Highland Wildcats 8-24 East Kilbride Pirates
@Bught Park, Inverness
BAFANL (Junior) North One Conference
Week 1, 24th April 2016
|1st Q||2nd Q||3rd Q||4th Q||Final Score|
|East Kilbride Pirates||0||0||8||16||24|
HIG 6-0 EKP – Euan Crawford to Mark Pyper (14 Yard Passing Touchdown)
HIG 8-0 EKP – Euan Crawford to Steven Shaw (2 Point Conversion)
HIG 8-6 EKP – Callum Ferguson (Defensive Touchdown)
HIG 8-8 EKP – Martin Gallagher (2 Point Conversion)
HIG 8-10 EKP – East Kilbride (Safety)
HIG 8-16 EKP – Will Price (48 Yard Rushing Touchdown)
HIG 8-22 EKP – Nick Kosic (1 Yard Rushing Touchdown)
HIG 8-24 EKP – Nick Kosic to Martin Gallagher (2 Point Conversion)
The Junior Highland Wildcats suffered their first defeat in two years in a tightly fought game against the improved East Kilbride Pirates last Sunday at the Bught Park in Inverness.
The Pirates won the toss and elected to receive the ball in the first half. They were met with a strong Highland defense and were held to a quick 3 and out. When the Wildcats then got back possession of the ball and started off their opening drive of the game with 3 strong rushes leaving the Wildcats only 4 yards short of making the first down.
Head Coach James Hudson then elected to go for it on 4th down but the gamble didn’t pay off because of good coverage from the Pirates secondary. East Kilbride then went on to have a strong drive because of a strong running game. The Wildcats defense didn’t panic and strong defensive performances from Haris Ryalls and Stephen McMeechan stopped the Pirates short of scoring on this drive.
On the next drive the Wildcats were held to another 3 and out and they elected to punt. Unfortunately for the Wildcats punt cover team a fumbled snap went over punter Josh Simpson’s head which was then recovered by the pirates on the Wildcats 9 yard line. On the very next play the Highland defense rallied and Mark Pyper gave the Wildcats the ball back after the Pirates quarterback fumbled the football.
The Wildcats unfortunately were intercepted on the drive which followed which put the home side back under pressure as the Pirates now had possession of the ball in the redzone. Once again though the Wildcats defense kept the Pirates offense at bay by putting substantial pressure on the defense because of hard hits from Stephen McMeechan and Corin Robinson.
The Highlanders now had possession of the ball once more and they put on a substantial drive as Euan Crawford, Ryalls and Pyper led the charge into the Pirates half. The Wildcats were now in good field position but they lost the ball to a fumble. The Pirates were then held back in the drive which followed which ensured that the teams would go into the half time interval tied on nothing.
After the half time break the Wildcats took the initiative and opened the scoring in their opening drive of the half when Crawford found Pyper on the end of a 14 yard pass to take the lead. The Touchdown was then converted by Crawford once more who found Steven Shaw in the endzone to increase the Wildcats lead to 8 points.
The Pirates responded strongly to the score with an 8 down drive but they were held short as the whole of the defensive unit kept the visitors at bay. Unfortunately after this drive things started to go wrong for the Wildcats as their next drive resulted in a fumbled punt taken into the endzone for a defensive touchdown. On the conversion which followed the Pirates managed to fumble the football and somehow recover the ball in the Wildcats endzone to level the scores.
This was the last score of the quarter leaving the score at 8-8 heading into the final quarter.
Unfortunately the home side started to tire and mistakes started to creep into the game which resulted in a blocked punt for a safety which gave the Pirates the momentum and the lead heading into the final stages of the game. The visitors then had a break away run which resulted in a 48 yard rushing touchdown to give the Pirates a domineering 8 point lead. Towards the end of the game the Pirates grinded through the Wildcats defense which resulted in a 1 yard rushing touchdown to put the game out of sight. This was then successfully converted with a 3 yard pass to give the Pirates a 16 point lead.
