their heads.”

Though Napanee fell to 0-4, the Hawks continue to show improvement during the first year of their senior revival.

“We’ve struggled a little bit on the field but … we’re keeping the kids positive and keeping them coming out,” coach Brian Heaton said. “It’s been an enjoyable season, although the record hasn’t shown it yet. The kids are still keen and eager to get better each and every day.

“We put some points on the board. To score a couple of touchdowns against a playoff-bound team definitely meant something to them.”

Napanee got its other points on a two-point conversion of the second touchdown, on a pass from quarterback Liam Maracle to tight end Ben Breeden.

Improved play by the Napanee receivers is something Heaton noted specifically.

“Our receivers are running the routes a lot better, cutting at the right time, anticipating the ball a little bit better and going into traffic to catch a ball. That was something they were a little tentative about early on but now they know that sometimes you have to go into the tight areas to make a tough play.”

 

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