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2012 Bulldogs Football

JUNIOR BULLDOGS WIN PREMIER CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP

For the first time in team history, the Bellrose Jr. Bulldogs win the Metro Edmonton Football Association Premier Conference Championship.

The Bulldogs defeated the St. Joseph Saints at Clark Park on November 13th, 2012 by a score of 44 - 6.  This win capped off an amazing season with a record of 9 wins and 0 losses.  Almost forgotten in the celebration of the championship by a determined team was the fact that they scored 301 points (33.4 pfg) and only gave up an incredible 40 points (4.4 pag) through the season.

A tough first half where both teams worked hard, the Bulldogs led by only 8 points, 14 -6.  In the second half the Bulldogs were not going to be denied their first Premier Conference Championship and they scored 30 unanswered points to secure the win.

Congratualtions to all of the players, the coaching staff and everyone involved in Bulldogs Football in 2012.

Videos of the all the touchdowns and the post game presentation of the medals, Trophy and Championship Banner are now on the Jr. Bulldogs page.

GO DAWGS!

BEN GRAUNKE WINS HALIBURTON TROPHY AS LEAGUE MVP

At the Carr Conference final game on Saturday night, Ben Graunke was announced as the league MVP.  He becomes the first Bulldog to ever be awarded the Haliburton Trophy as the Metro Carr Conference MVP.

CONGRATULATIONS BEN ON AN OUTSTANDING SEASON!

BULLDOGS SPECIAL 3RD JERSEY FOR CHARITY - RAISED $1100.00

Bulldogs 3rd Jersey

Bulldogs Annual 3rd Jersey for Charity - 2012 Edition - Photo By Lisa Shorten

Bulldogs Senior Players wore a special Black & White 3rd Jersey a for games against the Salisbury Sabres on Oct 4th and the Austin O'Brien Crusaders game on Oct 25th.  These Special Jerseys were sold following the game on Oct 25th for $75 each.  Players had first choice on purchasing their own Jersey.  All money raised from the sale of these Jerseys went towards the Bellerose "MAKING 'CENTS' OF BRAIN TUMORS" initiative to raise money for the Brain Tumor Foundation.  Bellerose High School is raising this money in memory of our family and friends who are or have been affected by a brain tumor.  On November 14th, Bulldogs Football wrote a Cheque for $1,100 to the Brain Tumor Foundation.  Thank for all who purchased jersey's in support.

David Jung - Bellerose Student,  Jennifer Schwam - Daughter of a Bellerose staff member, Lee Grant - former student and STORM Football Player.

BULLDOGS CELEBRATION OF FOOTBALL & AWARDS BANQUET

November 21st saw our Bulldogs Family celebrate a fantastic 2012 season by both our Junior and Senior Teams.  It was a wonderful celebration of an exciting year surrounded by teammates, parents, friends and special guests.  We were honored to have the Principal of Bellerose, Mr. Larry Dyck as well as the Bellerose Athletic Director Ms. Sue Leighton attend our banquet.  We also had Rick Walters, Head Coach of the Edmonton Huskies Football Club join us as well as Sean Reader from the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

In addition to all the Bulldogs players who were presented awards, we had our First Bulldogs Citizen Bursary presented to Mr. James Comeau who graduated from Bellerose in 2011 and is now attending St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.  Larry Olexiuk, Bulldogs Coach gave Jeff Hansen from the St. Albert Gazette, a  career achievment presentation on behalf of Bulldogs Football for his 20 years of outstanding football coverage in the media.

Here is a complete list of the awards that were handed out at the banquet and sincere congratulations to all award winners.

BULLDOGS FOOTBALL AWARDS
SENIOR TEAM AWARDS

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD- Dean Ciampanelli                                     

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER- Josh Dobbins

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER– Liam Gray

MOST CONTRIBUTION/LEAST RECOGNITION– Foster Rae

 

OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE LINEMAN– Liam Gray

 

OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE LINEMAN-BOB BRAYMAN TROPHY- Jacob Neuls

 

OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER– Ben Graunke

 

OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER- Ryan Shorten

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD- Ben Graunke

 

LEE GRANT MEMORIAL TROPHY- Billy Clapp / Ryan Shorten

 

