Wolfpack blanks Cougars, BT tops DM
Ty Dawn felt it was important to return for a final year of 12B football with the Centennial Cougars varsity team.
“Football was big part of it and also I needed to get a few prerequisites for university,” the 18-year-old Welland native said Wednesday, after the Cougars dropped a 44-0 decision to the West Niagara Wolfpack in Niagara Region High School Athletic Association action.
The Niagara Spears player loves the opportunity to continue to compete.
“It is me in the trenches and it is a one-on-one game where I am trying to beat the guy in front of me,” the 6-foot-4, 280 pounder said. “There is no feeling like it to be able to dominate the game that way.”
Centennial football is important to him.
“I love it. This is where I started playing football. My Grade 9 year was the first year I ever played. Being able to come back to help and be a leader holds a special place for me. It is a way to give back to the guys who helped develop me to the point where I am today.”
Dawn plays right guard for the Spears but has played on the offensive and defensive line all four years at Centennial.
He is hoping to play football at the post-secondary level and has had conversations with 13 different schools.
“Ideally I would like to stay close to home so anywhere in Southern Ontario would be ideal for me.”
He feels he has made strides in his game over the past season to help get himself to the next level.
“It is mostly mindset. It is going out there, thinking that I am better than the guy in front of me and going out and proving it every play,” he said. “I really want to win every snap more than the guy in front of me. That is the biggest change that has helped me succeed.”
Centennial head coach Brad Barter loves having Dawn on his team.
“I coached Ty for his whole high school career. He is just a nice, nice kid but when he came out to play football you got to see that aggression and that little chip on his shoulder,” he said. “He has developed over the years, he has played a lot of summer ball and he has grown into a pretty responsible young man.”
Dawn has made contributions with more than just his football skills.
“He has been very helpful to us as coaches because there are only three coaches here for 60-plus players,” Barter said. “He has taken on a leadership role to help with our linemen and be a captain on the team and I am really proud to have been his coach.”
Centennial fell to 1-3 with the loss.
“The score wasn’t indicative of how we played,” Barter said. “I think our positioning was good but our execution at the end was not where it should be and they took advantage of it when we were on defence. We have some stuff that we need to hit the drawing board with next week and we will battle back.”
He tipped his hat to West Niagara players and coaching staff for the way they conducted themselves.
“As much as the score went up, they were classy after the whistle and there was no trash talking or chippy stuff. They handled themselves like gentleman after the whistles and they hit very hard in between them.”
West Niagara evened its NRHSAA record at 2-2 and achieved some of what it needs to do moving forward during the season.
“I am happy with the offence, for sure. They heard the message loud and clear that they needed to be a lot more efficient and smarter with the ball,” Wolfpack head coach Zack Silverthorne said.
He particularly wanted to see and improvement in the passing game and that’s what Silverthorne witnessed.
“I think everyone heard that message. The play calling and from quarterback play to receiver routes were tighter. And we got a lot of guys in a lot of guys caught balls who don’t normally catch balls. That is nice because next week we are going to need to score some points.”
The Wolfpack are at Myer next week.
“I don’t like our record but if we can build off of this, I think we are going in the right direction and I think that we have a shot,” he said.
Wolfpack 44 Cougars 0
Cat’s Caboose Player of the Game: West Niagara’s Tyler Foster with 14 carries for 140 yards and two rushing majors.
For the West Niagara Wolfpack: Foster, TD runs of four and five yards: Xavier Zatylny, 15-yard TD run; Kieran McDonald, TD catches of seven and 44-yards from Zatylny; Fernando D’Orazio, two-yard TD run; Braiden Boutcher, 13-yard field goal; Jax Hudson, sack and fumble recovery; Owen Bottenfield, sack; Hudson Frlan, fumble recovery.
For the Centennial Cougars: Achilles Paraskevopoulos, fumble recovery; Kolton Anger, interception; Ty Dawn, convert block.
Game stats: First downs: West Niagara 20, Centennial 6. Net offensive yards: West Niagara 428, Centennial 92. Turnovers: West Niagara 2, Centennial 5. Penalties: West Niagara 4 for 30 yards, Centennial 2 for 15 yards.
THUNDER 30 REDS 0
The Blessed Trinity Thunder senior football team improved to 4-0 in Niagara Catholic Athletic Association play with a 30-0 road victory over the Denis Morris Reds.
“The linebackers and defensive line played exceptionally well. DM gave us problems inside and they stepped up,” Blessed Trinity coach Mark Antonelli said. “We are excited to get to bye week relatively healthy and undefeated. We have a big test coming up in Notre Dame and that will tell us exactly where we stand in the pecking order in the region.”
Leading the way for the Thunder in the win were: Johnny Breen with three TD passes on 9-13 passing for 153 yards, and a TD run; Aidan Sartor with a pair of touchdown catches; Jayden Gurzi-McDonald with a touchdown reception and a 130 yards rushing; Romero Nicolazzo with four converts; and, Justin Maniaci with an interception.