Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BA vs. Norwich University

Sunday saw the Bridgton Football team get on track with a 21-0 shutout of the JV unit from Norwich University.  After a rough stretch against Ivy League teams Brown and Dartmouth, the Wolverine offense really got itself in gear while the defense found ways to keep the Cadets in check all day.

The opening drive of the game was a balance attack that featured a pair of first downs before Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA) found Troy Pelletier (Manchester, NH) on a 37 yard touchdown pass.  Pelletier made an especially impressive play, leaping over the Cadet DB to haul in the pass at the goal line and drive himself into the end zone.  The ensuing Norwich drive ended quickly on a three and out thanks to a TFL by Levon Atkins (Greenville, SC) and a sack by David Pratt (Woburn, MA).

After a short Norwich punt, Bridgton took over on its own 40 and immediately went on the march.  Malik Lee (Mashpee, MA) dashed off tackle for a 6 yard gain on first down, one of three consecutive runs that resulted in a first down past mid field.  Mullins again found Pelletier, this time for a 13 yard first down catch followed immediately by a Mullins to Anthony Garron (Danvers, MA) catch for 12.  Lee took the next handoff 14 yards to the Norwich 9, where Mullins reconnected with Garron for a 6 yard TD pass two plays later.  As the teams came back up the field, Bridgton had established the tone for the day and gone up 14-0.

Yet, Norwich was not to go quietly.  The Cadets' defense stiffed noticeably in the second quarter and was not to be breeched again until Jhalen Bein Amie (Boston, MA) slashed a weaving 13 yard run late in the 3rd quarter to provide the last score for BA.  The Wolverine defense was stout all day and repeatedly turned away Norwich drives.  Svenn Jacobson (Cumberland, ME) led the way with 13 tackles and an INT.  Joe Lombardo (Somers, NY) added a sack, a forced fumble, and an INT of his own.  While Nate Dunn (Marshfield, MA) added a pick of his own.  Upfront, the handy work of Dylan Owen (Somers, NY), John Strezo (Arlington, MA), Deion Doctor (Bedford Hills, NY), Josh Brown (Etobicoke, Ontario), and Joe Eitner (Milford, PA) made life very difficult on the Cadet offense.  Of special note were the efforts of Shamis Henry (Flemington, NJ) who added to his highlight film with by splitting two blockers, destroying the handoff in the backfield, and causing a fumble that Owen recovered.  It was truly one of the best defensive plays of the season.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

BA vs. Brown University

The Wolverine Football team returned to action Saturday in a tough match up with Brown University JV. The team traveled to Providence Rhode Island and the historic Brown campus to match up against the undefeated JV Bears of Brown. Though the game was not held at Brown's varsity stadium, a number of players were able to visit the varsity locker room and see the memorial lockers of Joe Paterno (Brown class of '50) and John Heisman, an alum for whom the Heisman trophy is named.

From the word go, the game was controlled by Brown. The Bears returned the opening kickoff past midfield and immediately went on the march. The drive took 8 plays, covered 48 yards, and ended with a 2 yard scoring run. When the Wolverines took their possession, the offense was unable to muster a first down and had to punt. Unfortunately for Bridgton, that punt was blocked and recovered by Brown. The ensuing drive took only one play and resulted in a 21 yard scoring pass and quickly, BA was down 13-0. After a second consecutive 3 and out by the Wolverines, Brown went on the march again. The drive stopped deep in Bridgton territory when Joe Eitner (Milford, PA) fell on a fumble for the second straight week. Even this bit of good fortune turned against BA when, on third down, the team botched a snap and Brown recovered the fumble in the end zone for a third score. This had all the makings of a truly tough day for the Wolverines.

Though the final score was heavily in favor of Brown, there were bright spots for Bridgton. Steve Main (Lafayette, CA) caught a pair of long passes from Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA). Malik Lee (Mashpee, MA) had a pair rushing touchdowns, including a beautiful 8 yard scamper late in the 3rd quarter. Svenn Jacobson (Cumberland, ME) led the defense with 11 tackles, including 1 for a loss.

