High school game preview (NB): 2-0 FHS Black Kats face real threat from MHS Purple Knights

The last time I spoke with the Fredericton High School (FHS) Black Kats head coach, O.J. Burnette, he stressed his teams commitment to return to the schools long standing tradition of winning the Provincial titles. The Kats have struggled the last few seasons and figured this was the year to reclaim their territorial dominance.

Two weeks into the season, the Kats are 2-0, outscoring their opponents 100-7. This Friday, FHS travels to Moncton to face MHS Purple Knights in front of what should be a large purple crowd.

The Knights roll into this game 1-1, after a win on the road against the Greyhounds and a hard fought loss to the Titan’s last week. Facing the Black Kats is a task the Knights are up for.

MHS will provide the Kats with their toughest task yet, having beaten Mathieu Martin and Harrison Trimble, both teams in the midst of rebuilding. MHS’ program has several athletes who played for team New Brunswick as well as a tradition of producing solid football players.The Knights bring to the table a dynamic and experienced defence led by safety Ben George, defensive back David Daniel Pendleton and defensive lineman Nathan Hilcz.

MHS prides itself on stopping the run game, and like the rest of NB they will need to find a way to stop the stable of running backs FHS brings. Carrying the ball for them will be Riley Burt, Gayo Isaya, Ethan Stairs and leading the group with 4 touchdowns and over 260 all purpose yards senior Sam London.

To shut down the run, Purple Knight defensive back David-Daniel Pendleton plans on executing his assignments and knows should his team mates do the same, they will be victorious.

“We are going to need to be more mentally and physically sound. We need to eliminate the mistakes that are unnecessary. We are going to do our responsibilities and that will account for their run game,” commented Pendleton.

MHS QB Kogler uses his legs to hurt defences

Kats running back Sam London is planning on producing during the game, but realizes he is up against perhaps the best defence he has faced this season.

“Moncton will for sure be our toughest game so far. It will show us where we stand in the league, we’re for sure not underestimating them.”

Asked what they need to do to defeat the Knights, London explained it is the factors that he and his team can control that will assure them the win.

“We can’t have any turnovers. We had two fumbles against Trimble. We also can’t get anymore off sides or false starts.”

On the defensive side of the house, the Kats need to contain the Knights precise misdirection style offence, which leaves unprepared defenders tripping over themselves. MHS QB Chris Cameron-Kogler successfully passed to his tight end against the Greyhounds, but struggled to get anything going against the Titans. What production he lacked with his arm, Kogler made up for with his legs, at times shredding thru Tantramar’s stout defence.

To stop the purple assault, the Kats will depend on defensive end Simon Pearson and linebackers Isaiah Baldwin and Brandon Cooke, all great defenders who their teammate, London, finds hits harder than most in the Province.

“They’re very hard working I don’t like going into contact with them in practice, it’s going to be fun for Moncton.”

Both the Black Kats and Purple Knights are using this season as their time to reclaim their place as the Provincial champs. Of course only one team will win, and with that win will come legitimacy as contenders.

Game kicks off this Friday, September 22 at 8, at Rocky Stone Park.





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