‘Dogs hold off Redmen

With their first home win of the 2014 Vancouver Mainland Football League campaign, the midget Cowichan Bulldogs got back to the .500 mark.

Trailing by a single point at halftime, the Bulldogs dominated the second half of last Sunday’s game against the Nanaimo Redmen at McAdam Park, and ended up prevailing 13-7. “Our defence made some mistakes but still had a great game,” head coach Opie Williams said. “They didn’t allow a single touchdown and came up strong in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter.”

Nanaimo got into the red zone and was pressing for what could have been the game-winning touchdown, but the Cowichan defence shut the door when it counted. All of Nanaimo’s points came on field goal attempts in the first half, as they made two and kicked one wide for the rouge.

Eric (Wheels) Williams scored the Bulldogs’ first-half touchdown, diving over the line to cap off a great run. Cowichan scored again in the fourth quarter on a third-and-short quarterback sneak from the three-yard line. QB Kain Melchior was initially stopped short, but a second push from Brendan Lynch and the rest of the offensive line got him over the line. Darian Slater slotted the extra point.

In addition to his kicking duties, Slater played well at Mac linebacker, and rotated at fullback with Mitch Hinton. Riley Caljouw contributed some key runs at tailback.

The junior bantam Bulldogs travelled to Campbell River last Sunday to play their first real road game of the season against the Eagles, coming away with a 36-8 victory.

Dakota Cullum got his team off to an explosive start, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. With the offence clicking, the Bulldogs were able to march the ball down the field on every possession and it wasn’t long before Killion VennRayn added to Cowichan’s point total with his first touchdown in six years of football.

“He is usually a key player on defence, but we got him the ball and he ran it in,” junior bantam coach Tim Maertz said. “It was awesome to see how proud he was. We were extremely happy for him.”

The Bulldogs’ offensive line did a great job at protecting quarterback Carson Maertz, who scored his first touchdown in three seasons on a QB keep. Cullum scored again and Dylan Taylor rounded out the scoring.

“I am really enjoying how the team is playing for each other,” coach Maertz said. “Playing our style of game, and never giving up. They have become a close-knit family, and their ability to encourage each other and help teammates is fun to watch. I am so proud of all of them.”

All three Bulldogs teams will be in action at home this Sunday, with the junior bantams playing at 10 a.m., the bantams at noon, and the midgets at 2:30 p.m. The midgets, 3-3 and in fifth place in the league, will face seventh-place North Delta.

“We are keying on these next two games to secure a home playoff game,” Opie Williams said. “I am hoping the community will come out and support us and bring the noise.”

The McAdam Park concession will have poutine and a Thanksgiving special of turkey, stuffing and gravy for $7. Cookie Grandma will be on hand with apple and pumpkin pies.