From these positive notes, the team will look to bounce back against Norwich University on Sunday November 10th.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

BA vs. Dartmouth

Last Sunday, October 27th, the Bridgton Academy Wolverines took on Dartmouth Big Green in Memorial Stadium in Hannover, NH. Coming out strong, the young Wolverines capitalized on a Dartmouth fumble forced by Joey Eitner and quickly traveled down the field. Utilizing a balanced offensive attack, the Wolverines were first to score with a toss from quarterback Sam Oullette to Troy Pelletier. Returning the favor, Dartmouth then drove 68 yards after an interception to put six points on the board. Maintaining their composure, the Wolverines continued working and got a break when the Dartmouth fumbled a punt, which lead to a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sam Oullette, which extended the Bridgton lead to 13-6 going into halftime. Despite resiliency and physical play by the defense, including a forced fumble by Dan Cardillo and 10 tackles by Svenn Jacobson, the second half proved to be full of tough breaks for the Wolverines. A muffed punt, a red zone fumble, and interception for a touchdown proved to be too much for the Wolverines to overcome, losing by a final score of 34-13. Bridgton Academy plans to take what they have learned to their last Ivy League opponent when they face Brown University in Providence Rhode Island this Sunday November 3, at 1:00 pm.

By: Coach Gilboy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BA vs. Curry College

      The Bridgton Academy Football team played a rare Monday afternoon game this week against the JV team from Curry College. The game featured a dynamic effort by the offense resulting in a return to the win column for the Wolverines. After a one year hiatus, the match-up between the squads, had a familiar feel to it as Bridgton has played against Curry for years. The roster of the Colonels from Curry features a number of BA alumni like Phil Bigelow '10, Pat Hickey '10, Parrish Rogers-Reed '11 and Tim Rochon '12. To top it off, head Coach Skip Bandini is also a BA alum from the class of 1977. None of the current Colonels were active for the game on Monday, but many made their way down to say hello.
       The game itself was a hotly contested encounter that saw both defenses step to the plate in the first quarter. The Wolverines kicked off and forced a quick three and out, giving the offense the ball near midfield for their first drive. However, the defenders of Curry held strong and forced a three and out of their own. The second drive saw the offense find its footing. Sam Ouellette (Rochester, NH) led the Wolverines on an 18 play drive covering 64 yards that ate up a significant portion of the first quarter. On the drive ultimately, Jhalen Bien-Aime (Boston, MA) provided tough yardage gaining 24 yards on 5 carries. Prince Unaegbu (Boston, MA), Shane McCloskey (Concord, NH) and Anthony Garron (Danvers, MA) each provided critical first down receptions, and though the drive ended short of pay dirt, the Wolverines had drastically changed field position.
       Curry took over and moved the ball out to their 45 where Nate Dunn (Marshfield, MA) stopped a third down screen pass to force a punt. The teams exchanged punts, but when BA took the field for their third drive, Ouellette found Troy Pelletier (Manchester, NH) for a 75 yard touchdown pass. Garron hit the extra point and the teams came up the field with Wolverines in the lead 7-0. The black shirt defense forced two additional punts ultimately changing the game when Jalen Santos (Monroe, NY) stepped in front of a Curry pass and returned it 45 yards to the Colonel's 30 yard line. Three plays later, Ouellette found Pelletier again, this time from 26 yards out to push the lead to 13-0 as the half closed shortly after.
       The second half saw Bien-Aime add a 7 yard touchdown run while Malik Lee (Mashpee, MA) added his own 2 yard plunge that was set up by a Dan Cardillo (Wakefiled, MA) interception. BA's final touchdown came from one final connection between Ouellette and Pelletier, this one from 31 yards out to ice the game in the fourth. This game saw BA defenders forcing three turnovers for the second straight week, and though they allowed a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, played a fairly sound game. This coming Sunday will see the team travel to Hanover, New Hampshire for a game against Dartmouth College’s JV squad.

