Irish rocked in Metro Bowl
Notre Dame fell 47-6 Wednesday to Chaminade in the Metro Bowl. WILLIAM VANDERLAND PHOTO.
Alex Golbourne’s high school football career ended Wednesday in the same way as thousands of players before him.
The 12B Notre Dame Fighting Irish player was fighting back tears at the conclusion of his team’s 47-6 loss to the impressive Chaminade College Gryphons in the 36th Annual Metro Bowl played at McMaster University.
“Notre Dame football is my family and they will always be my family forever,” the 18-year-old said. “I will be friends with these guys for the rest of my life and these are the guys I would want to go into battle with.”
The 5-foot-11, 235-pound defensive lineman barely played his first three years of high school football, but hit the weight room and this season was named to the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association all-star team.
At the start of his Grade 11 year, Goulbourne began working out four to six times a week with his teammates.
“I just wanted to make sure our team would make it to the finals and win a championship,” he said. “It just takes one person and when everybody sees that person pushing they are going to push themselves harder and harder to get that championship.”
Goulbourne is planning to play Niagara Spears football next summer and would love to continue playing after that. He is interested in playing football with the Hamiiton Hurricanes of the Canadian Junior Football League. Away from the field, he is hoping to attend either McMaster University or Niagara College.
“He played well all season long and he’s a kid who a couple of years ago wasn’t even in the plans,” Notre Dame head coach Tim Bisci said. “He wasn’t playing but he went into the weightroom, worked out like crazy and this year he was an all-star.”
Chaminade made sure Goulbourne wouldn’t have a happy ending to his high school career by grabbing a 13-0 lead after one quarter and then adding another 34 points in the second quarter to go into the half ahead 47-0.
“They got up on us early and it was hard to come back, but we tried to rally the boys at halftime and we gave it our all,” Goulbourne said. “We put up a battle the last two quarters.”
The Irish were done in by strong team — Chaminade was unbeaten in Toronto District Christian Athletic Association play (6-0) and its only loss came to St. Joseph’s Buffalo in exhibition play — and a nasty dose of Murphy’s Law.
“Everything that possible could go wrong did,” Bisci said. “If you would have said at the beginning of the game that we would miss that many tackles, not block guys and have five or six of our stars leave the game with injuries, I would have told you were crazy.”
Chaminade’s first two majors in the first quarter each featured a multitude of missed tackles.
“And it’s guys who you expect to make tackles,” Bisci said. “Our guys who should have made tackles didn’t and that’s just the way it is. All year long, those plays were made.”
And then there was the injury bug. League offensive MVP Jacob Succar didn’t make it out of the first quarter and all-star lineman Gerrid Holton was gone before halftime in what was a steady parade of players to the trainers’ table.
“You have to have a little bit of luck to win this and we had none,” Bisci said.
Chaminade played a lot less games than Notre Dame did this season and Bisci felt it was hard to get a read on what they would do in the Metro Bowl.
“They haven’t played since Oct. 18 or something like that and we’ve played 10 games,” he said. “We are banged up and nicked up and they (players) get hit by one good shot and they go down.
“It’s tough when you play teams like that who are fresh and they come in and beat you up like that.”
Notre Dame can take solace in the fact that it won 10 games and captured its second Niagara championship in the past three years. Its lineup will also be bolstered by graduates from a championship junior squad.
“At moments like this, you don’t think about that, but come January we will look at it and see who is coming back and who still wants to play,” Bisci said.
Gryphons 47 Irish 6
Mick and Angelo’s/Johnny Rocco’s/Cracker Jacks Player of the Game: Chaminade’s Johari Hastings with six rushes for 161 yards and one TD.
For the Chaminade College Gryphons: Hastings, 81-yard TD run; Kenneth Williams, 57 and 36-yard TD passes from Jonathan Dimarino; Sebastien Parasalidis, eight-yard TD run; Ryan Belo, six-yard TD run; Dimarino, one-yard TD run; Leo Gallo, 20-yard TD pass from Dimarino.
For the Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 21-yard TD pass to Bryce Livingston from Hunter Cropper; Jared Tessier, 12 carries for 57 yards and two catches for 29 yards; Zack Melnyk, three carries for 18 yards, 6.5 tackles and strip and fumble recovery; Owen Tofano, two catches for 39 yards; Cropper, 5-13 passing for 88 yards; Livingston, interception; Gerrid Holton, sack.
Game stats: First downs: Chaminade 15, Notre Dame 8. Net offence: Chaminade 175, Notre Dame 345. Turnovers: Chaminade 2, Notre Dame 4. Penalties: Chaminade 7 for 70 yards, Notre Dame 6 for 85 yards.