FIRST ANNUAL “BULLDOGS CITIZEN BURSARY”  $1000

Presented by: Mike Moulds                          - James Comeau


JUNIOR TEAM AWARDS

 

TRUE ROOKIE AWARD- John Comeau

 

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER- Omar Rafat / James Ho

 

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER– Seth Waselenchuk

 

MOST CONTRIBUTION/LEAST RECOGNITION- Josh Coogan

 

MOST OUTSTANDING LINEMAN AWARD– Shawn Campbell

 

OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP & DEDICATION– Ben McKay

 

OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER- Matthew Short

 

OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER- Nick Cowan

 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD- Dylan Shorten

Bellerose News Articles

Historic win by Bulldogs

11/17/2012, 6:45am MST
By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette

Bellerose football team finishes 9-0 as the first junior champions in school history

Clarke Park – The Bellerose Bulldogs finished what they started to win the first high school junior football championship in school history.

The Bulldogs completed an amazing undefeated season with a memorable 44-6 conquest of the St. Joseph Saints in Tuesday’s metro Edmonton premier conference final.

“It’s a special day for Bulldogs football,” declared head coach Chad Hill, while surrounded by his happy players at the end of the game. “You’re champs and you’re going to be crowned as such.”

It was the culmination of a dominating performance by a Bellerose team that averaged 33.4 points per game and allowed only five touchdowns and 40 points in nine victories.

“We were preparing all season for this moment to be champions,” Hill said following the jubilant post-game trophy presentation. “Our goal right from training camp was to be champions and that was the mind frame the entire time. The players didn’t think of anything different.”

Game star Dylan Shorten described the magnitude of the moment as overwhelming.

“It’s the best feeling ever to win something like this with your teammates. We’ve all put in so much effort to make this happen. In every single game we tried our hardest and it just means so much to us to come out as champions,” said the Grade 10 slotback who stunned the Saints with three riveting touchdown receptions in the second half.

Defensive end John Comeau dedicated the win to the Bulldogs’ football fraternity.

“This is for all the alumni that have played for Bellerose. I know it really makes them proud when they look in your paper and see that Bellerose has done as good as it’s done in the junior program. It’s just super exciting,” said the Grade 10 tackling machine.

The junior Bulldogs will be remembered as the first undefeated team at Bellerose after the St. Albert Storm era and the first team to celebrate a championship since the 2007 Miles conference victory by the senior team.

“It’s great what we accomplished for our school. It’s a new record for Bellerose,” said Matt Short, a Grade 11 quarterback who picked apart the Saints’ secondary for four TD passes.

The last junior final for the Bulldogs was 2005, when they lost 29-9 to the St. Albert Hawks for the premier title after leading 1-0 after three quarters.

“This is another important step for the program,” said Hill, who coached the 2005 Bulldogs in the return of the junior program at Bellerose. “We’ve come close in the past in junior. We’ve had some overachieving teams, with the exception of 2005. We’ve also had some tough losses in the semifinals, so when we got past Salisbury (41-0 in the semifinals) it was a great feeling to get to the final but we knew that wasn’t it for us. We wanted more. We wanted to win the championship.”

Slow out of the chute

In the first half the Bulldogs looked scared to lose instead of playing like a team to fear.

“St. Joe’s came out really strong in the beginning in the first half. It was really the first time we’ve been challenged in a game,” Comeau said.

The 14-6 halftime lead flattered the Bulldogs.

“For the first time this season we faced adversity but our true character eventually shone through,” Hill said.

The first series after the opening kickoff the Bulldogs failed to gain a first down and turned the ball over on downs at the Bellerose 39.

It was on the second play from scrimmage that fullback/defensive tackle Ben MacKay suffered a lower body injury. He was taken to a hospital before the half ended.

“He has been a two-way stud for us all year and a real quiet positive leader on our team. To lose somebody like that was really tough but the boys rallied,” Hill said of the Grade 11 stalwart.

Stout defensive play by both teams kept the final scoreless until Seth Waselenchuk returned a short punt to the Bellerose 52 and on the next play Short aired the ball out to a streaking Brady McColman down the sideline for a 58-yard TD with 1:28 left until quarter time.

