The Canton Golden Bears Football team dropped its third straight game on Friday night to a hard-nosed Saint Lawrence Central team 34-28. On a night where the weather conditions could not be more favorable, the outcome for the Bears was unfortunately, just the opposite. Prior to the game the Larries re-dedicated their newly surfaced artificial turf field to their long-time Coaches Randy Riggs and Jerry Mahoney. Mahoney, who is the father of St. Lawrence University Men’s Lacrosse Coach Mike Mahoney was joined by his grandson, Canton JV starting quarterback Daniel Mahoney. It was a special night for the Mahoneys as several hundred fans came out to show their appreciation to a career which spanned from the early seventies until 1998.
The game opened with a revved up Larries team which scored on its opening drive, needing only six plays. They certainly did not want to disappoint the large home crowd and established their physicality early. The point after touchdown failed notching the score at 6-0. On the Bears opening drive the Larries punished the Canton backfield on three consecutive plays, each of which resulted in lost yardage by the Bears. The Larries took over on downs when an outside linebacker burst through the Bears punt formation, forcing Trey Bessette to scramble. The sack put the Larries deep in Bears territory on the nine yard line. The Larries quickly scored again on an outside toss play and following a good extra point attempt put them ahead on the scoreboard 13-0.
The Bears finally arrived and began to methodically move the ball using its’ doublewing offense with Zach VanBrocklin eventually breaking free of the grasp of several Larries as he scampered for paydirt from 19 yards out. Quarterback Adam Calton called his own number for the ensuing points after touchdown as he and his offensive line including Lucas Lasiege, Tyler VanBrocklin and Justin Perry gave him the inside push which he needed. The Bears were back in the game!!
Big plays seemed to plague the Bears all evening as the Larries continued to find ways to break tackles and move the football. Big plays by the Bears seemed to continually be negated by penalties as a couple of long yardage rushes were called back for one reason or another. The Bears were able to capitalize on a fumble by the Larries and by hard counts which forced the Larries to jump offsides, showing the ever improving discipline of the young Bears team.
Coming up big for the Bears was junior tailback and wide receiver Trey Bessette who was called on with an injury to Conner Ramsay. Not only was Bessette incredibly tough on defense, but he was able to score each a rushing and receiving touchdown on the night. The receiving TD came about after he motioned to the visiting sideline and ran up the line on a wheel route. Calton calmly stood his ground, faked a pass to wideout Nate Pennyman and found number 19 Bessette for the 29 yard effort.
Other standouts for the Bears included the blocking and tackling by Reiss “Maui” Ryan. Ryan, who seemed to be repeatedly hit after the whistle was able to keep his composure, resulting in penalty yardage by the Larries. Bryce Lake also came up with a huge 20 yard catch on fourth down keeping a late drive alive and Connor House quietly had an outstanding evening as he played two ways the entire game, consistently adding to the team effort!
Other notables for the Bears included Ramsay with 52 yards rushing on 13 carries, Zach (with and h) VanBrocklin with 75 yards rushing on 22 totes (1 TD), Hunter Blauvelt with 54 yards rushing on 10 carries (1 TD), Trey Bessette with 46 yards rushing on 8 carries and one catch for 29 yards (2 TD’s) and Adam Calton with a career best passing effort with 79 yards on 6 of 8 passing attempts.
The Bears will be in action next Saturday as they face Class A rival Massena. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at home on the John Oliver Field.