Knights win N.B. grid title

Marc McDougall scores pair of TDs in 43-21 victory over Trojans

Moncton High Purple Knights running back Marc McDougall has been waiting for this moment since he first strapped on his helmet as a peewee player nearly 10 years ago.

McDougall, with the power of a plowhorse and the speed of a thoroughbred, scored two touchdowns and led the Purple Knights to a 43-21 win over the Harrison Trimble Trojans in the New Brunswick High School Football League championship game played before more than 5,000 spectators Saturday at Rocky Stone Memorial Field.

The Grade 12 student racked up 211 yards of rushing on 21 carries and was named the offensive player of the game.

Still trying to catch his breath after celebrating with teammates and the Ed Skiffington Trophy, named in honour of Moncton High’s first coach, McDougall said he had trouble believing his childhood dream had come true.

“Words can’t describe what I am feeling,” the 18-year-old said. “It’s hard to explain, but this means everything to me. I think of all the hard work our team put in to win this championship and it makes me proud.

“The offensive line deserves all of the credit,” he added. “This was their best game ever. We kept running the same play and the line kept moving Trimble’s line back so we had big holes to run through. Those guys were the ones who made it happen.”

Moncton High and Trimble have each won 14 New Brunswick championships, more than any other team. Saturday’s matchup marked the first time the cross-town rivals had met for the provincial title in 26 years.

Purple Knights stormed out to a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by McDougall and Luke Dickinson before Jeff McCarty put the Trojans on the scoreboard with a spectacular 80-yard kickoff return for a major.

However, the Moncton High’s response was emphatic.

In the closing moments of the second quarter half, the Knights scored 21 points in only 52 seconds to give Moncton High a commanding 35-7 lead at halftime.

“We dug ourselves a big hole and we just could not recover,” said Trojans coach Mark Teed. “Hats off to Moncton High. They played a great game and they deserved to win this game.”

McDougall scored his second touchdown of the game on a seven-yard run with just 1:09 left in the first half.

Thirty-five seconds later, Moncton High’s Matt Toogood returned a punt 65 yards for a major. Less than 30 seconds later, after the Knights recovered an on-side kick, Same Zeid caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Rogers to put the game out of reach.

“We made the most of our chances,” McDougall said. “We got those chances because our defence always gave us the ball in great field position. The defence forced a lot of turnovers and they didn’t let Trimble’s offence do much at all.”

Matt Toogood, on a 21-yard reception, had Moncton High’s lone touchdown of the second half. Lucas Constantine kicked all six converts and Zeid punted a 33-yard single.

Matt Seely, on a 33-yard pass from John Toogood, and Toogood, on a two-yard quarterback keep, had the other touchdowns for the Trojans. Will Rochlow had three converts.

Rogers completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 206 yards with just one interception while John Toogood was 16-for-27 for 305 yards, but he was intercepted five times.

Brett Gray and Adam Benson each hauled in two interceptions for the Knights and Jordan Bedard had one. Steve Fox, who was also Trimble’s primary receiver, had one interception.

“You have to give our coaches a lot of credit because we were very well prepared,” said Gray, who was named defensive player of the game.

“We were aware of everything Trimble was going to throw at us because our coaches did their homework,” the linebacker said. “The defence also stuck together and stuck to the game plan even when things didn’t go well.

“We kept our cool. Coach always tells us to ‘stay frosty’ and that’s what we did. Everyone on the team stayed frosty.”

Head coach John Allanach said his team had a “well-researched” game plan, but the players still had to execute it.

“Our coaches and players were ready, but it was the players who came through with great fundamentals,” Allanach said. “I am extremely proud of the players, the coaches and the families involved. We’ve been fortunate to have great support from the families and the school.”

Source: By Dwayne Tingley
Published In the Times-Transcript on Monday November 16, 2009

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