This would turn out to be the final score of the game which meant that the Pirates won the game and now go top of the BAFANL (Junior) North One. The Wildcats next game will be away against the Newcastle Vikings on the 15th May where the Highlanders will be looking to turn their season around.
|East Kilbride Pirates||1||0||0||24||8|
|Highland Wildcats||East Kilbride Pirates|
|50.49 (52/103)||Possession||49.51 (51/103)|
|ST||AT||Sacks||Int||Batt||FUM C||FUM R||TD||Safety|
Article by Tom Green…
Head Referee and Back Judge – Edan Gardner
Line Judge – Daniel Woodley
Field Judge – David Smith
Overall Game Statistics
|Charleston Academy Knights||Black Isle Stags|
|41.53% (27/65)||Possession||58.47% (38/65)|
CHA 6-0 BLA – Calvin Campbell to Sam MacKeddie (41yard Passing TD)
CHA 6-6 BLA – Mickey Stewart (4 Yard Rushing TD)
CHA 6-8 BLA – Kyle Holleyoake (12 Yard Rush 2pt Conversion)
CHA 6-14 BLA – James Maclean to Dean Brannen (4 Yard Passing TD)
CHA 6-20 BLA – James Maclean to Mickey Stewart (20 Yard Passing TD)
CHA 6-26 BLA – James Maclean to Lewis Taylor (4 Yard Passing TD)
Last Saturday the Black Isle Stags defeated the Charleston Academy Knights 26-6 to win the third HACL Highland Bowl. During the regular season the Knights got the better of the Stags on both occasions but on the day the Black Isle Stags took control.
Charleston won the toss and elected to receive the ball and started off the game strongly with a decisive 2 play drive which resulted in Calvin Campbell throwing a 41 yard pass to receiver Sam MacKeddie who took the ball into the endzone for a touchdown. The conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was stopped by the Black Isle defense to keep the score at 6-0.
The Stags then came out on the following drive with two strong rushes from running back Kyle Holleyoake (the first was a 1 yard rush and the second was a 9 yard rush) but unfortunately the Stags were unable to get enough yards for the first down which resulted in a turnover on downs. This was due to the tight coverage by the Knights defense which effectively shut down the Stags passing game.
The Knights then had the opportunity to double their lead on the second drive of the game in a series that was riddled with penalties. This resulted in the Knights getting a quick first down. However the Black Isle Stags improved their coverage making it difficult for Campbell to find an open receiver which resulted in the Knights turning over the ball on downs after an 8 play drive.
The Black Isle Stags responded to this big stop on defense with a more substantial drive where Kyle Holleyoake took the offense on his back rushing for 38 yards over 5 plays. This then set up Mickey Stewart to rush in for a 6 yard rushing touchdown. The Stags then took the lead on the next play when Holleyoake successfully rushed into the endzone on the two point conversion attempt.
The Stags now had the momentum in the game and were putting serious pressure on the Charleston offense. This resulted initially in a fumble (which was recovered by Fergus McIntyre) but to make matters worse, the following play was intercepted by Dean Brannen who took the ball into the endzone. Dean Brannen’s touchdown was pulled back because of a penalty after the interception.
The Black Isle now had the ball in promising field position and 3 plays later James Maclean threw a 4 yard passing touchdown to Brannen. The conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was unsuccessful but it meant that the Stags would go into the second half with an 8 point lead.
After the half time intermission the Stags started to take control of the game and they mounted a 10 play drive (due to various penalties which occurred during it) consisting of solid rushing by Kyle Holleyoake and a series of solid passing by Maclean. This resulted in Maclean throwing a 20 yard pass down field to Mickey Stewart for a touchdown. This effectively put the game out of reach for the Knights. The 2pt conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was unsuccessful but it really didn’t matter in the end.
Charleston were then held to a quick 3 and out which gave possession back to the Stags. The drive was short and sweet with Holleyoake taking the ball into the no run zone on the opening play of the drive by rushing 38 yards down field only to be stopped by the Charleston secondary. 3 plays later the Stags then increased their lead once more as Maclean found receiver Lewis Taylor on the end of a 4 yard touchdown pass. This would turn out to be the last scoring play of the game because the conversion attempt to follow was incomplete.
