Despite having just a small group of players — although it’s not too late for more to register — the junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs got the fall football season off to a good start last Sunday.
The Bulldogs managed a 20-20 tie with the Southside Dawgs at McAdam Park, giving them lots of reasons to look forward to the rest of the year.
“Though we didn’t come out of the game with a win, we did come out with a tremendous amount of confidence and optimism for the season ahead,” coach PJ Shea said. “Dealing with a variety of issues, such as injuries, we were only able to dress 13 players for the game, compared to the nearly 30 for Southside — but those 13 came to play.”
A balanced offence allowed the Bulldogs to move the ball on the ground and through the air. Linemen John Rostas, Jayden Strzok and Dillon Wilson gave quarterback Trekker James a luxurious amount of time to find receivers and connect with them. Big catches by Gavin Kendrick and Gregor MacKenzie helped get the vertical game going, and running back Finn Shea’s groundwork helped the ‘Dogs march the ball down the field for a pair of touchdowns by Shea and one by Jaxson Jones.
“Defensively, we maintained a strong presence,” coach Shea added. “The interior line and linebackers completely shut down any attempts Southside had at running up the middle.”
Highlights on defence included cornerback Sawyer Ellison picking off a Southside convert attempt.
“Our goal was to start the season strong, which is what we did,” Shea said. “Although we didn’t win, the positives greatly outnumbered the negatives. This group of athletes is unique. They have come together as a team very quickly. We have always maintained, that if you are committed and accountable to your teammates, good things will follow. This group has really taken that to heart”.
The peewee Bulldogs also opened their season last Sunday, losing their match against the Southside Dawgs.