“The energy we got off that was great. That’s what we needed,” said Short, 16, who won the starting quarterback job in training camp despite not playing last season. “We came out a little slow and they came out ready to play us so we really had to pick it up and pounce on them hard.”

In the second quarter a Waselenchuk fumble after the Saints were flagged for pass interference on Short’s delivery to Shorten gave St. Joseph the ball at the Bellerose 46. The Bulldogs dug deep to stop the Saints from gaining a first down.

After a series of punts the Saints huddled up at the Bellerose 39 and five plays later scored on a pitch play from the six with 2:23 to go before the break. The convert attempt was no good.

After the kickoff the Bulldogs moved the ball with Robbie Tamburro racking up the yards. On second and six in Saints’ territory, Short was picked off but on the tackle the Saints’ player coughed up the ball near the sideline and before it bounced out of bounds Short touched it to maintain Bellerose possession.

On first down, Short hit Shorten on a sideline route and the dashing Bulldog was tackled out of bounds at the six after a gain of 42. On third and goal at the two, Tamburro scored and Nick Cowan’s convert made it 14-6 with 52 seconds remaining.

Halftime pep talk

One of the first Bulldogs to trot off the field at halftime was a stern-looking Hill, who had some choice words for his players in the change room.

“I said for the first time this year we’re being tested so we’ve got to make adjustments. I went through a few things with a few words that I wouldn’t repeat, things that we can’t do any more that we have to change, and the boys really responded,” Hill said.

The Bulldogs took his words to heart and exploded for 30 points to turn the close contest into a rout.

“In the change room we really buckled down for a close game. We came out on fire and scored a whole bunch of touchdowns,” said Comeau, 15, who also spent time at tight-end.

The jacked-up Bulldogs struck lightning fast after Brett Usher recovered Cowan’s kickoff at the Saints’ 40. On first down, Short hooked up with Shorten for the game-shifting TD.

On the kickoff, Comeau pounced on Cowan’s boot at the Saints’ 45 but the Bulldogs were unable turn it into points.

Towards the end of the quarter the Saints’ punter conceded a safety.

In the fourth quarter, during an impressive drive engineered by Short despite two rough play infractions on the Bulldogs, Shorten jumped high for a pass at the three and fought his way into the endzone for the 27-yard TD.

Cowan’s short kickoff was recovered by James Ho at the Saints’ 45 and a few plays later Shorten’s catch and run covered 46 yards to pay dirt for the hat-trick.

“It really was an entire team effort that gave me those touchdowns. There were blocks everywhere,” said Shorten, 15, who also lined up at defensive halfback.

The Saints were unable to stop the deadly combination of Short to Shorten.

“Credit to Jonny Ziarko and the offensive coaches. Ziarko called a great game and the boys executed,” said Hill.

He described the special team’s performance on short kickoffs as textbook perfect.

“Full credit to the coverage team. Cowan was placing the ball well and they executed. It’s that type of execution that ends in a victory. We had nine of those this year and that’s enough to be champs,” Hill said.

Cowan, a key player on defence at linebacker who kicked all six converts, closed out the scoring with a long TD run after stripping the ball from a Saint on a run play.

“The boys didn’t let off. They put the foot down on them and stepped on them when they were down. They finished the way championship teams should finish,” Hill said. “All year perhaps the only thing that wasn’t great with our team was the killer instinct to finish opponents off. We would get big early leads and then we would roll a lot of players through and our third and fourth quarter points really reflect that but tonight there was no room for that. We told them we’ve got to step on them when they’re down. There is no easing off this team because it’s too good (7-2 record). They’ve got playmakers.”

Saints quarterback Austin Trachuk, the Grant Yuzyk Award winner as the junior league’s MVP, was a marked man in the game.

“Our game plan was to shut him down. We saw what he did on Paul Kane (in the 45-35 semifinal win) so we devised schemes to do that. By no means did we shut him out tonight but I thought we limited him, which is all you can hope to do with a player like that,” Hill said. 

Also nominated for the award was the speedy Waselenchuk – who missed part of the season with a lower body injury – Paul Kane tailback Kieran Porter and linebacker/receiver Mitchell Stykalo of the Hawks.

