Home debut gets away from Cowichan ‘Dogs

The midget Cowichan Bulldogs’ homecoming didn’t quite work out as they had planned.

After playing their first four games of the Vancouver Mainland Football League season on the road, the Bulldogs finally played a home game at McAdam Park last Sunday. Unfortunately, the home advantage wasn’t what they had hoped for, and they fell 41-6 to the Chilliwack Giants.

The team got off to an excellent start, and trailed 13-6 after a hardhitting first half and a 30-yard touchdown run by Eric (Wheels) Williams.

"We had nothing left to finish the second half," head coach Opie Williams said. "A few injuries and lack of conditioning; we were not getting the push and aggressiveness from the offensive and defensive lines. Conditioning also played into mental errors – guys not understanding their playbooks."

Mitch Hinton and Riley Caljouw were among the defensive standouts for Cowichan with first-half interceptions.

The 2-3 midget Bulldogs host Nanaimo at McAdam Park at noon this Sunday. The Redmen knocked the Bulldogs out of the playoffs last fall, but are off to a 1-3 start this year.

Also at McAdam Park last Sunday, the junior bantam Bulldogs beat Victoria 12-6. The game started with a defensive standoff, as both teams dug in and prevented the opposing offence from getting much yardage. Once the Bulldogs got their offence going, they were able to drive down the field.

"It was a great game, and our offensive line did a great job on their assignments, and giving our QB time to do his job," head coach Tim Maertz said The Bulldogs scored in the second and third quarters, with both touchdowns by Dakota Cullum. The Spartans also scored in the third quarter, which set up a big battle in the fourth.

An interception by Killion VannRayn got the ball back in the Bulldogs’ hands with less than two minutes to play. When Cowichan turned the ball over and the Spartans threatened to score again, Evan Kwasny had another pick that sealed the result.

"I’m real happy with how everyone stepped up their game, and are improving with every practice," Maertz said. "I am really excited to see different players making big differences during the course of this season so far."

Next up for the junior bantams is a visit to Campell River this Sunday.

Playing on the road in North Surrey, the bantam Bulldogs lost 27-7 to the Bears.

The Bears opened the scoring in the second quarter, but Cowichan answered back with a 35-yard pass from Reilly Zarate to Damian McCuaig-Jones to get to the fiveyard line, with Zarate running in the touchdown.

With a short roster, several players had to play the entire second half, including Gavin Brockenborough, who started at safety, then had to fill in at tight end and offensive tackle. Other big twoway games came from linebackers/running backs Jake Paras and Bailey Lamont, and linemen Ryan Haywood, Braden Belton, Spencer McLaughlin and Logan Swanson.

"All the bulldogs played their hearts out til the final play," head coach Brian Scott said. "On the way off the field you could hear spectators saying, ‘Those Bulldogs don’t quit.’" The bantam Bulldogs host Chilliwack this Sunday at 2:30 p.m.