Spears squish the fish
Dallas Bone has reinvented himself as a football player.
The 18-year-old, A.N. Myer student was a quarterback until two years ago when shoulder troubles put an end to his days as a pivot.
Bone is now on the opposite end of passes as a receiver and one of the many weapons on offence for the Niagara Spears.
Bone hauled in a touchdown pass from Travis Arp Saturday as the Spears rallied to defeat the Durham Dolphins 27-22 in an Ontario Varsity Football League game at Kiwanis Field.
The win improves the Spears’ regular season record to 4-2 and clinches a spot in the playoffs.
Bone has made a seamless transition to his new position.
“My dad (Larry Bone) was a receiver in high school and he takes a lot of time and effort to make me better every day,” Bone said. “My shoulder couldn’t handle throwing it every play any more.”
Spears head coach Brian Duguay said Bone’s athletic ability played a big part is his ability to switch positions.
“Dallas is a very good athlete and he’s an excellent wide receiver,” Duguay said. “It’s hard because we have so many good guys and we want to see them all get touches all the time, but when things are happening and we have dropped balls, it’s tough.”
Bone is happy to chip in any way he can.
“Just do whatever I can to help the team win,” said Bone, who is in his fourth season with the Spears.
Bone’s major came in the second quarter when he hauled in a perfect pass from Arp to get the Spears on the board after they fell behind 9-0 after one quarter.
Bone said the Spears tried not to deviate from the game plan following a flat start.
“We just talked about amping it up on both sides of the ball and making sure we took it play by play and no mental mistakes,” he said. “We wanted to execute everything and we did that and won.”
The Dolphins increased their lead to 12-7 with a late field goal to end the first half, then made it 19-7 with another major early in the second half.
The Spears then answered back when David Hart ran back the ensuing kick off for a touchdown to narrow the gap to 19-14.
“That was the turning point again,” Duguay said.
The Dolphins added another field goal to go up 22-14 before Josh Ferguson went to work and scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground — the second one with 1:33 remaining following a Durham turnover — to give the Spears the win.
Duguay was proud the way his club managed to keep their cool early when things weren’t going well.
“We’ve always talked about all year that these guys don’t get down on themselves,” he said. “They don’t think they are out of the game and believe they are still in the game even though things aren’t happening.”
Duguay feels the best is yet to come for his young squad. The Spears only graduate nine players this season.
“I’m very proud of these guys,” he said. “They are learning life lessons that nothing in life is going to be given to you. You have to go out and fight for it.”
The Spears wrap up the regular season next week in London and then have a bye week before the playoffs.
“These guys can start believing in the next step now, whether it’s this year or next year,” Duguay said.
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