On a day when the rain seemed to lurk to dampen an afternoon of football at John Oliver Field, the reality was, the threat was idle. A similarity could be made with the offenses of both squads as only threats were made to enter either end zone and the first half ended in a scoreless tie.
The Huskies were hoping to avenge last year’s Canton victory but were stymied by the Bears’ defense all day long as the gridiron gang held strong until the offense could find its stride.
Coach Tommy Cloce’s game plan was managed to perfection. Many boys made contributions including the inside play of Reiss “Maui” Ryan, Conner “Big” House and Justin “Refrigerator” Perry. Swarming defenders brought hats to the football all afternoon as the linebacking corps and secondary players made numerous tackles holding the Huskies ground game at bay.
Open field tackles by Ashton Cloce, Hunter Blauvelt, Mike Shatraw, Trey “Birthday Boy” Bessette, Gage Dean, and Connor Ramsey frustrated the Huskies and interceptions made by Bessette and middle linebacker Bryce Lake completed a day of consistent play defending the goal line. Toughness was on display all afternoon as one example included Dean hustling to the ambulance in the middle of the fourth quarter to have the on-duty E.M.T. reset his dislocated finger so that he could get back on the field to help his teammates!
The Bears were able to get things going on offense eventually as Heuvelton sophomore quarterback Adam Calton gained yardage with his feet and in the air as he found fellow sophomore Zack VanBrocklin on a 30-yard swing pass early in the third quarter. The play flipped the field for the Bears and a few plays later Calton found Ashton Cloce for a 22-yard wide receiver screen which found paydirt, and the hibernation was over! The extra-point kick missed but put the Bears ahead 6-0 and gave them a glimpse of momentum which their offense was starving for. On the Bears’ next series, they went back to a ground attack utilizing a compressed formation with fullback Hunter Blauvelt and wings VanBrocklin and Ramsey. The Bears were able to methodically move the ball the length of the field with Blauvelt punching it in with a 1-yard plunge. The 2-point conversion was hung on the scoreboard with a criss-cross action play which allowed Ramsey to jog into the end zone.
The final Bears tally was hung when Ramsey scampered in from 3 yards out behind the ever-improving young offensive Canton line led by senior and 3-year starting left guard Tyler VanBrocklin. Losing 23 seniors did not seem to bother the Bears as the young squad finished the game with a 21-6 advantage.
The lone Huskies score came on a fourth down play late in the fourth quarter as Malone quarterback Payton Poirer scampered in for a six yard TD. Tanner Cloce finished the day with solid kicking duties including a 1-2 effort with extra points point as Trey Bessette’s punting managed to flip the field for the Bears on a couple of occasions.
The Bears have a short week to prepare as they travel to Watertown this Friday evening at 7 p.m.
Editor’s Note: This recap comes courtesy of Coach Bill Porter.