By: Coach Dube

Monday, October 14, 2013

BA vs. Navy Prep

The Bridgton Academy Football team returned to action on Saturday against their traditional rival the Naval Academy Prepatory School in New Port, Rhode Island.  The match up has seen a number of seesaw battles in recent years, including last year's 25-20 NAPS win.  However, Bridgton has failed to come out on top of the scoreboard for a decade.  Unfortunately, for the Wolverines, Saturday would be no different.

The opening drives for both teams came up empty and the squads exchanged punts.  Conversely, on Bridgton's second drive, the Wolverines fumbled deep in their own territory.  The Midshipmen of NAPS needed only one play to cover the 6 yards to the end zone and took the lead 7-0.  Bridgton's next drive again came up empty and NAPS was on the move when Svenn Jacobson (Cumberland, Maine) stripped the quarterback of the football and gave the ball back to BA.  Now, the offense began to move the ball.  Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA) connected with Troy Pelletier (Manchester, NH) and Steve Main (Lafayette, CA) as the offense pushed the ball to midfield.  The drive stalled, but Ryan McGann (Hopewell, NJ) unleashed a perfectly placed punt inside the NAPS 5 yard line as the first quarter expired. 

The second quarter saw the NAPS offense, a triple option scheme, go on a 15 play 92 yard drive that ate over 7 minutes off the clock.  But drive died when Ken Bartolo (Malden, MA) outplayed the NAPS receiver and intercepted a pass to the back corner of the end zone.  The offense was on the move again and saw Mullins scramble for a 10 yard conversion on 3rd down.  He then connected with Will Dyson (Cliffside, NJ) for an 11 yard gain.  However, the next play saw the second of BA's 5 turnovers and NAPS took control at the BA 42.  5 plays later, NAPS found pay dirt with an 8 yard toss to push the lead out to 14.  A three and out put the ball right back in the hands of the Midshipmen with under a minute left in the half.  Matt Garcia (Arlington, MA) made a key tackle for loss on third down and NAPS was forced to kick a field goal making the game 17-0 at the half.

The second half saw more of the same.  NAPS took the opening drive 67 yards on 15 plays and finished with a 15 yard scoring strike to push the lead out to 24.  The next NAPS drive stalled thanks to some hustle by John Strezo (Burlington, MA) and then saw Ken Bartolo block the ensuing field goal attempt.  The offense continued to struggle to find its rythem but Dan Cardillo (Wakefield, MA) picked off a pass early in the 4th quarter to give BA the ball at midfield.  Jhalen Bien-Amie (Boston, MA) provided some spark on the ground with a slashing 13 yard jaunt.  From there out, the NAPS team overwhelmed the Wolverines exemplified by a 64 yard pick six that sealed the deal.  Though there were some promising performances by individuals, the work of Strezo and David Pratt (Woburn, MA) who recorded a sack and 2 TFLs certainly qualify, the team was unable to overcome its mistakes. 

Bridgton looks to regroup as they prepare for Curry College, next Monday afternoon at 4 pm. 

By: Coach Dube 

Monday, October 7, 2013

BA vs. Army Prep

Bridgton vs. Army Prep

After a week fraught with uncertainty about whether or not they would have a game, the Wolverines dodged a government shutdown, only to be overwhelmed by a swarming Army Prep squad.  The return to action for Bridgton football team saw the group travel to West Point New York for a Saturday game against the United States Military Academy Prepatory School.  Army Prep, is a one year institution located on the grounds of West Point and is designed to help cadets in preparation for college at the US Military Academy. 

The squad from Army featured a bevy of future division I athletes but in the early going it was the team from Bridgton that did the impressive work.  The Wolverines started their first possession at their own 16 and went on a twenty play, eighty four yard drive that found paydirt.  The drive featured the timely passing and skillful work of Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA).  Mullins connected on four third down conversions to keep the drive alive.  Mike English (Arlington, MA) was on the receiving end of one of those conversions and added a fourth down catch to set up a first and goal from the Army Prep nine yard line.  Malik Lee (Mashpee, MA) then hammered the ball down to the four and JJ Duffrene (Waltham, MA) finished the drive with a tough run into the interior of Army's defense.  The two point conversion failed, but Bridgton took the early 6-0 lead.

