The junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs collected their first win of the season last Saturday as they knocked off the Ladysmith Steelers at McAdam Park.
Dakota Cullum wasted no time showing the Steelers what the Bulldogs were all about as he ran the opening kickoff all the way in for the opening touchdown. Head coach Tim Maertz thought Cowichan’s momentum waned a little after that, but when the Bulldogs got the ball back, they scored again.
"I felt we got complacent and you could see the energy level come way down," Maertz said.
After the Steelers scored on their next possession, the Cowichan players woke up and forged ahead.
When all was said and done, Maertz was pleased with his team’s strong defensive game, the highlight of which was another hit-of-the-year candidate by Kilion VennRyan.
On offence, several players stepped up. Jason Brandt caught a touchdown pass, Jonathan Walker ran 30 yards to score, and Carson Maertz finished up the scoring on a quarterback sneak.
"We controlled the game from the opening kick off, and we were able to get our offence firing on all cylinders," coach Maertz said.
After a strong start to their game, the peewee Bulldogs fell to the Ladysmith Steelers. Although Ladysmith opened the scoring, quarterback Jaxson Jones took it upon himself to get his team back in the game and carried the ball in for a touchdown in response. Unfortunately, that was all the points the Bulldogs would get.
"The team played well individually, but need to work more as a team," head coach Devon Lawrence said.
Jayden Strzok and Carter Court stood out on the offensive line, holding their blocks long enough for running back Brock Lamont to gain big yards on the day.
"Carter may be a rookie to the game of football, but he plays like a seasoned veteran, which is incredible to see, Lawrence said.
On defence, safety Sawyer Ellison stopped several attempts by the Steelers to get into the end zone, while cornerback Jason Boyd kept the Ladysmith passing game in check.
Both Cowichan teams will be on the road this weekend. The peewees head to Parksville to face the Oceanside Lions, while the bantams visit the Saanich Wolverines.