The game then ended with 3 quick 3 and outs by both Charleston and the Black Isle to end the third instalment of the HACL Highland Bowl.
Kyle Holleyoake (Black Isle Stags)
174 Rushing Yards (Averaging 8.2 Yards per Carry)
The Highland Bowl’s MVP was awarded to running back and Wildcats veteran Kyle Holleyoake for his exceptional performance in the back field for the Stags. Despite not scoring a touchdown the young running back was instrumental in the victory by setting up several scoring drives whilst on his way to a huge 174 yard game. Coincidentally this was also his first ever recorded 100 yard game (his best recorded performance before that was a 99 yard game for the Wildcats last year).
Individual Player Stats
|James Maclean (Black Isle)||11||3||29||3||0||79.16666667|
|Calvin Campbell (Charleston)||14||2||54||1||1||33.63095238|
|Kyle Holleyoake (Black Isle)||21||174||0/1|
|Craig Robertson (Charleston)||4||28||0/0|
|Anthony Arenas (Charleston)||4||19||0/0|
|Mickey Stewart (Black Isle||2||9||1/0|
|Sam MacKeddie (Charleston)||1||5||0/0|
|Cameron Oag (Black Isle)||1||-2||0/0|
|Sam MacKeddie (Charleston)||1||41||1/0|
|Mickey Stewart (Black Isle)||1||20||1/0|
|Fergus McIntyre (Charleston)||1||10||0/0|
|Dean Brannen (Black Isle)||1||4||1/0|
|Lewis Taylor (Black Isle||1||4||1/0|
|Solo Tackles||Assisted Tackles||Interceptions||TD||Batt Downs|
|Lewis Hilditch (CHA)||6||5||0||0||1|
|Lewis Taylor (BLA)||2||2||0||0||1|
|Mickey Stewart (BLA)||2||2||0||0||1|
|Fergus McIntyre (CHA)||2||0||0||0||0|
|Scott Robertson (BLA)||1||4||0||0||0|
|Dean Brannen (BLA)||1||1||1||0||0|
|Craig Roberston (CHA)||1||1||0||0||0|
Article by Tom Green…
#1 Offense (scored 270 points)
#2 Defense (conceeding 90 points)
Biggest Win: 64-6 Inverness Royal Academy Sharks
Since joining the league as an expansion team in 2015 the Black Isle Stags have gone from strength to strength and have a chance to win their first ever HACL title tomorrow. A lot of the reasons behind their success is that the majority of team has been together over all 3 HACL seasons (2014 being a development year) with plenty of Wildcats’ experience among their ranks. This is one of the reasons why the Stags are the number 1 offense in the HACL by scoring 270 points which is a new HACL record for scoring.
TOP OFFENSES (HACL History)
1 Black Isle Stags (2016) 270 Points
2 Charleston Academy Knights (2016) 269 Points
3 Culloden Academy Raptors (2014) 246 Points
On top of this they have the second best defensive unit in the league and have come one of the closest teams to beating the Knights this season with both of their games being resolved after the two minute warning of the second half.
Black Isle 38-0 Millburn
Black Isle 46-6 Inverness High School
The Black Isle Stags started off their regular season campaign against the highly competitive Millburn Academy Eagles and last year’s champions the Inverness High School Predators. In both games the Black Isle were able to dominate the proceedings scoring 84 points whilst only conceeding 6 all weekend.
Black Isle 14-28 Charleston
Black Isle 20-13 Culloden
In week 2 the Stags faced off with the league favourites the Knights in a tightly fought contest which went down to the wire. Unfortunately the Stags were defeated and the game had taken its toll on them which the Culloden Academy Raptors took full advantage of and almost pulled off a shock when they held the Stags to a 20-13 victory.
Black Isle 32-12 Millburn
Black Isle 36-0 Inverness Royal Academy
Following a shaky week 2 performance the Stags stepped up and managed to qualify for the Highland Bowl after they defeated the Millburn Academy Eagles 32-12 and winning 36-0 against a confident IRA team who had won their first game. It meant that there would be a dress rehearsal for the final in the final round of games as well as a rematch with the Inverness Royal Academy Sharks.
