Laine Hogstead, pictured here in a recent home game, scored three times for the junior bantam Bulldogs against Saanich last Saturday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

JB Bulldogs show no signs of slowing down

Cowichan peewees taking big steps in their process

The junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs continued to steamroll the competition early in the spring football season, picking up their second straight shutout with a 39-0 win over the Saanich Wolverines last Saturday.

Both teams went into the showdown at Westhills Stadium with undefeated records, but it wasn’t long before it became obvious who the better team was on that day.

“The team really came to play today,” Cowichan head coach PJ Shea said. “It is easy to get motivated when we are playing Saanich. We have had some bad losses to them in years past and many of those games had high emotion. Today was a good day.”

The Bulldogs got scoring from all three units, with three rushing touchdowns by the offence, three kick-return scores by special teams, and a safety by the defence. The defence also completely shut down the Wolverines offence, allowing just one first down in the game, in the fourth quarter. Saanich was nearly held to negative yards thanks to exceptional performances by linemen Gregor MacKenzie, Jayden Strzok and Dillon Wilson, halfback Jesse Kwasny, and linebacker Finn Shea.

Finn Shea also scored touchdowns on his first two touches of the game, Laine Hogstead scored three times, on a run and two punt returns, and Strzok got in on the action by returning a kickoff for a major.

The junior bantam Bulldogs will be in action again this Saturday at McAdam Park, kicking off at noon.

The peewee Bulldogs improved significantly from their performance a week earlier, and achieved a better result in a 38-14 loss.

“We had a great first half, actually leading the game early in the second quarter,” head coach Opie Williams said. “We just ran out of gas and the sheer [number of] bodies of the larger roster of Saanich got the better of us.”

Missing an offensive lineman, the Bulldogs put defensive tackle Darren Bright into double duty, and he filled in admirably. Cody Williams was outstanding on defence, leading the way with seven tackles and five assists.

“One of his tackles came from chasing down a player that he already miffed on,” coach Williams said. “Passing one of our players and catching the running back on the five-yard line.”

Isaac Keepence also had a strong outing on defence with two tackles and an assist.

On offence, Ryder Maertz racked up 94 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and Cody Williams rushed for 121 yards on seven carries, including a 70-yard touchdown run.

“Our runs came off some great blocks by our offensive linemen of Danver [Baumen], Isaac [Keepence], Matteo [Breckenridge], Sebastian [Tait] and Darren [Bright],” Williams said. “We did have some ball security problems again this week and will again work on it. As Adam Bighill was told by his high school coach, ‘Ball security equals job security.’”

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