The NKEC Titans were victorious on their home turf at Kinsmen Field in Canning on Sept. 17, wining 41 to 0 against the West Kings Wolverines. A week seemed to make a huge difference for the Titans, as they were shut out 22-0 in their season opener against the Central Kings Gators the previous Sunday.
Following the game against the Gators, NKEC head coach Reg Ogilvie said that the loss wasn’t the result of a lack of effort from his players: it was a lack of execution.
He said it’s hard to simulate a game in practice and the loss against CK showed them what they had to fix. Ogilvie said the game against West Kings is more indicative of what could be expected from the Titans.
“I thought they played very well, they did their job, they played in the position they were supposed to play and they did what they’re supposed to do,” Ogilvie said. “Nobody tried to overplay, we were trying to overplay it last week.”
Ogilvie said his team let the play come to them during the game against the Wolverines, something they didn’t do against the Gators. You get out of position when you over-pursue or try to do another player’s job.
He said the rematch against CK set for Kinsmen Field on Sept. 24 would be a great game. The Gators are a good, well-coached team and are “the class of the division.” However, Ogilvie is hopeful for a much different result the second time around.
Nathan McNeil of the Titans was helped onto the field by his teammates to shake hands with the opposition following the game. He had earlier scored a touchdown following a long run into the end zone and came close to duplicating the effort when he was stricken with a foot injury. In spite of the pain from a swelling foot, he said the victory “feels great, especially after what happened last weekend.”
West Kings head coach Aaron Evans said the game against NKEC was their second of the season, having lost their opener to Millwood on Sept. 10 by a score of 24 to 14.
Evans said it was a “weak week at practice” without a lot of players taking part. The players weren’t mentally prepared for the game against NKEC and it showed. He’d like to see them better execute the plays the coaches call in, execute better defensively, contain, finish some tackles and improve their blocking.
However, Evans said the team’s performance represents a huge step up from last season, when they had a lot of new players starting out. West Kings didn’t score a point last year. The score of their first game against the Titans was 55-0 at halftime.
“It is progress, not the progress that I want but it is still progress,” Evans said. “We’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last season so if they can just continue to ride that for this season, I’ll be happy.”
He said the team has matured with about 80 per cent of the players returning for a second season. Evans expects that in a couple years they’ll have a roster rich in fourth-year players.
He said this year’s Wolverines have the potential to make it to the playoffs, “as long as we get our head wrapped around the game and the guys actually come out and play.”
Evans said this would be a short week in terms of practice, as they have a game in Antigonish on Sept. 22. He said they’d see what they could bring to the table.