MacDonald gives Giants the boot

Hard yards are gained by the Chilliwack Giants, with resistance provided by Eric Maslen of Cowichan. - Don Bodger
Hard yards are gained by the Chilliwack Giants, with resistance provided by Eric Maslen of Cowichan.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Both teams made big offensive plays, big defensive stops and cashed in on turnovers.

The Vancouver Mainland Football League Midget playoff game between the Cowichan Bulldogs and the Chilliwack Giants Sunday at McAdam Park came down to which team had the ball last.

With the game tied 21-21 in the last few seconds, Ryan MacDonald kicked the ball off the fence behind the goalposts for a single point that gave the Bulldogs a 22-21 win.

The Bulldogs thus earned another home game at McAdam Park Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Coquitlam Falcons in the VMFL semifinals.

Momentum between the Bulldogs and Giants went back and forth. Cowichan opened a 13-0 lead but trailed 21-14 before Eric Williams tied it on a long punt return for a touchdown.

Blake Torok-Both scored a TD on the Bulldogs’ opening drive and MacDonald broke free down the sideline to haul in a long TD toss from quarterback Brendan Gowanlock. The other Cowichan points came from two Gowanlock converts and a single on a missed field goal.

Chilliwack countered with a long kickoff return TD and another down the sidelines that was a mirror image of Cowichan’s. The difference was that one measly point with mere seconds left.

“That’s the best we’ve ever done,’’ said running warrior Torok-Both. “We started off good.

“The second half, we all got together in that changeroom. We said we need two more quarters for the greatest game ever invented. It was a group effort. We won it in the trenches.’’

“It was pretty intense,’’ said Gowanlock. “It was a nailbiter. They were a lot better team than I thought they were. We fell apart in the second quarter, but we all came together in the dressing room. We all knew we wanted this more than anything.’’

“It was a good hard-fought battle,’’ said head coach Doug (Opie) Williams. “We had that bye week. The offence came out strong. The defence and the special teams were a bit rusty.

“It doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win.’’

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