Saving their best game for last, the atom Cowichan Bulldogs bowed out of the spring football season last Sunday after a hardfought 24-12 loss to the Westshore Warriors in the Silver Cup semifinals.
The Bulldogs struck early with an 80-yard touchdown from Koda Lang on the opening kickoff.
"It was incredible to watch," coach Devon Lawrence said. "But also was all the blocking being made by the Bulldogs which gave Lang the room to run."
Cowichan generated numerous first downs in the first half, sparked by centre Ethan Giles making space for running back Zack Pearson. On defence, the Bulldogs made the Warriors work for every inch, led by defensive end Brock Lamont’s many tackles, while Lang had an impressive game at outside linebacker.
In the second half, it was the offensive linemen who led the way for Cowichan, standing their ground as the Warriors were called for no fewer than eight offsides in the half.
"We have been working on this for the past few weeks as it is a difficult concept for players at this age to grasp, but they did a terrific job and were rewarded," Lawrence said.
Defensive linemen Parker Sparks and Harrison Padur challenged every attempt by the Warriors to run up the middle. Near the end of the fourth quarter, Pearson broke free and sprinted 60 yards to the end zone for his first touchdown of the season, shaking off a Westshore defender along the way.
"It has been incredible to see the development of the team from the beginning of the season and I wished it was only the beginning," Lawrence said. "It is my hope that everyone from the team returns for next spring to continue what we have started as I could not be more proud."
Both the pre-atom and pee wee Bulldogs will play for their respective Silver Cups this Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford.