Central Kings (CK) defeated the Northeast Kings Education Centre (NKEC) Titans 22 to 0 in the season opener at “the swamp” in Cambridge on Sept. 10.
Gators head coach Larry Priestnall said that, defensively and offensively, the entire team played well. CK has several rookies this season and Priestnall was impressed with their performance.
“It was phenomenal, I can’t believe how they worked as a team, it was amazing,” Priestnall said. “I don’t think I’ve seen a team like this play the first game like that in all the years I coached CK.”
Priestnall said the team’s performance gives him confidence looking ahead to the rest of the season. The Gators play Avon View at Central Kings on Sept. 17 then visit Canning on Sept. 25 for a rematch with the Titans.
He said CK held training camp for two weeks prior to the season opener and had great participation, which helped the team become cohesive. They have 33 players, which the coach said is a good number, and they’re looking to build on their initial success.
“That’s the big thing today is that they played like a team,” Priestnall said.
The coach gave offensive coordinator David Ross kudos “for putting the offence together when our quarterback went down.”
With regard to the loss, Titans head coach Reg Ogilvie said the season is not a sprint but a marathon and it’s the second half that really matters. He complemented the Gators on how well the team played. The Titans got caught out of place on a couple of occasions and this cost them.
“It wasn’t a lack of effort, it was a lack of execution,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new players, we’re pretty young, and I pretty much expected something like this.”
Ogilvie said they have 31 players, about half of which are Grade 10 students. They just completed training camp but many haven’t played before. The team has time to recoup from the loss and build some depth.
He said this is “almost déjà vu” because the team got off to a slow start last year and ended up in the finals.
“We’ll be there at the end,” Ogilvie said.
Griffins victorious in season opener
The Horton Griffins opened the 2017 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division 1 football season with a 35 to 0 win over the Cole Harbour High Cavaliers on the brand new Cole Harbour turf.
The game started out on the right foot. Senior receiver Alex Hayes (81) returned the opening kick-off for a 75-yard return touchdown.
Scoring continued this time via the pass. Grade 12 quarterback Caleb Melanson (14) completed a 49-yard pass to Hayes at 7:10 of the first quarter.
The air attack continued with a completion from Melanson to Jack Hayes (8) for a 12-yard major score.
The first half scoring wrapped up with Spencer Richards (24) running the ball for a touchdown at the 15:00 mark.
In the second half, the only score was a 56 pass play from Melanson to Jack Hayes.
Luke Johnson converted all touchdowns in his first action as a Griffin’s kicker.
On defense, all-star Kyle Chappus led the team. He recorded 6.5 total tackles including two solos, one assisted, one tackle for a loss and three quarterback sacks. Matt Holmes gave a good statistical performance, with 6.5 total tackles: four solos, two assisted, one tackle for a loss, assisted sack and a fumble recovery.