Destiny Discover

Titans kick off season with opening win

By Larry Moko

The Bishop Tonnos Titans went to great lengths to improve as a senior high school football team this season.

Earlier this month, Tonnos travelled to Ohio for an exhibition game against the Bellaire Big Reds. And the week after, the Titans took on three local teams – the host Corpus Christi Longhorns, Bishop Reding Royals and league rival St. Mary Crusaders – in a jamboree-type of format in Burlington.

It seems all that pre-season action proved beneficial to the Titans because they opened the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association schedule with a 41-0 victory over the visitors from St. Mary on Friday.

“We’re a little ahead of the curve,” Tonnos coach Mark Marini said of the team’s progress thus far. “Having been on the field twice already before this game, the players were starting to build trust with each other. And in this game, trust is a big thing.”

The Titans coach said the contest against the U.S.-based opponent served its purpose despite the rule differences north and south of the border.

“As far as preparation for the Canadian game,” he said, “it was more of a team-building thing. The kids got to know each other.”

Veterans Luca Tassone and Isaiah Shields of the Titans say they enjoyed the trip to Ohio.

“It was a great to get into the atmosphere of American football,” Tassone said. “It served as a learning experience for everyone on the team. We kind of bonded more and it prepared us for Week 1.”

Said Shields: “It was amazing … a great learning tool.”

Against the Crusaders, Shields set the tone early by recovering a St. Mary fumble on the opening possession. Two plays later he took a handoff for a 39-yard gain, setting up his seven-yard touchdown run.

Shields plowed in for a second touchdown run – from six yards – to make the score 27-0.
“We played a well-rounded game,” Shields said. “We couldn’t have started out better.”

The Titans also got TD runs of 65 yards around the end by quarterback Jackson Taylor and one yard by Braden Giovannangeli.

Tassone chipped in with a 42-yard touchdown run while Connor Johnstone found the end zone on a 25-yard carry.

“They’ve got a lot of veteran players and they’re well coached,” Crusaders coach Sean Dennison said of the Titans. “We obviously didn’t want the result we got today. I’m not shying away from the work we have to put in.”

Quarterback Roman Campanaro led the way for the Crusaders. In addition to scrambling for several big gains, the speedy signal-caller blocked a Tonnos convert attempt, handled the St. Mary punting and was dangerous returning both punts and kickoffs.

“Roman is a super athlete,’ Dennison said. “We had to pull the reins back on him. He wants to be on the field for everything. There may be a time when he doesn’t come off the field, but right now we’re trying to contain him as much as we can.”

In other senior games, the defending-champion St. Thomas More Knights blanked the Cathedral Gaels, 57-0, while the Bishop Ryan Celtics shut out the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves, 33-0.

More, incidentally, also faced an American team during the preseason. The Knights took on the Cardinals in Canfield, Ohio.







Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham

Photo by Gerry Graham
Photo by Gerry Graham