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Recent Bellerose Senior Bulldogs News

Local football star named conference MVP

11/07/2012, 2:00pm MST
By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette

Bellerose Bulldog Ben Graunke receives Haliburton Trophy as the top high school football player in the metro Edmonton league's Carr conference

 

Foote Field – Ben Graunke finished his high school football career as the most valuable player in the Carr conference.

The talented Grade 12 tailback and safety for the Bellerose Bulldogs was presented with the prestigious Haliburton Trophy after the Carr final Saturday night.

“It’s an honour to win this award,” Graunke told the Gazette. “It’s a pretty big deal for me.”

The nine Carr teams in the metro Edmonton league nominated a Haliburton candidate but were not allowed to vote for their own player.

Also in the running for the MVP award were Grade 11 quarterbacks Keith Zyla of the St. Albert High Skyhawks and Cory Knott of the Paul Kane Blues.

“My goal going into the season was winning the Carr championship and winning an MVP award. We didn’t win the Carr championship but I’m really glad to have this award,” Graunke said. “It’s really what motivated me in the offseason. I worked pretty hard with my weightlifting partner, James Comeau. We worked out every day with no days off, so this award means quite a bit for me.”

Graunke, 17, joins former St. Albert winners Danny Prockiw of the Storm in 1992, Cory Jones of the Skyhawks in 1999 and 2000 and pool B recipients Kyle Connolly of the Bulldogs in 2005 and Chris Dobko of the Skyhawks in 2007.

“I’m in some pretty good company, and not only St. Albert guys. There are some good players who have won it over the years,” said the bantam graduate of the St. Albert Fury, the 2009 provincial Tier 2 finalists in his Grade 9 season.

Graunke’s final stats after eight league games and one playoff contest were 172 carries for 1,362 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus 10 receptions for 84 yards.

He was also second on Bulldogs in tackles with 40 solo and picked off one pass.

According to the metro stats dated Oct. 31, he was the conference leader in carries and was second in rushing yards behind Bryson Dobush’s 1,448 with the Falcons as their Halliburton nominee.

“Ben had an outstanding season,” said Chad Hill, head coach of the 6-3 Bulldogs, ranked 10th provincially in Tier I. “This award is the culmination of the last three seasons of hard work and dedication. Ben worked out with incredible intensity in the offseason so that he could produce the type of numbers that he did on both sides of the ball.”

“During spring camp, we had Ben listed as the third string running back and starting safety. He told me then that I would change my mind and he would prove that he could be a starting running back and not take any plays off from the defence.”

“I’m extremely proud of Ben and feel that he is very deserving of this honour.”

Graunke was tipped off about winning the award the day after the Bulldogs lost the Carr semifinal 28-8 to the Skyhawks. His last high school touchdown was a nine-yard effort against the Skyhawks in the playoff to knot the score at 7-7 with 7:26 left in the second quarter.

Graunke celebrated his accomplishment at a dinner Saturday with offensive linemen Jack Hanna, Jacob Neuls, Billy Clapp, Aiden Shiels and Curt Supruniuk, as well as offensive line coach Bob Brayman and quarterback coach Larry Olexiuk.

“I owe a lot of my success this year to my O-line. We’ve also got great coaches too,” Graunke said.

The Bulldogs contingent sat in the stands to watch the Skyhawks lose the Carr final 51-14 to the Falcons before Graunke was accompanied by Hill to field level to accept the MVP award during the post-game ceremonies.

Big plays bury Bulldogs in playoff loss

11/03/2012, 10:15am MDT
By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette

Bellerose falls 28-8 to St. Albert High Skyhawks in Carr conference semifinal

Clarke Park - The season ended sooner than expected for the Bellerose Bulldogs.

The No. 8-ranked Tier I team in Alberta lost 28-8 to the St. Albert High Skyhawks in Tuesday's Carr conference semifinal in metro Edmonton high school football.

“It’s a really tough loss,” said a glum-looking Chad Hill, head coach of the 6-3 Bulldogs. “Definitely this is not the ending that we were hoping for, not by any stretch of the imagination.”

All-star quarterback Keith Zyla fired four touchdown passes, including three strikes in the second quarter, as the Skyhawks stormed into a 21-8 halftime lead.

“We got beat on some big plays early and we couldn’t recover from it,” said Ben Graunke, the Grade 12 Bellerose tailback and safety. “They made the big plays and we didn’t make them.”

