Silverados unveil new plays on path to bantam final - Oct. 30, 2013
Daniel Townes forces a fumble in the second half of the bantam Silverados 38-16 victory over Simonds on Saturday. The win propels St. Stephen to the league final against Hampton Sunday, 3 p.m. at Canada Games Stadium in Saint John.
The bantam Silverados have been largely using defensive prowess to emerge from the regular season with a blank loss column. As the local squad’s Fundy Minor Football League semi-final game wound towards half, the Silveradoes benefited from an offensive outburst that propelled them to the league final.
The game, an eventual 38-16 win for St. Stephen, looked like it was going to be tied at 16 at the halftime break after a late score by their opponent, the Simonds Longhorns. That was until James Thibault returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown with 16 seconds left in the half.
From there, the defence went into lockdown in the second half and the offence pulled some fresh plays out of the playbook to solidify the win.
One such play came after the Silverados drove down to the opponent’s goal line. With quarterback Thomas MacMichael back to seemingly take a shotgun snap, the ball was instead snapped directly to fullback Zeke Beamen, who rumbled through the defensive line for a major.
“I was really excited. I knew in my head I was going to get a touchdown,” said the confident 14-year old. “I was running up the middle and a couple guys jumped on me, trying to push me back. I just pushed forward, landed in the end zone and got the touchdown.”
Another look saw MacMichael occupy his former wideout position – a spot he held down until this year - position for a brand new play. Halfback Jesse Thibault, the twin brother of fellow fullback James, took the snap, then connected with MacMichael on a 40-plus yard pass play for a touchdown.
“That last one, where they threw it back to Thomas, that’s a play the kids drew up,” said head coach Mike Scott. “They asked me for a chance to run it, we ran it in practice, and I said ‘OK, we’ll run it’.”
The second half was highlighted by seldom-seen plays, but the Spartans’ mainstay remained a balanced run-pass combination backed by solid defence. Fourteen-year-old halfback Aislya White was happy her team overcame some early doldrums to advance to the league final.
“We kind of had a hard time getting into the game, then we were good throughout,” said White. “We just had to find our groove, basically.”
This week will be spent practising in hopes of staying in that groove for the upcoming league final. It will be held at Canada Games Stadium in Saint John at 3 p.m. on Sunday when they will face Hampton.