Black Isle 20-25 Charleston
Black Isle 64-6 Inverness Royal Academy
In the last week of the regular season the Black Isle Stags had a dress rehearsal for Highland Bowl III when they took on the Charleston Academy Knights for the second time this season. The game was so close that it went down right to the wire and the final play. The Stags lost the game but it showed that the title game will not be a forgone conclusion. They then went on to finish the regular season with a comprehensive 64-6 victory over the IRA Sharks to finish 6-2 in the regular season.
Article by Tom Green…
#2 Offense (scored 269 points)
#1 Defense (conceeding 77 points)
Biggest Win: 50-6 Inverness High School (Week 4))
The Charleston Academy Knights have qualified for the Highland Bowl for the second time in a row after completing a perfect 8-0 season. It hasn’t been easy for them to achieve with three close games on the way to the Highland Bowl including a 22-18 victory over the Millburn Academy Eagles and a 25-20 victory over title rivals the Black Isle Stags. One of the reasons behind their success has been their dominance on the defensive side of the football. Their offense has also been a major contributing factor behind the Knightss success particularly their passing game lead by quarterback Calvin Campbell who stepped up after last year replacing Highland Wildcats 1st string quarterback Euan Crawford.
Charleston 48-7 Inverness High School
Charleston 46-12 Inverness Royal Academy
The Knights started off the season well by defeating last years champions, the Inverness High School, 48-7 in a one sided affair to get their title challenge up and running. They followed up this victory with a 46-12 victory over the IRA Sharks to round off a weekend where the Knights scored 94 points whilst only conceding 19.
Charleston 28-14 Black Isle
Charleston 20-0 Culloden
In week two the Knights met title challenger the Black Isle Stags in a tightly contested game which they were able to win in the last two minutes of the game by scoring 3 answered touchdowns to put the pressure on the Stags heading into future weeks. The Knights then comfortably defeated the Culloden Academy Raptors in a game which had to be cut short due to injuries.
Charleston 30-0 Culloden
Charleston 22-18 Millburn
The Knights sealed their place in the Highland Bowl and gave them a change to complete a perfect season after they defeated the Raptors 30-0. They then went into their last game of week 3 knowing victory would seal their place in the Highland Bowl III. Millburn however were still in the Highland Bowl race needing an urgent victory to give them a chance and made Charleston work for a tight 22-18 win. The win also ensured that they would be playing the Black Isle Stags in the title game as it took the Eagles out of the running.
Charleston 25-20 Black Isle
Charleston 50-6 Inverness High School
In the last week of the regular season the Charleston Academy Knights had a dress rehearsal for Highland Bowl III when they took on the Black Isle Stags for the second time this season. The game was so close that it went down right to the wire and the final play. The Knights were able to win the game but it showed that the title game will not be a forgone conclusion. They then went on to finish 8-0 by beating the Inverness High School Predators.
HACL, Week 4
Article by Tom Green…
Bught Park, Inverness
CHA 6-0 BLA – Hilditch (Interception for TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 6-6 BLA – Maclean to Lewis Taylor (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 6-12 BLA – Holleyoake (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 12-12 BLA – Campbell to Blackhall (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 13-12 BLA – Campbell to Blackhall (1pt Conversion)
CHA 19-12 BLA – Robertson (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 19-18 BLA – Maclean to Brannen (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 25-18 BLA – Robertson (TOUCHDOWN)
CHA 25-20 BLA – Brannen (DEUCE)
In week 4 the Charleston Academy Knights won a tight encounter against the Black Isle Stags, in effectively the rehearsal before next week’s final, 25-20 in Inverness last Saturday. The game was so tightly contested that Black Isle had an opportunity to win the game on the final second of the clock after scoring a deuce (when a player on the defense intercepts the ball and scores on an extra point attempt) on the previous drive.
The Stags won the toss and started with possession of the ball. Unfortunately, for the Stags, the Knights’ defense started off the game aggressively and were rewarded almost immediately when Lewis Hilditch intercepted quarterback James Maclean to score the opening touchdown of the game. The Knights were unable to convert the touchdown.
