Saturday, November 19, 2011
BG Football Wins 4th Straight D-II Title
Football is a game of cliches that have held the test of time. Since the early days of Rockne and Thorpe these cliches held true at all levels of the game. Cliche number 1 is defense wins championships. Saturday's Division II championship game was all about defense. Both teams did a great job limiting the opposing team from getting any kind of rhythm in their offense. Cliche number 2 is the team that wins the turnover battle wins the game. I don't know who greased the pigskins up before the game, but for a beautiful day for football both teams sure did have trouble holding onto the ball.
The bottom line is that Bishop Guertin and their first year coach Travis Cote held Dover's offense scoreless and Guertin's defense came up with 2 game changing turnovers in the 3rd quarter to make the difference in winning a hard fought title game 16-7.
Bishop Guertin started the game moving the ball inside Dover's 10 ten year line when the first of many fumbles hit the ground and Dover defensive back Kyle Seawards picked up the ball and raced 97 yards for the score. Dover stuns the home Guertin crowd and former head coach current BG athletic director Tony Johnson by going up 7-0.
The rest of the 1st quarter was a series of muffed possessions by both teams. There was a total of 5 fumbles in the quarter and both teams took turns shooting themselves in the foot. The quarter ends with Dover up 7-0 and both coaching staffs shaking their heads trying to figure out how to hold on to the football.
The 2nd quarter starts with a big sack by BG linebacker Sean Fenn and a punt by Dover. BG gets the ball on the 43 and after 3 plays and no luck, they run out the punt team. BG punter Lucas Lansing hits Kevin Kiczuk with a 28 yard pass on a fake punt. Guertin is starting to turn things around and look like a team moving in for a score. Inside Dover's 10 yard line for a second time quarterback Bob Fahey throws and interception in the end zone - Dover's defense comes up with another huge play and it's starting to look like the football Gods are shining on them today. Both teams head to halftime with Dover up 7-0 and Guertin to kick off to start the 2nd half.
The 2nd half kickoff bounces in front of 1st half star Kyle Seawards. It bounces in 3 different directions before Seawards can get his hands on the ball. Guertin kick coverage is down the field and hits Seawards with the ball slipping out. BG gets the break they need and moves inside the Dover 10 yard line. Steven Toscano hits a 25 yard field goal and puts the Cardinals on the board but Dover still leads 7-3. Momentum is starting to turn, but Dover's defense has to feel good in holding BG to a field goal.
Dover starts on the 19 and after a big pass from Tyler Zabar to Eric Wilson they move into BG territory. BG defense who made all the plays when they had to comes up with a big sack from linebacker Blake Boudreau to put an end to Dover's drive. After trading possessions Boudreau makes the defensive play of the game by intercepting Zabkar and returns the ball to Dover's 35.
Fahey and the rest of BG's big play offense had been held in check most of the game. Coach Cote goes to a tight formation and starts running the ball between the tackles. Senior running back Paul Lipari puts the offense on his back and slams the middle of Dover's defense with one hard run after another. The 3rd quarter ends with BG on Dover's 3 yard line, but still trailing 7-3.
BG comes out after the officials change ends and beats Dover to the line of scrimmage. On a quick snap Lipari takes the ball at the 3 and blasts off right tackle for the first BG touchdown of the game to put the Cardinals on top 10-7. Lipari was the difference maker - the senior was not to be denied.
Dover had 2 more possessions in the 4th quarter, but the Guertin defense came up big on each occasion. The Green Wave had one more shot to pull off the victory, and with 5:39 remaining Dover moved the ball from the their own 49 down to the BG 30. On 3rd and 5 to go QB Zabkar throws 2 consecutive passes right on the money but Dover could not convert on either pass. The 4th down pass was to a receiver in the end zone with a step on the BG defensive back. BG takes over on downs with 2:16 remaining.
Dover's defense led by Seawards, Waddington, Wilson, Dow, Maglaras, Miller, and Brown. They played great all game but finally ran out of steam. BG running back Zach Mailloux takes a Fahey pitch and goes 64 yards to put the final nail in the coffin.
Guertin's defense was the difference and in my opinion they were the game's MVP's. Fee, Kiczuk, Chartrand, Lansing, Marino, Boudreau, Carver, Cornell, Lipari, and Hall are the reason Bishop Guertin has added a 4-peat to their resume.
Congratulations to coach Cote and his staff. Give the kids a week off and get them back in the weight room. Moving to D-I next year is going to take a lot of hard work to get one for the thumb!