Veteran running back Zach Pearson’s first two touchdowns of the season spurred the peewee Bulldogs to a big 30-6 victory over the Peninsula Wildcats in the spring season home opener for Cowichan Minor Football.
The Bulldogs put a quick stop to the Wildcats’ first possession of the game, and on Cowichan’s first offensive play, Pearson found his way to the sideline and ran the ball in for his first major.
Nico Harris led the Cowichan defence to another two-and-out on Peninsula’s next possession, and when the Bulldogs regained the ball, Allan Wilson and Eston Canning gave quarterback Aiden Lawrence time to connect with Max Vaesen on a 30-yard pass. Vaesen ran the rest of the way for his first touchdown ever.
In the second half, Matt Beauregard and Kaylum Billings stopped anything that came their way, and running back Spencer Young scored his first touchdown ever. In the fourth quarter, Parker Sparks caught the kickoff and shredded five Peninsula defenders to put up more points.
"It was one of those plays that was surprisingly incredible to see and shows how the players are developing over the years of playing the sport," coach Devon Lawrence said.
The junior bantam Bulldogs also played host to the Peninsula Wildcats, but ended up on the wrong side of a 27-7 final score.
The Bulldogs had some success moving the ball in the early going, but were unable to get into the end zone. The Wildcats scored a few times, but the Bulldogs capitalized on an onside kick by Peninsula to get in good position late in the first half. Jason Brandt ran for some big yards after that, and a quarterback sneak got Carson Maertz over the line and Cowichan was on the board.
"I felt we got a good boost from the touchdown," coach Tim Maertz said.
More drives on offence and solid defence, particularly from Nicholas Young, Liam Simmonds and Tanner Cairns-Haire, kept the Bulldogs in contention.
"We fought hard, and like I have said all season long, we are a great bunch of players who are going to be really hard to play against, because we are getting everyone involved in the games, and the group is committed to working hard to get better," Maertz said.
Both Cowichan teams are back at home this Saturday against the Ladysmith Steelers. The peewees play at 1 p.m. and the junior bantams kick off at 3 p.m.