The Stags’ offense quickly recovered after this small set back and was able to score on the very next drive when Maclean found receiver Lewis Taylor on the end of a touchdown pass. This touchdown also went unconverted.
The Stags now had the momentum in the game and shut the Knights’ offense down forcing them to have a quick 4 and out. Black Isle then capitalised on the situation and took the lead for the first time in the game when running back Kyle Holleyoake rushed into the endzone to give the Stags a 6 point lead. They were once again unable to convert their touchdown.
After this, the Knights fought back and were able to tie the game up once more when quarterback Calvin Campbell found Sam Blackhall on the end of his touchdown throw. This time, the Knights were able to convert the touchdown as Blackhall on the very next play found Stewart again to retake the lead. This would turn out to be the last scoring drive of the half as both defenses stepped up for the last 4 drives before the halftime intermission.
After the halftime break, Charleston was able to increase their lead to 7 points when running back Craig Robertson rushed the endzone on the first drive of the half. The conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was unsuccessful but it left the Knights in a strong position.
This lead was then narrowed on the next drive when Maclean threw a touchdown pass to Dean Brannen which shrunk the Knights lead to only 1 point. The Stags would have taken the lead on the next play but the stoic Charleston defense held steadfast to maintain the edge.
Charleston was then held up by the Black Isle defense who then came close to scoring on the following drive only to be held up outside of the Charleston endzone. The Knights’ offense then rallied and Robertson scored his second touchdown of the day to give the Knights a 7 point lead with only one second remaining on the game clock. On the conversion attempt, Dean Brannen intercepted a loose pass from Campbell to score a deuce. This narrowed the Knights’ lead to 5 points and meant that the Stags were now in a situation to win the game with an unconverted touchdown on the final play.
Unfortunately, for the Stags, the passing play was incomplete which meant that Charleston won the ball game. The Knights then went on to complete a perfect regular season campaign by defeating the Inverness High School Predators 50-6 in their final match up. The Stags then went on to defeat the Inverness Royal Academy Sharks 64-6 in their last game of the regular season.
Check back later in the week for the “Road to Highland Bowl” preview!
HACL Week 3, Game 1
Bught Park, Inverness
Article by Tom Green…
Campbell to McIntyre (Touchdown)
Campbell to Blackhall (2pt Conversion)
Kelly to Roberts (Touchdown)
Kelly to Paterson (Touchdown)
Campbell? to Stewart (Touchdown)
Knights 1pt conversion
Kelly to Roberts (Touchdown)
Campbell to Blackhall (Touchdown)
Campbell to Stewart (1pt Conversion)
In the final game of week 3 the Charleston Academy Knights faced off with the Millburn Academy Eagles who needed a victory to stay in with a shot at making the Highland Bowl which resulted in one of the most dramatic games in HACL history with the game going right down to the wire.
The Knights opened the scoring early in the first half when Calvin Campbell found centre Fergus McIntyre in the endzone for a touchdown. This touchdown was then converted for 2 points when Campbell passed to receiver Sam Blackhall to give the Knights an 8 point lead.
This lead didn’t last long as Millburn fought back with a touchdown of their own when Quarterback Connol Kelly found running back Alex Roberts on the end of his touchdown pass. Unfortunately for the Eagles the conversion attempt which followed was unsuccessful but it resulted in a momentum shift in the game.
The Eagles then took the lead after stopping the Knights’ offense on the following drive when Kelly found receiver Aaron Paterson on the end of a precision pass to give the Eagles a 4 point lead. Once again the conversion attempt which followed the touchdown drive was unsuccessful but Millburn proved that they weren’t going to let the Knights get the better of them.
The Knights then fought back hard on the offensive side of the football and retook the lead when Campbell found Reece Stewart to give the Knights the lead. This lead was then increased to 3 points after the successful one point conversion attempt. This was the last touchdown of the half and the Knights were now leading the game 15 points to 8.
After the half time break Hudson’s Eagles rallied and successfully retook the lead once more when Kelly once again found Roberts. Unfortunately, for the Eagles, The Knights’ defense were not going to allow Millburn the extra points which meant that the game was going to have a classic ending.
