The midget Cowichan Bulldogs ventured into hostile territory last Sunday and came home with a 12-6 win over the White Rock Titans.
“They were big and physical, to the point of lots of penalties against them,” said Cowichan head coach Mike Williams, who had previously called the Titans the team to beat in the Vancouver Mainland Football League nine-man midget division. “Our guys played well and held their composure.”
All the scoring came in the first quarter. Alex Marinakis wasted no time getting his team on the board as he returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Special teams struck again later in the quarter when Dakota Cullum recovered his own short punt and ran 55 yards past the stunned White Rock players to score.
The Bulldogs held the upper hand for the rest of the afternoon.
“We played a field-position game and spent most of the game in their end,” Williams said.
The Cowichan defence gave up two long runs but mostly kept the Titans in check,thanks largely to the defensive line led by Dylan Taylor, Nicholas Young and Matthew Pretula, and at the linebacker position from Damian McCuaig-Jones and Evan Kwasny, who moved from receiver to linebacker in the second half.
Kilion VennRyan also had an outstanding day for Cowichan, particularly as a coverage guy.
“He played the best game I’ve seen in three years coaching him,” Williams said. “He was energetic, aggressive, and didn’t respond when he was getting pushed beyond the whistle. He didn’t bite.”
The Bulldogs will head north this Sunday to visit the Comox Raiders, who they beat 53-6 in the season opener. Williams isn’t expecting another rout, however.
“We can’t take them lightly, even though we won pretty handily the first go-around,” the coach said. “They have a lot of kids, some big guys, and they’re physical.”