Cowichan Valley Football Association

Bulldogs kick into new gear against Lions

Cowichan Valley Citizen

Kevin Rothbauer / The Citizen
June 6, 2014 12:00 AM

The atom Cowichan Bulldogs played their best football so far this season as they played host to the Nanaimo Lions at McAdam Park last Saturday.

“The game was more evenly matched then [most] of late,” proud coach Devon Lawrence said after his team’s 38-6 defeat. A successful kick return by Jack Napier-Ganley gave the Bulldogs first possession, and the players quickly made it known that they would not go down without a fight.

“The Bulldogs have been practicing all week on blocking, which has been a key element in our game and the hard work showed,” Lawrence said.

A huge block by offensive lineman Ethan Giles broke running back Trevor Eccleston free for a 20-yard run up the middle, and running back Koda Lang created space for receiver Cole Russell, who used his own moves and speed to score the first touchdown of his football career and get the Bulldogs on the board first.

On defence, the Bulldogs got some very effective tackling. Linebacker Luke Larminay was busy in the middle and was the first man in on multiple tackles.

“The team worked well together, ensuring that once contact was made that help was given in the takedown,” Lawrence said.

Another linebacker, Cyrus Upshaw, used the element of surprise as he blitzed the Nanaimo offence to make tackles before the ball-carrier made it to the line of scrimmage.

The pre-atom Bulldogs built on the momentum from a close loss to the leagueleading

Saanich Wolverines as they pounded the visiting Nanaimo Bombers 42-0. “Our team did everything right and it paid off,” coach Ted Harris said.

Quarterback Jaxon Jones and running backs Spencer Young, Thoran Koyote and Treighton McCuaig-Jones scored touchdowns, and backup QB Nico Harris capped it off with his first major, as well as connecting with tight end Jayden Du Temple for a two-point convert.

Koyote, Harris and McCuaig-Jones were also standouts on defence, alongside Jayden Strzok, Ethan Bell, Sawyer Ellison, Dillan Sterling and Jacob Billini.

“We were short a lot of key players, but our offensive arsenal was unstoppable,” coach Harris said.

With the win, the Bulldogs slipped ahead of Nanaimo in the pre-atom standings, and are building up for a run at the Silver Cup.

Due to injuries and illnesses, the pee wee Bulldogs went into their game against the Peninsula Wildcats down to just 14 players, but were fortunate in that the Wildcats play nine-man football instead of the standard 12-man game. The Bulldogs ended up on the wrong side of the score in the end, but refused to give up.

“On a hard day, the Bulldogs once again never stopped trying to make plays,” head coach Brian Scott said.

Running back Nathaneal Mannion got his team off to a great start, including a 15-yard gain in which he spun and broke out of seven tackles. The versatile Ronan Harley started at fullback for the first time this season, and used his strength to push defenders back for yards after contact while also breaking tackles as middle linebacker on defence.

Nicholas Young and Reid Young made hard hits on a second-half goal-line stand, while Tyson Duffe showed his heart, not once getting off the field and making several tackles on long Peninsula plays. Defensive backs Sammy Fry, Lincoln Findlater and Evan Kwasny fought against the bigger Peninsula team throughout the game, and lineman Billy Bickford had a rare kick return, putting his shoulder down to run over a tackler.

The pee wee Bulldogs are at home against the Sooke Seahawks this Saturday at 2:15, while the pre-atom and atom teams head to Nanaimo to finish their home-and-home series.

© Cowichan Valley Citizen

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