Cowichan Valley Football Association

Bulldogs wilt in the heat with a short roster

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by Don Bodger – Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
posted Sep 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Cowichan Bulldogs' Kain Melchior is a hard man to bring down. — image credit: Don Bodger/file

Cowichan Bulldogs’ Kain Melchior is a hard man to bring down.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

Playing the first four games of the season on the road is no easy task for any football team, but the Cowichan Bulldogs are grinding their way through it.

After winning 31-6 at Comox to start the Vancouver Mainland Football League’s Midget schedule, the Bulldogs lost their first of three straight on the Lower Mainland in Maple Ridge Saturday, 28-14 to Meadow Ridge.

“We were winning at halftime,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Doug (Opie) Williams. “But then we were down to injuries. Injuries killed us and the heat — guys tired and getting beat up.”

The Bulldogs still have a relatively thin roster which doesn’t help matters, but Williams hopes that situation will improve.

“We gained two more and I’m looking at getting three more that said they were coming out this week,” said Williams.

It was a warm day for the 2 p.m. starting time and that took its toll on the players. There was also no breeze.

The field was even in a bowl-type setting, with the turf adding even more heat.

“It’s just the sun beating down on you,” said Williams.

Kain Melchior had a great first half, scoring both touchdowns and all the points for the Bulldogs. One came on a 30-yard bootleg and the other on a 110-yard scamper down the sideline from the end zone after a missed Meadow Ridge field goal just before the half.

Melchior also kicked an extra point and a single on a punt.

Eric (Wheels) Williams made some big runs for the Bulldogs as well while Mitch Hinton was solid in two-way play at fullback and linebacker.

The Bulldogs are back on the Mainland the next two weekends, with games at Richmond and then Langley before their home-opener at McAdam Park Sept. 28.

The team is having a bottle drive Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McAdam Park where people can drop off their donations.

At Comox the previous weekend, Melchior took the opening kickoff 85 yards for a TD while Williams had a great game at running back, including a run to the one-yard line that Melchior finished off by punching it in behind the blocks of the offensive line of Travis McDonald, Ryan Hennig and newcomers Brendan Lynch, Justin Young and Cameron Vanderleek.

Tyler Hudson moved to fullback for the game and made some great gains. Melchior added two more TDs to the Cowichan total and Eddy Walt made a 35-yard reception for another TD.

Brandon St. Clair was the only starting linebacker available but was ejected early in the game and McDonald moved into his position.

“A lot of guys played both ways,” noted Opie Williams. “I was really impressed with the way they stepped up and filled the positions.”