The pee wee Cowichan Bulldogs got back in the win column last Sunday as they thumped the Sooke Seahawks 28-6 at Westhills Stadium.
Damian McCuaig-Jones set the tone for the game on the opening kickoff as he returned the ball for a touchdown. After an efficient two-and-out by the Cowichan defence, the ball was back in McCuaig-Jones’s hands for a punt return touchdown.
"It was 14-0 before the offence stepped on the field," Cowichan coach Brian Scott was quick to point out.
Still in the first quarter, Tyson Duffe caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dakota Cullum, and Cullum caught the fourth touchdown from his own backup quarterback, Carson Maertz, to complete the scoring.
"In the second half we played the lessexperienced guys more on defence and saw great improvement from the third quarter, where Sooke managed a touchdown drive, to the fourth where we gave up nothing."
A leaping catch by Enrique Esparanza Pizano was labelled the highlight of the game for the pee wee Bulldogs.
The atom Bulldogs put in another good battle, but were unable to put up any points in their battle against Sooke.
"We were down a few players in key positions which can make a big difference in the outcome of a game," head coach Devon Lawrence said.
William Hardman was the atoms’ standout on offence, stepping in as quarterback after the starter was downed by a big sack early on.
"We have two good QBs on the team, which is great to have," Lawrence said.
Zack Pearson stepped into the running back position, and was able to pound the ball up the middle for positive yards. On defence, the Bulldogs got big performances from linebackers Riley McFarland and Hunter Williams.
"Sooke is a passing team and Williams was right there to make the tackle,"
Lawrence pointed out.
The pre-atom bulldogs engaged in a physical battle with the Seahawks, and proved they could hold their own.
"There were a lot of huge blocks and tackles by both teams," coach Ted Harris said. "The hits that were being dished out by both teams were incredible for this level of play."
Assistant coach Matt Jones kept the players motivated and going back on the field, and trainer Moe Runzer patched up the injured Bulldogs to get them back in the game.
Quarterback Jaxson Jones ran in a 40-yard touchdown for the Bulldogs, who had trouble getting their ground game going against the big Sooke defence, and Nico Harris took down a Seahawks running back in his own end zone for a safety to top up Cowichan’s point total.
After battling an illness, Rylan Ross returned to the lineup for his first game since the preseason, and put on a tackling clinic for the Bulldogs.
"Rylan is one of our most inspirational players," Ted Harris said. "He has a huge heart and great skills. We have some very sportsmanlike and enthusiastic players on our team that are the building blocks of future Bulldog talent."
All three Cowichan teams have the long weekend off, and will be back in action on May 24, hosting the Saanich Wolverines at McAdam Park.