Second half surge nets big win for atom Cowichan Bulldogs

Atom Bulldogs quarterback Gus Steeves celebrates his team’s win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Atom Bulldogs quarterback Gus Steeves celebrates his team’s win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Atom Bulldogs lineman Emmitt Ryder hikes the ball to QB Gus Steeves during Cowichan’s win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Atom Bulldogs lineman Emmitt Ryder hikes the ball to QB Gus Steeves during Cowichan’s win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
A group tackle by the atom Bulldogs during their win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)A group tackle by the atom Bulldogs during their win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Harrison Plaxton carries the ball for the atom Bulldogs during their win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Harrison Plaxton carries the ball for the atom Bulldogs during their win over Nanaimo Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Tailback Mica Kendrick runs the ball for the peewee Bulldogs during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Tailback Mica Kendrick runs the ball for the peewee Bulldogs during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Peewee Bulldogs Rhys McKelvie and Kasen Randhawa team up to tackle an opposing player during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Peewee Bulldogs Rhys McKelvie and Kasen Randhawa team up to tackle an opposing player during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Peewee Bulldogs players surround an opposing player during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Peewee Bulldogs players surround an opposing player during their loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Peewee Bulldogs wide receiver Adam Troy steps back to pass on a trick play during his team’s loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Peewee Bulldogs wide receiver Adam Troy steps back to pass on a trick play during his team’s loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)
Aylin Canning takes the handoff from quarterback Domenic Reeves during the peewee Bulldogs’ loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)Aylin Canning takes the handoff from quarterback Domenic Reeves during the peewee Bulldogs’ loss to the Westshore Warriors at McAdam Park last Saturday. (Jen Laver photo)

A huge second half propelled the atom Cowichan Bulldogs to a 21-6 win over Nanaimo Seahawks Blue at McAdam Park last Saturday.

The Bulldogs went into halftime trailing the Seahawks 6-0, but Cowichan quarterback Gus Steeves scored three times over the final 30 minutes to lead his team to victory.

Nanaimo opened the scoring after the Bulldogs struggled on their first possession and gave the Seahawks great field possession, but the Cowichan defence held its ground for the rest of the first half, getting a huge tackle from Emmitt Ryder on the nine-yard line. The offensive highlight of the first half was a 24-yard run by Harrison (Solo) Plaxton that got the Bulldogs out of their own end before they turned it over on downs.

Nanaimo got the ball to start the third quarter, but the Cowichan defence continued to dominate with a key tackle from Steeves and Zack Dzhevelekyan. Steeves then scored the Bulldogs’ first touchdown and completed a tw0-point convert pass to Ethan Lust to give his team the lead.

Steeves’s next touchdown came when he followed a block from Deven Randhawa on a third-down gamble, and he ran in the extra point himself. Rylen Heyer made a big tackle to stop the Seahawks’ next drive on just three downs, and a big run by Plaxton set up Steeves’s third TD.

Dzhevelekyan made a huge play on defence and recovered the fumble to get the ball back for the Bulldogs. After one run by Vaughn Williams, the ‘Dogs took a knee to end the game.

It was just not the peewee Bulldogs’ week as they played to a 22-6 loss at the hands of the first-place Westshore Warriors.

The Warriors put up all their points in the first half, and the Cowichan offence was unable to generate anything either, but things changed after halftime.

“The second half was a different story,” Cowichan coach Trystan Ryder said. “The same group of athletes took the field, but looked like a completely different team.”

The Cowichan defence held fast for the rest of the day thanks to big plays by Mica Kendrick, Landen Laver, Aylin Canning, Rhys McKelvie and Atlas Ryder.

Kendrick also scored the Bulldogs’ only touchdown. The offence did use the final minutes of the game to try out some gadget plays, getting a good result when wideout Adam Troy took the handoff from tailback Kendrick and threw a 15-yard pass to quarterback Domenic Reeves.

“We wanted to finish the game with a good attitude and just go out and have some fun,” coach Ryder said. “The offence executed some pretty exciting plays perfectly. Sometimes what it takes to achieve success is a relaxed mindset and a lack of pressure.”

The entire league has the long weekend off, and the Cowichan teams will head to Victoria the following weekend.

Football