Hot Hand Luke sparks Thunder
Luke Lemessurier did it all Thursday afternoon for the Blessed Trinity Thunder senior football team.
The 16-year-old scored on a 21-yard TD run and later added a 30-yard interception return for a major to help BT open the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association season with a 43-2 triumph over the visiting Denis Morris Reds.
“He’s a great ball player and he had a huge game today,” Blessed Trinity head coach Sean Jones said. “He’s a captain for us this year and we are going to be relying on him to make big plays.
“He’s a big play maker.”
Jones wants to see his talented captain take his game to another level this season.
“We want him to do everything we ask him to do and he’s capable of doing it too,” he said. “He is going to be playing all over the place — offence, defence, specials (special teams) — and we will be looking for him to make big plays in certain spots.”
The Grade 12 student lines up at slotback on offence and corner on defence and he’s looking to build on his 2017 campaign.
“I had a pretty decent season and I think it was my breakout season,” the 5-foot-10, 155 pounder said. “I got a couple of schools (universities) talking to me and I am looking forward to this season.
“It has been a long summer and it was good to get back on the field with my teammates.”
His summer was long because he spent it working out and preparing for this fall’s high school football season.
“It’s a grind in the summer, putting in the work and eating healthy and making sure everything is right fitness-wise, and also getting prepared for the academic year coming up.”
The motivation for his workmanlike summer came from the attention he received from post-secondary institutions last season.
“I realize now that I have an opportunity in football and I don’t want to let that go to waste,” he said.
Lemessurier knows he is being counted on for leadership this season.
“I am a captain now and I take that as a huge compliment,” he said. “It is a huge responsibility to look after my teammates, not only on the field but off the field. I have to be that role model for everyone out here.”
Lemessurier’s play was one of the many things that had his head coach smiling Thursday. Jones, who was feeling a little odd wearing a BT shirt after 12 years at St. Francis, felt there was a lot to like about Thursday’s game.
“Our biggest thing was making sure the guys came together and played as a unit,” he said. “The offensive line looked good, we had good flow on defence and overall we were happy.”
With the Reds unable to stop the Thunder’s ground attack, Blessed Trinity didn’t bother airing out the ball on offence.
“Early in the season, we don’t want to show too much and, that being said, we also wanted to establish a running game and that was the priority,” Jones said. “We decided to stick with it and hang on to those pass plays.”
For new Denis Morris head coach Antony Volante, it was a debut he would rather forget.
“They were very prepared, they have a lot of talent and they are a deep team,” he said. “They exposed some of our weaknesses, they showed where we need to get better at and that’s the goal for next week, to get better each and every play.”
The Reds has several injuries during the game, but despite that and the lopsided score, no one was pointing any fingers at anyone else.
“We have some great leadership from the Grade 12s and even some of the Grade 11s stepping up,” Volante said. “One of the biggest things we talk about is never getting down on each other.
“We pick each other up instead of knock each other down.”
Thunder 43 Reds 2
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s Star of the Game: Blessed Trinity’s Luke Lemessurier with a 21-yard TD run and a 30-yard interception return for a major.
For the Blessed Trinity Thunder: Lemessurier, two TDs; Max Mosquite, 15-yard interception return for a major; Dante Joyner, 30-yard interception return for a major; Owen Jones, 21-yard TD run; Isaac Macalonan, one-yard TD run; Hunter Oakley, single point on kickoff through end zone; Jeff McIntyre, interception.
For the Denis Morris Reds: Ali Kilic, fumble recovery; two-point safety conceded by BT offence.
Game stats: First downs: BT 12, DM 6. Net offence: BT 162, DM 31. Turnovers: BT 1, DM 7. Penalties: BT 12 for 100 yards, DM 6 for 40 yards.