By CLAUDE SCILLEY
Senior football teams in the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association beware: the Frontenac Falcons are getting better.
The league’s defending AAA champion—and a perennial league power—played close to a flawless game Friday afternoon, defeating the Ernestown Eagles 27-0 in Odessa.
As the Falcons won for the third time after dropping their season opener, the first string built a 20-point lead in the first half and the second string kept it at 27-0 from the middle of the third quarter to the end.
Frontenac was superb defensively, with three interceptions among a number of fine individual plays; special teams were top notch, with kicker Tristan Halladay 2-for-2 on field-goal tries and fine punting from Matt Walker, and the offence got three touchdown passes from quarterback Brendan Steele who, in the opinion of coach Mike Doyle, played his best game of the year.
“His decision making was quicker,” Doyle said, “and he threw the ball on target. I’m sure he threw for 150 yards or more, but he also had a few dropped balls that he put on the money.”
The area where the improvement was most obvious to Doyle, however, was along the offensive line. The surge down the field, he said, was remarkable.
“We had a good push,” he said. “Guys are understanding their assignments.
“A number of times I looked and the whole line of scrimmage had moved four or five yards down the field. That certainly makes a running back’s life a lot easier, and that opened up a little bit of play action pass for us, as well.”
The first two touchdown passes came on throws to Ethan Horbay, on a screen that covered 30 yards, and to Harry Robinson, who broke two tackles in the 60 yards he covered on his way to the end zone, on consecutive series late in the second quarter.
The final score came early in the third quarter, on a 30-yard pass to Brock Glaude.
As it did a year ago, Frontenac lost the season opener—this time to Regi—but the Falcons have won since over Napanee, Bayridge and Ernestown, scoring 101 points in the process. Napanee and Ernestown were both .500 or better when they played Frontenac, but the Falcons scored more points against each of them than any other opponent this year.
The Falcons have surrendered just seven points in their last three games, those coming on a touchdown pass in the dying seconds of the Napanee game that was scored after the covering defender ran into a goal post.
In Friday’s other game, the league-leading unbeaten La Salle Black Knights had little difficulty gaining their fourth win, 35-0 over the Bayridge Blazers.
Playing at Bayridge’s O’Connor Field, the home team had just 20 players in uniform, yet they kept the game close well into the second quarter, trailing just 7-0. At that point, the Blazers killed a La Salle drive when Damien Cosier intercepted a Mitch Dowd pass at his own 39-yard line.
Not long after that, though, the roof caved in.
The Blazers were unable to gain first down, and La Salle marched for a touchdown on the subsequent series, scoring on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Mitch Dowd to Haynes Kent.
Thus began an eight-play sequence when Bayridge, winless this year, would run four plays and La Salle would score three touchdowns.
After the Kent touchdown, La Salle kicked off but the Blazers were unable to gain first down. The punt, however, was blocked by Drew Marquette, who pursued the ball to the end zone and eventually fell on it for a touchdown.
La Salle kicked off, Bayridge fumbled a toss on the first play, and the Knights recovered. On the next play, Dowd threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Denver Stephens, and in a matter of about a minute and a half, the game had become a rout.
La Salle’s first touchdown came on a one-yard run by Stephens, and the last was a 25-yard interception return by Eric Brick on the second play of the third quarter.
Play resumes Thursday, when Regi, 3-1, visits Ernestown and, in a match of the league’s top two AA teams, Napanee, 2-2 but 2-0 against double-A opponents, hosts La Salle.