The ensuing Army possession ended quickly with a three and out highlighted by a Joe Lombardo (Somers, NY) sack on third down.  Unfortunately for the visitors, Bridgton's ensuing drive ended when Mullins was picked off and the Army defense returned the pass for a score.  After a successful PAT, Army took a 7-6 lead as the first quarter closed.  The second quarter started with a booming forty four yard field goal that put Army up 10-6.  Then, the quarter appeared to be a repeat of the first as the Bridgton offense took the ball right down the field on their next possession.  The drive again saw Mullins connect on a number of third downs and Lee provided a burst from the backfield.  The drive stalled out at the Army thirty but the defense was able come up with a goal line fumble recovery to keep the game at one possession.

Late in the first half, Army finally turned the tide.  Taking over deep in Wolverine territory, after a darting twenty three yard punt return that was aided by a facemask penalty, the Black Knights completed a quick drive with a touchdown and put themselves up 17-6.  Army prep tacked on an additional touchdown before the half after picking up a fumble and finishing the drive with an eight yard touchdown pass. The score was 24-6 and set a precedent for what would follow.  Bridgton would turn the ball over six times on the day and the turn overs would kill off a number of promising drives. 

When the dust had finally settled, Army had picked up 4 Bridgton fumbles, picked off a pair of passes, and amassed 38 points.  The net result was a long ride back to North Bridgton for Wolverines.  Without an end to the government shutdown, the team remains in limbo as the next scheduled opponent, the Naval Academy Prep School, is facing the possibility of cancelling the game.  With any luck, BA will return to the gridiron this weekend and atone for the mistakes that cost them so dearly at West Point.

By: Coach Dube

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BA vs. Springfield College

Svenn Jacobson

Homecoming brought the Springfield Pride football team to town to face off against the BA football team. The offense worked in harmony to set each other up. The first score was set up when John Strezo (Burlington, MA) burst into the backfield and wrestled the ball out of the hands of the QB for a forced and recovered fumble. The fifty-five yard drive that followed was highlighted by three superb runs by Jacob Duffrene (Waltham, MA) and a diving catch by Mike English (Arlington, MA). The last of last Duffrene’s runs was a five yarder that found paydirt and put the Wolverines up 6-0. Springfield’s following series lasted only three plays and ended when Ken Bartolo (Malden, MA) and Phil Ndifon (Johnston, RI) combined for a sack. BA got the ball back at the twenty-six yard line after a bad punt, and Chris Mullins (Centerville, VA) went up top to find Will Dyson (Cliffside, NJ) not an easy task for the scoring strike. BA extended its lead to 12-0. The second quarter saw BA continue to work together to set up scores. On the second possession of the quarter, Shamis Henry (Flemington, NJ) scooped up a loose ball to give the offense a shot from the Springfield eighteen-yard line. Once again, the offense wasted no time and scored on a single play this one an eighteen-yard run from Duffrene and the lead was extended to 18-0. Here, at the moment when BA really could have put the game away, Springfield found a spark. Going to the air, an unfamiliar place for the Springfield triple option, the Pride hit a thirty-two yard pass to BA alum Cam Cooper (Class of 2013). This set up Springfield in BA territory for the first time and the boost of confidence propelled them into the endzone for their first score, narrowing the gap 18-6. Springfield punched in a second score as time expired in the first half by again hitting BA alum Cam Cooper this time for fifty-nine yard touchdown pass. The Wolverines eventually were able to pull away in the second half thanks to Malik Lee’s seventy-five yard touchdown run on the opening series and later on Duffrene’s third rushing touchdown. The game ended 40-20 in favor of the Wolverines and moves BA to 2-2 on the season.