In the first quarter, junior call-up Ryan Shorten picked off Zyla at the Bellerose 45 on the Skyhawks’ first offensive series but the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on the turnover.

The next time on offence, Bellerose quarterback Josh Dobbins hooked up with Liam Gray for a 69-yard catch and run down the middle of the field to the Skyhawks’ 13. Three plays later, Connor Hughes missed the uprights on a 16-yard field goal attempt and the Bulldogs settled for a point with 3:37 left until quarter time.

On the next Skyhawks’ possession, Zyla was stopped inches short on third and two just in front of the Bellerose 54 with Graunke leading the defensive charge. The Bulldogs went two and out and punted as the first quarter drew to a close.

Back on offence, the Skyhawks turned a second and 18 situation into a 61-yard TD reception by Rocky Borrelli. After the catch, Borrelli escaped a tackle and galloped several yards into the endzone with 1:33 gone in the second quarter. The convert was good.

After Tyler Thorsley’s kickoff return to the Bellerose 45, the Bulldogs put first downs together as Graunke scampered 16 yards on third and one and Dobbins hit Gray for a 36-yard catch and run to the nine. On first down, Graunke busted through the Skyhawks for his 13th TD of the season. The convert put the Bulldogs on top by one.

The next offensive series for the Skyhawks, on second and eight, Zyla aired the ball out to Chandler Duff behind coverage and the underrated receiver was chased down at the Bellerose 25 after a 48-yard gain.

Three plays later, the Skyhawks knotted the score with a point off a tackle in the endzone on Max Chabot’s 27-yard field goal attempt with 4:33 left in the first half.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Skyhawks stopped Graunke on third and two at the Bellerose 48 with Matt Clark in on the tackle. The Skyhawks cashed in the turnover on downs as Zyla unleashed a great throw and Duff made an equally exceptional catch in double coverage for a 22-yard TD with 35 seconds to go in the half. The convert made it 15-8.

Play of the game

On first down after the kickoff, Brendan Cunningham intercepted a Dobbins’ pass near the sideline at the Bellerose 52. The Skyhawks converted the turnover into the TSN turning point. After a roughing-the-passer flag on Bellerose, Borrelli reeled in Zyla’s offering while double-teamed in front of the goal line, then slipped into the endzone to score with four seconds left in the half. The convert attempt was unsuccessful.

The Bulldogs never recovered from the momentum-shifting 47-yard TD.

“The one at the end of the half really hurt,” Graunke said. “It was really three plays that beat us.”

Hill viewed the roughing the passer call as iffy, but stressed the Bulldogs never should have let Borrelli make the TD catch.

“They got one more shot at throwing it deep on roughing the passer and that’s a tough one but the call was made, “ Hill said. “The thing was we were in a cover four, so we had four guys deep, but their receiver made the play on the ball over our DBs. We knew Keith was going to try and air it out deep and they executed.”

The Bulldogs were done like dinner when Thera-Plamondon broke loose on a catch and run for a 54-yard TD with 53 seconds remaining in the third quarter

“Give credit where credit is due; that Hawks' defence swarmed to the ball and played exceptional well and their offence really hit the big plays. Their aerial attack was very solid. Simply put, Keith is a tremendous quarterback,” Hill said. “They have a very good offence. They executed well. Those receivers made some tremendous plays tonight. They stepped up big, in particular Chandler Duff. He had the game of his life and I told him that after the game.”

“Thera is Thera and Rocky is Rocky. We know those guys are playmakers and they’re going to make plays and they did.

“Matti Thurlin was also back in the line-up and he gave them a spark as an added threat and another dimension to their offence in the backfield.”

Disappointing ending

The loss was the second of the year against the Skyhawks (7-2). The Tier III provincial contenders rallied from a 13-point second half deficit to edge Bellerose 14-13 in September.

The Bulldogs viewed the 11th annual Battle of St. Albert – the first playoff clash between the cross-town rivals since the 2004 Miles conference semifinal, a 39-3 Skyhawsk win – as another credibility game in pursuit of their first metro championship since winning the Miles title in 2007.

“It’s very disappointing,” Hill said. “I would’ve liked to have done some things differently. Unfortunately we don’t get to do things differently until next year."

