The junior bantam Bulldogs celebrate beating Ladysmith in Monday’s Island final. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

JB Bulldogs are Island champions

Cowichan routs Ladysmith, off to provincials

After running over their Island opponents all but untouched, the junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs will battle for the provincial championship this weekend.

The Bulldogs captured the Vancouver Island Community Football Association championship with a 39-0 win over the Ladysmith Steelers in the wind and rain on Monday. Not only are the Bulldogs undefeated so far, but they have outscored their opponents a combined 310 points to 41.

“These athletes have earned this championship,” Cowichan head coach PJ Shea said. “Their hard work and commitment has been undaunted. Through their effort, they have created a tremendous opportunity this week at provincials.”

The Bulldogs and Steelers carried a heated rivalry into the final, and it played out in an intense contest.

As the score suggested, the Bulldogs dominated the affair when the Steelers had the ball, shutting down any attempts Ladysmith made at creating offence, and earning two points on a safety in the Ladysmith end zone.

Shea admitted that his team was “a little slow out of the gate” on offence, with a pair of early fumbles in the red zone. The Cowichan players eventually got things back together and started to gain some momentum. Finn Shea ran for two touchdowns, bringing his season total to 17. Quarterback Trekker James also rushed for a major, and lineman-turned-running back Jayden Strzok contributed a series of powerful runs that got his team into the end zone. Jesse Kwasny rounded out the scoring with a touchdown of his own.

The Bulldogs will now carry the Island banner into the provincial championships in Kamloops this weekend, where they will face teams from the Mainland, Southern Interior and northern B.C. leagues.



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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