Marauders look sharp
The A.N. Myer Marauders senior football team’s 35-6 road victory over the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons Thursday night in Niagara Region High School Athletic Association play served two purposes.
Firstly, it gave the defending champion Marauders (4-0) home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and secondly it served notice to the rest of the league — not that the league didn’t already know this — that Myer is going to be a tough team to knock off.
“We are definitely in a good place,” Myer head coach Dave Buchanan said. “We have a lot of energy, a lot of buy-in and we are just moving forward. Every week the kids are trying to get better.”
They are succeeding.
“We were in a good place to start but we are trying to convince kids to get one per cent better and we go by that mantra,” Buchanan said. “The difference is that we have gotten a little bit better each week and I think we have become a little bit more physical because they are starting to believe in themselves.”
Myer started the season not quite knowing what it had with a young offensive line.
“We weren’t sure if those guys could handle the physicality of senior football and they have demonstrated to themselves that they can and the rest of the team is now believing in those younger kids,” he said. “And our older kids, we don’t have a lot but they are very good.”
In the past few years, Myer has won more with skill than brawn and Buchanan like his team’s newfound physicality on the line.
“It is a wonderful switch because going forward we want to try and compete in games where teams play physical against us,” he said. “When the weather gets worse, we have to be able to do that because we are not always going to be able to pass the ball. We have to be able to run the ball and stop the run.”
At the start of the season, Buchanan sung the praises of quarterback Tyler Goforth and the 12B player hasn’t disappointed. Against GFESS, he ran for two scores and passed for three more.
“This is what I was bragging about from the start of the season,” Buchanan said. “We knew he had it in him. He has demonstrated it in a men’s touch football league and he had demonstrated it in practice. He just hadn’t got the opportunity before. This is his time, he is flourishing and we are really happy for him.”
The Gryphons went into the game with a 3-0 record and left with a realization you can’t loose the ball six times and expect to beat a great team.
“You can’t turn the ball over to that team,” GFESS head coach Dave Sauer said. “We really shot ourselves in the foot right away, gave them the ball and gave them opportunities. They are too good to play poorly against. Our boys played well but the turnovers were killers.”
When the Gryphons didn’t turn the ball over they had an effective running game.
“We tried to slow the game down and it really works against us when we turn the ball over. We can’t chase points. It hurts us too much,” Sauer said.
Despite the loss, he feels his program is ahead of schedule in its development.
“We are really young, we have a great Grade 11 core and they have really stepped up and played better than usual Grade 11s do. It really looks good there and our junior team is really good. We have some Grade 12s who are seasoned and we’ve played really well. We just ran into a buzzsaw tonight.”
Marauders 35 Gryphons 6
Cat’s Caboose Player of the Game: Myer’s Tyler Goforth with two TD runs and three TD passes.
For the A.N. Myer Marauders: Tyler Goforth, one-yard and 14-yard TD runs; Evan Goforth, 18-yard and 60-yard TD passes from Tyler Goforth; Jonathon Colcuc, 15-yard TD pass from Tyler Goforth; Arden Martinez, interception and fumble recovery; Clayton Crawford, strip and fumble recovery; Brady McEachern, fumble recovery.
For the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons: 18-yard TD pass from Colin LaRoche to Brian Curtis; and, 100-plus rushing yards from Steven Phillips.
Game stats: First downs: Myer 13, GFESS 10. Net offensive yards: Myer 363, GFESS 279. Turnovers: Myer 0, GFESS 6. Penalties: Myer 10 for 75 yards, GFESS 5 for 50 yards.