It was a rough Thanksgiving weekend for Cowichan Bulldogs football teams as two of three teams lost during a highly anticipated triple-header at McAdam Park last Sunday.
The day began in promising form as the junior bantam Bulldogs won 22-0 over Comox, but took a rough turn as the bantams lost 36-6 to the Victoria Spartans and the midgets lost 19-0 to the North Delta Longhorns.
The bantam Bulldogs started their game strong with a long drive, moving the ball on the ground behind the gritty work of offensive linemen Logan Swanson, Ryan Haywood and Bradley Wilson. Damian McCuaig-Jones ran the ball hard all game, and was finally rewarded in the fourth quarter when he broke away for a 50-yard touchdown run.
Head coach Brian Scott was impressed with the impact tackles made by Ryan Coleman and Eric Magnison throughout the game.
The midget Bulldogs were surprised when North Delta brought out a different offence than they expected. Although the Cowichan defence adapted to the game, the Bulldogs couldn’t get things going when they had the ball.
"We had prepared for similar offence to last year, but the boys quickly adjusted and did a great job," head coach Opie Williams said. "Our offence couldn’t get the ball moving. There was a few questionable calls by the officials and we struggled to gain any momentum."
The reliable Eric (Wheels) Williams appeared to score a touchdown on a 100-yard kickoff return, but had it called back on a penalty behind the play. The next two passes were intercepted by the Longhorns. The first one was picked off out of bounds, but the Bulldogs weren’t as lucky on the next one.
Andrew Ketola led the Cowichan defence with nine tackles and two assists, while Travis McDonald was also strong with three tackles, three assists and one fumble recovery. McDonald left the game with a lower-body injury in the fourth quarter, forcing Ketola to move to tackle for just the second time in his football career. Garion Ferguson had an interception on one of North Delta’s few forward pass attempts, and Jonas Joseph had a good game on the defensive line as he replaced Will Piche who moved to linebacker to fill in for the absent Darian Slater.
The midget Bulldogs are at McAdam Park again this Sunday, kicking off against the Coquitlam Falcons at 2:30 p.m. The Bulldogs are 3-4, while the Falcons are 5-2, with wins over Meadow Ridge and North Delta, who have beaten Cowichan.
"It is another important game for us," said coach Williams ."We are looking to maintain a higher regular-season position."