Junior bantam Bulldogs defenders Matteo Breckenridge (38) and Trey West (31) put a stop to a run during a recent game at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Junior bantam Bulldogs defenders Matteo Breckenridge (38) and Trey West (31) put a stop to a run during a recent game at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

JB ’Dogs thump Westshore, improve to 5-0

Atoms use loss to Warriors as a learning experience

Based on the 53-0 final score, it might be hard to believe that the junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs faced much of a challenge when they played host to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday.

But the visiting team was actually the first true test of the spring football season.

“This was our first real competitive team we have played this year,” Cowichan head coach Ted Harris said. “Westshore has had some good teams in the past but can’t compare to the big, strong, and skilled junior bantam Cowichan squad.”

Dillon Wilson opened the scoring on a rushing play converted by Nico Harris. Wilson then teamed up with Mason Martindale, Devon Tidder, Davin Reithaug and the rest of the tough Bulldogs defence to put a stop to Westhore’s attempt to reply, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Dandré Joseph also knocked down a pair of passes as the Bulldogs defence kept the Warriors in check.

Wilson scored Cowichan’s next touchdown on another rushing play, then Reithaug scooped up a Westshore fumble and ran it in for a major that Harris converted. Harris followed that up by hitting Reithaug with a 50-yard passing play, and Cowichan took a 32-0 lead into halftime.

Wilson and Harris scored again early in the second half before Ryder Maertz scored his first touchdown of the season to round out the scoring. Ben Wilson stepped in at quarterback and had some quality rushes as well as taking control of the backfield.

The Bulldogs remain undefeated and atop the junior bantam division. The team has this weekend off before facing another test on Mother’s Day when they visit the Gordon Head Raiders.

“We met basically the same team in the Island championships last fall,” coach Harris said. “Our next game will, in my mind, be a preliminary to the final.”

Also last Saturday, the atom Bulldogs had a rough outing as they lost 40-7 at home against Westshore.

“We knew going into the game Westshore was a talented team, and they showed their strength and exposed our weaknesses,” coach Trystan Ryder said. “With that being said, we are proud of our team and how we responded to adversity during the game. Nobody gave up and we continued to play hard throughout. We play Westshore again on May 25 and will be looking to take one from them at their home field. Every loss has a lesson to be learned from, and we will come out this weekend and put those lessons to use.”

The atoms will look to get back on track this Saturday when they host Sooke at McAdam Park at 11 a.m.