The Bulldogs were ranked top-10 for five straight weeks in the Football Alberta poll, the first time they were ranked top-10 since 1999.

“It was a bounce-back season for us. In 2010 we were a strong team and in 2011 we had a bit of a dip (2-5 record) but we got back up to being a respective team in the Carr conference this year,” Hill said. “I’m very proud of our team this year.”

Half of the Bulldogs will be back next year. Graunke, a third-year Bulldog, was sad to see it end.

“It’s really hard to believe it’s all over now,” he said. “This season was special. It’s the best season I've ever had in football.”

Graunke, 17, led the conference in carries with 138 and was second in rushing yards with 1,162.

“It’s a team effort. They’re not all my rushing yards. They’re the offence’s rushing yards,” said Graunke, who also ranked second on the team in tackles with 32.

Football Huddle

10/20/2012, 10:30am MDT
By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette

Bulldogs muzzled

It was close until the opening kickoff, then the roof caved in on the Bellerose Bulldogs in Thursday’s first-place showdown with the Bev Facey Falcons.

The defending Carr conference champions in metro Edmonton high school football whipped the Bulldogs 44-0 at Strathcona Athletic Park.

“We simply got beat in every facet of the game. They were better on offence, defence and special teams,” said Chad Hill, head coach of the 5-2 Bulldogs.

It went from bad to worse for the Bulldogs after they muffed the first kickoff and the offence huddled up at the Bellerose 12.

An unnecessary roughness penalty against the Bulldogs on Facey’s first drive gave the No. 3-ranked Tier I team in Alberta and extra opportunity to score.

Facey (7-0) led 14-0 after the first quarter and 29-0 at halftime.

The Bulldogs didn’t record a first down until the second quarter.

Facey also picked off two passes in the second half.

Facey’s triple option offence gave the defence fits with quarterback Brad Launhardt and running back Bryson Dobush doing most of the damage.

Launhardt also made some great plays when the Bulldogs had him on the run, but managed to scramble and find receivers.

The Bulldogs’ punt coverage team also struggled to contain Matt Nash. He gave Facey good field position with long runs the entire first half.

On defence, Ryan Shorten and Ben Graunke led the Bulldogs in tackles. Shorten also recovered a fumble in the third quarter.

Jacob Neuls and Billy Clapp also showed toughness playing both ways for most of the game.

The Bulldogs, ranked eighth in Tier 1, close out the regular season in Thursday’s must-win game against the Austin O’Brien Crusaders (4-3). Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Riel Recreation Park. Admission is $5.

A win would guarantee the Bulldogs a playoff spot. A loss would potentially create a three-way tie and the tie-breaking rules would determine the second, third and fourth place finishers for the Oct. 30 semifinals at Clarke Park.

The Bulldogs and St. Albert High Skyhawks (5-2) share second place, two points head of the Crusaders and Salisbury Sabres (4-3).

“This better be a wakeup call for us,” Hill said. “There is no time to dwell on the loss. We have to regroup and focus on AOB, who is looking strong once again.”

  • Bulldogs tackle first place

  • 10/17/2012, 10:15pm MDT , By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette
  • Carr conference showdown Thursday against Bev Facey Falcons in metro Edmonton high school football
  • Read More
  • Bulldogs on fire

  • 10/10/2012, 12:30am MDT , By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette
  • High school football team ranked eighth provincially in Tier I
  • Read More
  • Junior Dawgs trample Blues

  • 09/22/2012, 5:30pm MDT , By Jeff Hansen - ST. Albert Gazette
  • Bellerose knocks off the defending premier champions in metro Edmonton high school football
  • Read More
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Bellerose Bulldogs News Articles

Bulldogs on fire

10/10/2012, 12:30am MDT
By Jeff Hansen - St. Albert Gazette

High school football team ranked eighth provincially in Tier I

The roar was deafening after the Bellerose Bulldogs shocked the Salisbury Sabres in one of the most impressive victories in the history of the high school football program.

Last week’s thunderous 27-7 conquest of the storied Sherwood Park football club solidified the Bulldogs’ status as a team to fear in the metro Edmonton league's very tough Carr conference.

Salisbury and the Bev Facey Falcons have combined to win the last 10 Carr titles.