After several unsuccessful drives the Knights once more found a way in front as Campbell found Blackhall in the endzone for yet another touchdown. The Touchdown was then converted by Campbell who passed to Stewart in the endzone which gave the Knights a 4 point lead. With only minutes remaining in the game the Knights’ defense stepped up big time and made it impossible for the Eagles to breakdown and eventually they managed to reclaim possession of the football after a turnover on downs. The clock then went to zero and arguably one of the best games in league history was over.
Article by Tom Green…
Inverness High School Predators 14-18 Inverness Royal Academy Sharks
HACL Week 3, Game 1
Bught Park, Inverness
IHS 6-0 IRA – Trommino (Touchdown)
IHS 8-0 IRA – Chisholm (2pt Conversion)
IHS 8-6 IRA – Harvey (Touchdown)
IHS 8-12 IRA – Ball (Touchdown)
IHS 8-18 IRA – Harvey (Touchdown)
IHS 14-18 IRA – Florence (Touchdown)
The Inverness Royal Academy Sharks finally ended a 20 game losing streak to earn their first ever HACL victory last Saturday when they defeated the Inverness High School Predators 18-14. Although the Sharks are no longer in the race for Highland Bowl III this result will go down as a historic moment for the Royal Academy and for head coach Chris Shaw whose winning drought has finally come to an end.
The Predators started off the game strongly and were able to score a touchdown in the first half when Euan Trommino scored the first Predators’ touchdown of the game. His touchdown was then converted on a two point conversion attempt when Jason Florence found himself in the endzone.
The Sharks then took control of the proceedings offensively which resulted in Ehren Harvey scoring the first of the Sharks’ touchdowns in the first half. Unfortunately, for the Sharks the conversion attempt which followed was no good but they started to take control of the game. Donald Ball then doubled the Sharks’ touchdown count by scoring one for himself.
Before the half time intermission the Sharks put one more touchdown on the board when Ehren Harvey once more put his name on the score sheet. Unfortunately the conversion attempt which followed was no good but they now had a 10 point lead heading into the half time intermission.
Following the half time break the Predators took control of the game and put pressure back on the IRA by dominating on defense. This pressure build up then resulted in Florence narrowing the Sharks’ lead to only 4 points.
Unfortunately for the Predators the comeback wasn’t meant to be and they lost the game. The IRA ended the longest streak in HACL history against all odds and their hard work and perseverance of both the coaching staff and the players finally paid off.
Millburn Academy Eagles 14-0 Culloden Academy Raptors
HACL Week 1, Game 3
Bught Park, Inverness
Article by Tom Green…
MIL 6-0 CUL – Roberts (TD Rush)
MIL 8-0 CUL – Paterson (2pt Conversion)
MIL 14-0 CUL – Kelly to Paterson (TD Pass)
The Millburn Academy Eagles and the Culloden Academy Raptors went into the final game of week 1 of the HACL coming off contrasting games. The Raptors won their opening game against the Inverness Royal Academy Sharks 20 points to six. Millburn on the other hand were blown away in their first game 38-0 against the dominaneering Black Isle Stags. Both teams had a lot to gain from this game and the game was fiercely intense and was very similar to the time both teams met in Highland Bowl I 2 years ago.
For the first time in HACL history no one was able to score in the first half of the game because both defenses were playing the game of their lives with neither team relenting during the first half.
The game looked like it was going to finish scoreless but then out of nowhere 2015 Rookie of the Season Alex Roberts found a way through the Raptors defense to break the deadlock. The Touchdown was converted by Aaron Paterson (who filled in for Roberts on the 2pt conversion attempt) to give the Eagles an 8 point lead. Millburn then increased their lead to 14 points as QB Connel Kelly threw down field to Paterson which put the game just out of reach for the Raptors.
Culloden Academy Raptors did come close to scoring on multiple occassions during the 2nd half but they were unable to break through the Millburn defense. The closest they got to scoring came on defense when Shaun Gemmel intercepted a loose Kelly pass and came so very close to reaching the endzone before being taken down by the Eagles offensive unit.
The result leaves both teams on a 1-1 record heading into week 2 and both teams will be looking to go one better in week 2 of the HACL.