Playing on the Vankleek Hill gridiron Thursday, the Glengarry Gaels varsity football team was humbled by the Holy Trinity Falcons 32-8, dropping to a record of 1 and 2 on the season. Both losses, in fact, have come against HT.
The Gaels got on the scoreboard first with a punt single off the foot of Logan Keurentjes, and the game stayed relatively close until the second half.
Head coach Brian Dunham tells me that fatigue was definitely a factor as the game wore on, with the Gaels hampered by a smaller roster of 21 compared to 38 for the Falcons.
Glengarry also got into some penalty trouble, which certainly didn’t help their cause.
The Gaels touchdown came off a pick-six scored by Keurentjes, who also followed up by successfully kicked the convert. That came despite his limited playing time due to injury. He tells me, though, he will be ready to go for the team’s last game of the season, next week.
That match is booked for Tuesday, October 29, in Alexandria, where the St. Joseph’s Panthers will provide the opposition. Opening kickoff is set for noon.
Thursday evening high school football at Joe St. Denis Field in Cornwall saw the Holy Trinity Falcons move to 2-0 on the season, with a 13-0 victory over the Glengarry Gaels in a game that was shortened by a thunderstorm.
Despite the loss, which saw the Gaels drop to 1-1, Glengarry head coach Brian Dunham had praise for his boys in what he deemed “a very good game.” The Falcons were held to an unconverted touchdown in the first half and a converted major in the second half.
Meanwhile, Glengarry’s offence had ball movement and field advantage, particularly in the first 30 minutes of play, but was unable to capitalize, hampered by a limited air game, which coach Dunham says the team hasn’t had opportunity to practise. Injuries were also a factor, as the Gaels lost Austin Main in the first half, while Jared MacLeod played hurt, dealing with neck and knee problems.
As Dunham puts it, given the number of bodies available and the fact that HT blew out their opponent the previous week, “I am incredibly proud of the [Gaels’] performance.”
One of the challenges the team has faced this year has been recruitment, despite the program being a combined effort of two schools, GDHS and VCI. Dunham tells me that he hears from potential players, many of whom have been successful in other sports, that it’s a tough sell to expect them to pay $180 for five games only to be left out of league playoffs.
In recent seasons, the Gaels have been barred from playoff action by a league vote due to the team being a combined program. However, in years previous, this wasn’t an issue for the other teams. It’s important to note that EOSSAA/OFSAA rules prohibit schools from cooperating in offering combined sports teams for student-athletes. However, leagues can specifically approve local exemptions only.
Glengarry organizers have told me that the only way for the Gaels to be able to field a football team is for the two schools to work together, owing to the small populations each has. By contrast, most other football-playing schools have numbers equal to or larger than the combined total of GDHS and VCI.
Also last Thursday evening, St. Joseph’s pounded La Citadelle 41-0. It was the first action of the season for the Panthers, as the Patriotes dropped to 0-2.
There was a gridiron game scheduled for earlier in the day, but it was preemptively postponed due to weather. The contest between Tagwi (0-0) and CCVS (0-1) will be rescheduled to sometime later in October.