Bulldogs tackle tough opponents
Wet weather evened the playing field and allowed the Cowichan Midget Bulldogs to slip by the White Rock South Surrey Titans, one of the top teams in the Vancouver Mainland Football League.
The Bulldogs vaulted ahead 16-6 at halftime and padded the lead in the darkness and rain of the second half Sunday at McAdam Park for a 29-6 win, securing fourth place with a 7-3 record — the highest ranking ever for the midgets.
The Cowichan offence pounced on the Titans early when Blake Torok-Both cut outside after a block from Eric Maslen and went 61 yards for a touchdown.
Cowichan them hemmed the Titans in their own end and the visitors conceded a safety touch to get better field position. White Rock South Surrey fumbled the ball on consecutive Cowichan punts, recovered by Eric Williams and Drayson Price.
Cowichan took the ball to the eight-yard line the second time on a major penalty, leading to a one-yard plunge at the goal line for a TD by quarterback Brendan Gowanlock.
The Titans ran a trick play on a punt return late in the half that went for a 60-yard TD, but it was called back on a holding penalty. However, the Titans did get into the end zone on the last play of the half on a long run.
The rain poured down in the second half, making conditions difficult for both teams.
Cowichan got down to the three-yard line again and kept pounding away on three attempts before getting a fresh set of downs on a penalty. Torok-Both finally scored the TD.
Gowanlock made a quick pass to a streaking Williams for a 45-yard TD to complete the scoring and Gowanlock kicked the extra point.
The Cowichan Bantam Bulldogs lost 29-13 in a preceding game to the South Delta Rams and finished the regular season with a 4-6 record.
The Peewee Bulldogs played in the island championship game and gave it everything they had in a 32-6 loss to the Victoria Outlaws.
“It all came down to a numbers game with the Outlaws having a team of 25 versus our squad of 13, and when you can sub players in every play it makes a huge difference,’’ noted Cowichan coach Devon Lawrence.
Bailey MacKenzie ran the ball 65 yards for Cowichan on the opening series, only to be brought down on the 10-yard line. The defence didn’t make it easy on the Outlaws on the turnover, with Carter Price making multiple tackles.
Price also put the lone TD on the board for Cowichan in the second quarter on an incredible 50-yard run.
The Junior Bantam Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 26-0 win over the Nanaimo Lions to claim second place and home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs’ defence allowed less than eight points in each of its seven wins, noted coach Trent Jones.
Damian McCuaig-Jones caught a 30-yard TD pass and ran for another. Reily Zarate and Jake Paras scored the other Bulldogs’ touchdowns.