Cowichan Valley Football Association

Bulldogs battle to the finish

Cowichan Valley Citizen

by  Kevin Rothbauer – Cowichan Valley Citizen
posted Nov 20, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Receiver Kilion VennRyan gains some late-game yards for the Bulldogs last Sunday.— Image Credit: Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen

Receiver Kilion VennRyan gains some late-game yards for the Bulldogs last Sunday.— Image Credit: Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen

Although the game got away from them, the bantam Cowichan Bulldogs never gave up during their 48-6 loss to Iron Mountain at Cowichan Secondary School after McAdam Park was closed due to wet field conditions.

“As a team, I’m impressed with our ability to keep on playing and keep on fighting despite the fact that we’re giving up big plays,” head coach Mike Williams said. “We’ve got to learn how to tackle safely and effectively. Right now, we still have a lot of arm tackles; we’re not putting our shoulders into the tackle.”

The Cowichan defence has suffered in recent weeks as roster changes have forced the team to move players around. Williams believes that will change as the Bulldogs approach the end of the season.

“I think this week will be better because they will have had one more week at their positions,” he said.

On offence, Evan Kwasny looked good at tailback and scored the Bulldogs’ lone touchdown on an off tackle.

“We’ve still got to learn how to run passing plays effectively,” the coach said. “[Quarterback Carson Maertz] has a good arm. The receivers have to trust that he will get them the ball.”

Already eliminated from the Vancouver Mainland Football League playoffs, the Bulldogs will play their final game of the season this Sunday when they travel to Vancouver to face the Westside Warriors.

The midget Cowichan Timbermen were plagued by errors as they lost 35-7 on the road against the North Surrey Bears.

“We made too many mistakes this weekend,” head coach Opie Williams said. “Being this is Week 11 in the season and our ninth game, we made errors that normally happen in the beginning of the season.”

The T-Men got off to a strong start, forcing a fumble on the opening series that they recovered. Although they didn’t score, they pinned the Bears deep in their own end, setting up a pick-six by Derion Hughes that gave Cowichan a 6-0 lead. North Surrey answered back and led 7-6 at halftime.

The Bears did all the scoring in the second half, but Cowichan got a highlight-reel play from Kain Melchior who ran 50 yards from the 30 to the 30, breaking three tackles. The T-Men managed to get to the six-yard line, but couldn’t punch the ball in.

“I was very proud of the effort that the boys put into this game,” Williams said. “They held their own against the No. 1 team. If we had the couple missing guys playing, the outcome could have been very different.”

James Dennis-Orr led the defence with two tackles, five assists and one fumble recovery. Wyatt Faickney had two tackles, one assist and one sack while also filling in on the offensive line, and Lucas Grosse took a leadership role and stepped up his game.

Mitchell Gudgeon had five catches on offence, including two on third and long. Malcolm Barr had some hard-fought runs up the middle, and Brad Stadel and Amish Dobson had some carries at running back.

The Timbermen will wrap up the 2015 season this Sunday at home against Victoria at McAdam Park at 1:30 p.m.

“With a sunny weekend forecast, I am asking for everyone to come down and support us in the last game of the 50th year of Cowichan football,” Williams said. “I would like all alumni to come out once more and help recognize the graduating seniors.”