Peewee Bulldogs two-way phenom Aylin Canning powers through the Nanaimo Seahawks defence during a game at McAdam Park on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Peewee Bulldogs two-way phenom Aylin Canning powers through the Nanaimo Seahawks defence during a game at McAdam Park on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Road success for Cowichan Bulldogs

Three of four teams come home with wins on Thanksgiving weekend

All four Cowichan football squads hit the road for Thanksgiving weekend, and three of the teams came home victorious.

The midget Bulldogs beat the Comox Raiders 17-8 in wet weather on Sunday, the day after the Cowichan bantams won 47-32 over Meadow Ridge and the peewees defeated the Oceanside Lions 34-25 in Parksville.

“The game ended up being a strong defensive battle, as neither one of the offences were able to move the ball in the extremely wet and muddy conditions,” midget head coach PJ Shea commented. “In fact, all of our points came as a result of special teams plays.”

Stirling Henry ran the opening kickoff of the second half 117 yards for his third return touchdown of the season, and lineman Joe Swift completed the scoring when he jumped on a bad snap in the Comox end zone for a major.

“The team really came together,” Shea said. “We had some significant injuries in the game, and a lot of players were put into positions that they had not practiced.

“They picked up where the injured had left off and won us the game.”

Max Lang led the bantam Bulldogs with four touchdowns against Meadow Ridge.

The teams traded scores in the early going before Cowichan took the lead for good on a second-quarter safety and never looked back. Landon Locke and Ryder Maertz also scored for the Bulldogs, and Kolten Crook led the defence, making some big tackles on key third downs. Locke was also responsible for some great kickoffs that pinned Meadow Ridge deep in their own end.

Between the Bulldogs winning and Comox beating Nanaimo, Cowichan has moved into first place in the bantam standings.

Peewee head coach Trystan Ryder called his team’s match “a great game of football, not only as a coach, but as a fan of the sport. Both teams offence played an explosive, fast paced game.”

Quarterback Mica Kendrick was able to connect with his receivers, including Rhys McKelvie, who scored a 15-yard touchdown, and running backs Aylin Canning and Brolin Hastings had huge games. The offensive line’s consistent improvement was demonstrated by rookie guard Hunter Phillips.

“His infectious enthusiasm helps this team in more ways than one,” Ryder commented.

On defence, linebacker Landen Laver made huge tackles all over the field, while Canning struck fear in the hearts of the Oceanside ball carriers.

“She proved yet again that girls can play football,” Ryder said.

Marshall Johnson and Atlas Ryder came up with big stops that gave the Cowichan offence great field position.

Hastings also contributed on special teams, returning two kicks for touchdowns.

The junior bantam Bulldogs also played on the road against Oceanside, losing 26-7.

Three of the four Cowichan teams are at home this weekend. On Saturday, the peewees host Westshore at 10 a.m. and the junior bantams host Saanich at noon, and on Sunday, the bantams host Comox at noon. The midgets travel to Victoria to take on Westside on Sunday.

Football

 

Peewee Bulldogs linebacker Landen Laver brings down a Nanaimo Seahawks ball carrier during a game at McAdam Park on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Peewee Bulldogs linebacker Landen Laver brings down a Nanaimo Seahawks ball carrier during a game at McAdam Park on Saturday, Oct. 2. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)