The Cowichan Bulldogs were caught a little off guard last Sunday when they opened the Vancouver Mainland Football League bantam nine-man season with a 56-1 loss at home against the Westside Warriors.
“Westside is an experienced group,” Cowichan head coach Mike Williams said. “They were a bunch of 14-year-olds last year, and now they’re a bunch of 15-year-olds. They’ve had a couple of pre-season jamborees, so they were more game-ready than we were.”
Williams still found some things to like about his team’s performance. The offence, he said, looked good, particularly when Dakota Cullum carried the ball. Cullum went on runs of 31 and 32 yards, finishing the game with 119 yards on 13 carries.
“He played a lot of defence, too,” Williams said.
It was when the Warriors had the ball that the Bulldogs made the most mistakes, beginning on the first play when Westside ran for a 90-yard touchdown.
“Our defence gave up a lot of big plays,” Williams said. “It showed that we weren’t game ready because our tackling was poor. We’ve got work to do.”
On an individual level, Evan Kwasny had a fine outing, with three solo tackles and one assist.
“Overall, I was pleased with how we looked in spots,” Williams said. “Moving forward, we need to work on knowing our assignments and our tackling.”
Williams felt even better about his team after watching game video.
“We looked better than what the score indicated,” he said.
The bantams will have a bye this weekend while the midget Cowichan Timbermen will play their season opener on the road against the White Rock Titans.
Both teams will play at McAdam Park on Sunday, Sept. 20. The bantams at 12:30 p.m. against the Cloverdale Leopards and the midgets in their home opener at 2:30 p.m. against the Coquitlam Falcons.