Slow start plagues Bengals
Football: Big Rock falls to 0-4 with 42-24 loss
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 06:00 am
A familiar face on the opposite sideline came back to bite the Big Rock Bengals.
Foothills Composite student Trey Kellogg’s six touchdown performance paced the Calgary Stampeders to the 42-24 victory over several of his classmates on the Bengals in Saturday’s Calgary and Area Midget Football Association (CAMFA) tilt at Shouldice Park.
“They have a pretty good box inside with their line and linebackers, but we knew they had a couple weaknesses at DB (defensive back) so we tried to attack that a little bit,” said Kellogg, a Grade 10 student at the Comp. “We came out with six receivers, different from what we usually do we installed that this week, and that worked really well.”
“That was so much fun,” he added. “Playing against your friends just raises the intensity, raises the competition and just makes for a better game.”
The Bengals might disagree.
Big Rock produced a carbon-copy performance a week prior, characterized by a slow start and impressive yet ultimately futile comeback attempts in the final two quarters.
This time, they found themselves down 28-6 at halftime.
“We’re a one-half football team,” lamented Bengals head coach Bruce Marlow. “We have one half where we can’t stop anything because kids are trying to get in-sync. Our second half we finally get together, they play like they can play and a little bit too little, too late.”
Calgary was in fine form in the opening quarter. Kellogg opened the scoring on a 25-yard toss to the left of the end-zone. After taking over on downs on a botched punt attempt by the Bengals, Kellogg hooked up with a receiver for a 20-yard touchdown on a slant-pattern.
The rangy signal-caller added two more scores before the end of the half to give the Stamps a commanding 28-0 advantage.
The Bengals showed some bite late in the second-quarter with the ground attack of Brenden Hansen and Jeus Mapatac setting up a goal line quarterback sneak from Peter Zajdel with 30 seconds on the clock.
Momentum was a welcome companion in the second half for the Bengals as they further cut into the lead on a 20-yard scamper from Florida Flash TJ Tighe.
The Stampeders answered with a rally-killing touchdown of their own, but the relief lasted only for a fleeting moment.
Tighe found pay-dirt again when he carried an army of Calgary tacklers into the end-zone to cut the deficit to 35-18. Shortly thereafter, Mapatac meandered into the end-zone on a reverse play inside the red-zone.
The Bengals, however, couldn’t outrun the clock.
Calgary put the game out of reach with 50 seconds left when Kellogg launched his sixth passing touchdown of the contest.
“We had some really great efforts from guys that had been their all week long and it showed,” Marlow said. “Peter, our quarterback, phenomenal effort. He doesn’t quit until the end every single play and Jonathan Leggett, our middle linebacker, played his heart out.”
Unfortunately, the overall commitment to the first-year franchise from its players has been an issue at times.
“We have too many kids on this team who have to take a day off because they have a birthday party or a hug-fest,” Marlow said. “We’ve got a whole bunch of kids who cant show up on a consistent basis and when they don’t show up on a consistent basis they don’t care enough about the team.
“That being said if we ever put together a full game, we’ll be fine.”
The silver lining for the Bengals is the CAMFA playoff format. As in, every team competing in the league gets a ticket to the post-season dance.
Next up for Big Rock is a May 2 date with the undefeated Calgary Bulldogs.
For more information go to bigrockbengals.webs.com