It was a day that few involved will forget when the Vincent Massey Trojans from Winnipeg paid their first visit to Harry McMaster Field. On a field blanketed by almost a foot of snow, both teams treated the day as an adventure and competed in a friendly manner, supporting each other’s successes.
The game was greatly aided by the efforts of Murray Frenette, Brian Realini, Bruce Anderson and Randy Russell who toiled for five hours Thursday in order to clear enough snow to establish sidelines and the yard markers.
With the ground not frozen and the future condition of the grass and sprinkler system a concern, the crew was limited to pushing snowblowers.
At kick-off at 3pm, Mother Nature had not done much melting and the teams and fans forged ahead. From timer Brad Coles, in an ice fishing tent, to cowbell ringing spectators who loudly cheered throughout, the resiliency of our community was on full display. The Trojans were gracious and appreciative of the effort.
Of note in the game was the first Massey play from scrimmage. Entering the day tied as the all- time leading tackler in Eagle history, Gus Brosseau wasted no time in claiming the honour as he streaked towards the Trojan ballcarrier and brought him down.
Brosseau would go on to add 6 more tackles, with two games remaining his total stands at 198. The Eagles defence would hold firm on the first drive and for a good portion of the opening quarter it seemed like the snow might balance the scales somewhat.
Carter Armstrong worked the option for a 19 yard gain but the Blue and Gold could not sustain a drive as the big and quick Trojans adapted.
A perennial power at the AAA level, Vincent Massey soon started clicking through the air and on the ground. The plucky Dryden defenders battled throughout but ultimately could not hold forever. Nick Pinette had a strong game in the Eagles secondary as he notched 6 tackles and broke up two passes.
In all, fifteen different Eagles recorded tackles in the 41-0 loss. Vincent Massey was clearly the better team but they had to earn the points that they scored and were impressed by the spirit and effort of the hosts. Each team was able to play all members of the team and try fun ideas.
Dryden managed to reward two senior offensive linemen with touches, Gary Norman plowed ahead for a 3 yard gain in the third quarter and Tyson Cameron caught his second pass of the year in the fourth.
Vincent Massey used a defensive lineman as a runner three straight times, it would take four Eagles to bring down the big man each time.
Throughout the day players would be laughing and shaking snow from their cages, helping one another up in true displays of sportsmanship.
Sitting at 0-6, Dryden finishes the regular season on the road Friday when they face the 2-4 Oak Park Raiders.
The team will then have a short week as they likely play Wed Oct 24th in a playoff pool with the lower four teams of the AAA division.
Having played their final home game as football Eagles, the many seniors on the team will look to continue building a strong foundation for future groups.