NRHSAA football: Redcoats,Spartans and Golden Eagles triumph
Three years into his high school football career, Governor Simcoe’s Remy Gavanac is a much different player.
“I am a lot better. I understand the sport a lot more now. I even know what the halves are,” the 17-year-old said, with a laugh.
The Grade 12 student played in Grade 9, but skipped football in Grade 10 before returning to the sport in Grade 11.
“Truthfully, I just didn’t want to play that year,” he said.
His hiatus didn’t last long because he missed it too much.
“It’s fun, it’s exciting and a good way to get exercise.”
The 5-foot-8, 150-pound running back and defensive halfback got plenty of exercise Thursday, including an 80-yard TD run that helped the Redcoats record a 15-14 victory over the host Eden Flyers in Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Tier 2 senior football play.
“I was running down the sideline and saw the corner, so I got a nice little stiff arm and kept going,” he said of his big run.
Gavanac is a key player for Simcoe.
“He’s phenomenal on both sides of the ball,” Simcoe head coach Jamie Brophy said. “He never comes off the field and he works hard. He works hard in practice and it shows when he gets in the game because he just keeps going.
“He is a track athlete who has made that transition to football.”
His play play Thursday helped Simcoe to the narrow win. Eden (1-2) took a 14-8 lead into the half, but didn’t score the rest of the way.
“We were missing two of our receivers who had some inconvenient injuries this week and it limited our game prep and our planning abilities,” Eden head coach Jordan Smith said. “We had to adjust, it showed on the field today and we need to do some more work next week.”
Smith agreed that losing at home by a single point wasn’t the best way to start the Thanksgiving weekend and he credited the Redcoats for the victory.
“They played hard today and they obviously played through a lot of injuries,” he said. “There were a lot of Simcoe guys on the field throughout the game. They have a lot of heart to stick it out all the way through to the end.”
The two teams are evenly matched.
“It was a good football game to be a part of and watch and good competition which I like,” Smith said.
Brophy will take the win, but won’t be giving it any style points.
“The boys played well in the second half,” he said. “We made some mistakes during the first half, which cost us.”
Included in the errors were two sure TD passes that were dropped and a pick six that also wasn’t hauled in by a Simcoe defender.
“There was no give up and they kept going,” he said. “It was an ugly win, but it was a good one.”
Redcoats 15 Flyers 14
Johnny Rocco’s/Mick and Angelo’s Player of the Game: Simcoe Remy Gavanac with more than 120 yards rushing, including an 80-yard TD run.
For the Governor Simcoe Redcoats: Gavanac, TD: 106-yard TD pass from Andrew Scott to Mason MacEachern; game-winning single point on punt by Danny Lewis; sacks by Richard Cuthbert, Mitch Miotto, Joe Fusek, Owen Finn and Evan Nault; and interception by Cort Day.
For the Eden Flyers: one-yard TD run by Cole Parkin set up by 65-yard pass play from Blake Maude to Evan Langendoen; 45-yard, one-handed TD catch by Langendoen from Maude; sack by Colton Leslie; punt block by Benjamin Meier; and convert block by Stuart Huebert.
SPARTANS 47 EAGLES 19
Darcy MacIssac had two 45-yard punt returns for majors Wednesday to lead the Westlane Spartans to a 47-19 road victory over the Grimsby Eagles (0-3) in NRHSAA senior football action.
Also contributing to the win for Westlane (2-1) were: Chase Bowden, two 40-plus-yard TD passes from Mike Osborne; Osborne, three-yard QB sneak for a TD; Jeff Vujkovic, interception return for a TD; two field goals fr9m Mario Borojevic; and, strong defensive games by Rob Prior, Josh Bigelow and Kyle Shaw.
Replying for Grimsby were: Justin Dawe-Meyers, TD runs of one and two yards and a five-yard TD pass to Ryan Kajaste; and, fumble recoveries by Chris Long and Mitch Sokol.
“The score doesn’t reflect our efforts,” Grimsby coach Zack Silverthorne said. “A pick six to end the first half made it 17-6 for them and really deflated us.
“They also had two punt returns for TDs in the second half.”
Obviously, special teams grounded the Eagles.
“We are playing a lot of juniors on these (special teams) to get them experience,” Silverthorne said. “We are confident it will pay off down the road.”
GOLDEN EAGLES 35 SAINTS 6
Evan Ferguson rushed for 117 yards, including TD runs of 45 and 37 yards, to spark the Thorold Golden Eagles (3-0) to a 35-6 victory over the St. Catharines Collegiate Saints (0-3) Thursday in NRHSAA Tier 2 football action.
Also contributing to the win for Thorold were: Callum McNamara with a TD and 108 all purpose yards; Julian Race with a TD and 60 rushing yards; Tyler Broderick with a 32-yard TD grab from Yvan Canlas; Canlas, 5-8 passing for 148 yards; Bryce Kaal and Jacob Brooman with fumble recoveries; and, Victor Garcia, 5-5 on converts.
Contributing for the Saints were: Jon Emmorey, 2-8 passing for 24 yards and six rushes for 42 yards; Tycree Llewellyn, 12 carries for 55 yards; Cameron Scott, two catches for 24 yards and two runs for 33 yards and a TD; and, Sheldon Brown, two rushes for 18 yards.
“We started the game strong with three first downs and shut out Thorold in the first quarter,” Collegiate coach Nathan Greene said. “Our Achilles heel is our lack of depth and I am beyond proud of our Grade 9 players who have been thrust into starting roles.”
Greene singled out the play of Kaleb Brost and Donovan Doucette.
“They held their own against much older and experienced players,” Greene said, adding the rookies have gained confidence with the support of team captain Trevor Saunders.
“His leadership and high character sets the Standard,” Greene said. “Trevor does all that is asked of him and he is a huge part of both sides of the ball.”