Like many high school football teams, the Chaminade Gryphon’s best athletes play both offence and defence, but the two-way players put on a show at home Monday afternoon.
The 2014 champion Gryphons defeated the Blessed Mother Teresa Titans by a score of 36-6 in their TCDSB season opener.
Chaminade quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back, and kick returner Esson Hamilton finished with over 200 yards through the air, two passing touchdowns, and an interception on defence.
“Esson is an important player, he’s a leader for us,” said Gryphons head coach Pat Diodati after his team’s win. “You want to say ‘we’ll just have him as our quarterback’, but he’s such a talented athlete that we have the luxury of moving him around.”
Hamilton found tight end Steven Longo on an 11-yard-touchdown in the first quarter and hooked up with his top target Augustine Nyarko on a 25 yarder in the second quarter.
Fellow multi-position players Jesse Amaral and Tyree Dunn provided the rest.
Amaral, the senior linebacker and running back, scored three rushing touchdowns for Chaminade: a ten yard run in the first quarter, a 3 yard run in the second, and a 5 yard run the third.
Dunn, the grade 12 defensive back and slot receiver, made interceptions in the second and fourth quarter and had a fantastic 35 yard catch-and-run to set up Amaral’s third trip to the end zone.
While the Gryphons controlled the ball and the score throughout the matchup, coach Diadoti was not satisfied with his team’s performance and execution.
“Rusty would be the best term to describe our performance,” said Diadoti. “We need to prepare a lot better. We have to be a lot more polished on our offensive side and our defensive side.
“As far as tackling, blocking, breaking down, those fundamentals things, they did well, but there can always be improvements.”
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On the other sideline, the Titans know they had an uphill battle in this one with a much smaller student body to draw from and coach Justin Rogers is proud of his guys following their opening loss.
“It’s a steep learning curve for the guys that haven’t played before on our end, and I thought that our guys showed a lot of heart today,” said Rogers. “Most guys play both ways because we don’t have a ton of players in terms of the numbers, so the guys that do play play pretty tough.”
Quarterback Noah Ramcharron and receiver CJ Smith had Blessed Mother Teresa’s lone scoring play in the second quarter on a 75 yard catch-and-run.
“It was a nice play,” said Rogers about the touchdown. “I’m not even sure if those guys got scored on last year, so even a touchdown for us is a milestone against a team like that.”
The Gryphons outscored their opponents 200 to zero in TCDSB league and playoff games in 2014.
Chaminade will continue their quest for a second straight league title on Friday at 7 pm versus Bishop Allen on home soil and Diadoti will have his eyes on one stat in particular.
“We had too many penalties and you can’t win championships when you’re getting penalties,” said Diadoti.