“We’ve never beaten Salisbury before so it was a big deal,” said Dean Ciampanelli, a lethal Grade 11 defensive end and linebacker. “We don’t usually beat those teams from Sherwood Park so we were pretty excited.”

The magnitude of the victory at Riel Recreation Park was on par with the 2010 historic 7-0 triumph against the St. Albert High Skyhawks, the first win by the Bulldogs in the Battle of St. Albert after seven straight losses.

“It was the most complete game we've had at the senior level for a couple years. It was very much a total team effort,” said Chad Hill, head coach of the 4-1 Bulldogs.

It also overshadowed the decisive 26-6 decision against the Paul Kane Blues (2-4) early in the season.

“It was a huge one against Sal. A lot of us felt it was even better than beating PK. We were pretty ecstatic,” said quarterback Dallas Moroz.

The loss knocked the Sabres (3-2) out of the provincial Tier I rankings and the Bulldogs jumped two spots to No. 8 as the second metro team in the top 10.

“I don't like to put too much into a provincial ranking; it's winning in your league that counts. However, being in the top 10 is a positive reflection of the hard work our players, coaches and management have put forth the past few years,” Hill said.

If the regular season ended today, the Bulldogs would duke it out with the Skyhawks (4-2) in a dream playoff matchup. The Bulldogs are still smarting from blowing a 13-point second-half lead in the 14-13 loss to the Skyhawks last month.

“That would be awesome to play them again. It’s in the back of our minds. We don’t really want to think about it too much but if we get a shot at them that would be perfect. We would rather play them than any other team,” Ciampanelli said.

The Bulldogs have three games remaining before the Oct. 30 semifinals: Thursday against the winless Archbishop Jordan Scots at 7:30 p.m. at the Riel turf field, Oct. 18 against the powerhouse Falcons (5-0), ranked third in Tier I as the defending Carr champions, and Oct. 25 against the Austin O’Brien Crusaders (2-3), last year’s Tier II provincial champions.

“We have a good shot at making the playoffs,” Moroz said. “The guys are pretty excited. We’re pretty motivated to keep working harder.”

Offensive charge

Moroz, 17, spearheaded the attack against Salisbury with two touchdown passes to Joshua Dobbins off bootlegs and scrambled five yards for a major.

The Grade 12 Bulldog hooked up with Dobbins for a 25-yard scoring strike in the second quarter and a pivotal 16-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter after the Sabres cut the deficit to with a converted TD off a one-yard run.

“Dobbins just ran an out and I threw over top of the end and he caught it for a touchdown both times,” said Moroz, who was 3-for-11 passing for 69 yards in the win.

A 22-yard field goal by Connor Hughes opened the scoring in the first quarter.

Hughes also converted TDs by Moroz and Dobbins and added a rouge in the second quarter to put the Bulldogs on top 18-0 at halftime. His extra point after Dobbins’ TD in the fourth quarter made it 25-7.

The third safety in two games by Ciampanelli closed out the scoring.

Grade 12 tailback Ben Graunke cranked out 154 yards on 23 carries. He ranks among the top rushers in the league with 915 yards on 109 carries.

Salisbury was 8-for-20 passing for 95 yards and rushed for 99 yards on 16 carries against a fired-up Bulldogs defence.

Salisbury turned the ball over a whopping eight times. Ciampanelli, Mark Warawa, Billy Clapp, Darek Skinner, Andre Sarafinchan, Liam Gray and Tyler Moroz were credited with fumble recoveries and Shannon Stuht picked off a pass.

Foster Rae led the Bulldogs in tackles with six and Ciampanelli had five.

“Our defence played to a whole another level. It really should’ve been a shutout,” said Ciampanelli, 16. “We just put all the pieces together. Everyone played well.”

THIRD DOWN: The Bulldogs unveiled their third jerseys for charity against Salisbury. They will wear them again against Austin O’Brien and after the game the special black and white jerseys will be sold for $75 each. Players will get first choice on purchasing their own jersey.

All monies raised will go towards the Bellerose high school’s Making ‘Cents’ of Brain Tumours initiative in support of the Brain Tumour Foundation. Bellerose is raising money in memory of family and friends who are or have been affected by a brain tumour.

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"Making Cents" of Brain Tumors - Thank you to the Senior Bulldogs