The junior bantam Bulldogs pulled off a huge shutout over the Comox Raiders Oct. 8 despite missing key players to injury.
The Bulldogs shut down the Raiders by a 34-0 score without linebacker/defensive tackle Blake Coleman (broken arm), nose tackle Drake Thomas (broken thumb) and defensive tackle Aylin Canning (fractured foot) in the lineup.
“We have suffered a series of season ending injuries, but our team continues to take it in stride,” said Bantam coach Trystan Ryder. “After an up and down start to the season, this was an important win for us. Our team is really starting to find their groove. We have been dealing with adversity from the start of the season, and our team has handled it like professionals.”
Ryder said his coaching staff is pleased with the team’s ability to step up and play at different positions when called upon.
“The next man up attitude is key when the injury bug takes hold,” he said.
As one would expect with a 34-0 win, defence came up big.
“The commitment from this group to work together as a team has been incredible. On every play all nine players on the field worked in unison to keep the Raiders off the scoreboard,” Ryder noted.
Linebacker William Bahen had two interceptions on the day, one of which was nearly returned for a touchdown. Cornerback Atlas Woodard came up with big tackles to shut down the raider outside attack.
“Our defensive line had a great game stifling the Raiders inside running game. Nose tackle Ryder Lafrance showed his potential to dominate on the ‘D’ line, and we are very happy with his continued improvement and dedication to his position,” Ryder said. “This was a special game for our safety/linebacker Maxim Magnan, as his cousin plays for the Comox team. Maxim was a beast, and covered the field well on passes and runs from the Raiders. Bragging rights at Thanksgiving dinner were in full effect.”
And you don’t score 34 points without a hot offence.
Huge runs from tailback Jaipaul Bains led to three touchdowns on the day. Fullbacks William Bahen, and Adam Troy shared duties carrying the ball.
“Whether it was a run up the middle, or a block in the backfield, both players let their presence be known,” Ryder said.
Tight end Brayden Screaton also hauled in passes and took one into the end zone for the score.
“Screaton is a force on both offence and defence, and we are lucky to have him as part of the Cowichan Bulldogs,” said the coach
The offensive line continues to improve, week to week.
“Guard Isaac Bollinger, and Centere Ben Lewis came up big for us, and did their job keeping our quarterback off the turf,” Ryder said. “We have been working hard at practice to improve at the line of scrimmage, and it is great to see things pay off.”
Once again, Quarterback Domenic Reeves controlled the offence like a seasoned veteran. On the goal line, Reeves took the ball in for the score, on a sneak up the middle. Coach Ryder said the play of his quarterback was “outstanding”.
Peewees win one game two times
In other Cowichan football news, the peewee Bulldogs continued their winning ways, with an official forfeit win against the Southside Dawgs over the weekend before beating them again in an exhibition contest.
“This forfeit was due to the Dawgs only having 12 players to field for the game, which was one short for the minimum of 13 players to make it official,” explained Bulldogs head coach Gino Buscaino.
“Even though this was set as a forfeit, we still got to play the Dawgs with 12 players, and got to practice aspects of our game. Our passing game in particular got more focus, which was great for our team development,” Buscaino explained.
The Bulldogs’ ball was spread around as they got touchdowns from Gus Steeves (2), Justin Jack-Thomas (2), Kalem Thomas, Cole Tokarek, Harrison Plaxton, and Carter Freeland, who also kicked for eight extra points.
“Our defence played well as the Dawgs didn’t get one first down the entire game. We had a good team effort overall and we had a few notable performances,” Buscaino said. “Eli Atchison, got a sack and was involved with multiple backfield tackles and Alex Erickson was another standout on ‘D’ and made a big impact. We also got a late interception in the game by our youngest player, Landon Buscaino.”
The final score was 56-0 for Cowichan.
“I was impressed with Southside, as they never gave up, and pressed through the entire game,” Buscaino said. “We are looking forward to playing them again with their full roster next week.”