Atom Bulldogs quarterback Cruiz Heemskerk avoids a Victoria Spartans defender during last Saturday’s game at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Atom Bulldogs quarterback Cruiz Heemskerk avoids a Victoria Spartans defender during last Saturday’s game at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Atom ’Dogs clinch playoff berth in last opportunity

Both Cowichan football teams in semis this weekend

The atom Cowichan Bulldogs locked up a berth in the Island Football playoffs with a 19-14 win over the Victoria Spartans in their last game of the regular season.

The Spartans won the first meeting between the teams this spring, but Cowichan was ready to take it back in the rematch. The game went back and forth, but the Bulldogs held on in the end for their most important win of the season.

“Offensive coordinator Eston Canning called a great game,” Cowichan head coach Trystan Ryder said.

“And the offence pulled off some big plays.”

The win gave Cowichan a record of six wins and four losses on the season, good for third place in the atom division and a semifinal showdown with the Spartans at Goudy Field in Langford this Sunday. The winner of that game will advance to the Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association Cup finals in Ladysmith on June 23.

The junior bantam Bulldogs were idle last weekend, but also finished third in their division with an 8-2 record. The junior bantams will also open the playoffs against the Victoria Spartans on Sunday, hoping for a chance to defend their 2018 spring season championship.