The spring football season got underway for the Cowichan Bulldogs last weekend with a full slate of games at McAdam Park on Saturday.
The peewee Bulldogs played to a 20-8 win over the Victoria Spartans in their season opener.
Tailback Mica Kendrick opened the scoring with a 50-yard run on Cowichan’s first possession, and later made a throw out of the backfield on an option play, hitting Cole Tokarek, who ran 70 yards for the second touchdown.
“Cole is an exciting player to watch, and it was great to see him get his first touchdown of the season in week one,” peewee head coach Trystan Ryder said.
Quarterback Dominic Reeves, a new player to the club, showed poise and leadership throughout the game.
“He was able to find open receivers, and when the Spartans had us covered, he used his quick thinking to run for the first down and avoid taking a sack,” Ryder commented.
The Cowichan defence played well, led by the big tackles of Landen Laver and Rhys McKelvie’s ability to track down Spartan ball-carriers.
The junior bantam Bulldogs played to a narrow 9-8 loss in a battle between two defensive titans.
Between a stifling defence and spurts of offensive success, Cowichan looked to have the upper hand for most of the game, holding the Spartans to limited offence and an almost non-existent running game. The defensive line was led by Jake Briggs and Maxim Magnan, while Quinton Macdonald came up with a pass deflection, and Peter Elliot had an interception that he ran back 45 yards for the Bulldogs’ only touchdown of the day, kicking his own convert.
Offensive lineman Spencer Young repeatedly drove his block back six or seven yards, opening holes for fantastic runs by fullback Gabe White. Running back Patrick Charlie had a big run of his own that got the Bulldogs within four yards of the end zone, the closest the offence would come to scoring all game. Unfortunately, the Spartans lone touchdown came on a 106-yard run right after that.
“It only takes a couple plays for one team to flip a close game like that,” junior bantam head coach Justin Young said. “The defence played some excellent football and the offence is showing promise, all we need is to clean up a few things and that game wouldn’t be nearly as close.”