Dylan Balfour goes over the line to score a touchdown for the atom Bulldogs. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Dylan Balfour goes over the line to score a touchdown for the atom Bulldogs. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Twin wins at McAdam Park for JB and atom Bulldogs

Junior bantams roll over Ladysmith, atoms win home opener against Nanaimo

For the first time this spring football season, the junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs didn’t score on the opening kickoff last Sunday, but that didn’t slow them down as they rolled to a 59-8 victory over the Ladysmith Steelers at McAdam Park.

The Bulldogs did make good on their first possession, instead, as Dillon Wilson ran 50 yards to the Steelers’ 10-yard line, setting up a touchdown by Nico Harris.

The Steelers didn’t even get a chance to respond as Davin Reithaug stripped the ball from a Ladysmith player on the ensuing kickoff, returning possession to Cowichan, which led to another touchdown for Harris. Ladysmith managed to score on their next possession to make it 14-8, but that was as close as the Steelers would get on the afternoon.

Harris had two more touchdowns on a long run and a pick-six before Reithaug scored on a rushing play. Wilson had a pick-six of his own to make it 48-8 at halftime. That’s when Cowichan coach Ted Harris asked his players to ease off the gas.

“I had to pull back the reins on the boys again,” he noted. “It was obvious where this game was going at this point.”

Nico Harris added another pick-six in the second half to finish with five touchdowns, two interceptions, six two-point converts, and a 30-yard field goal.

Cody Williams played the entire game at quarterback and scrambled for some key first downs.

It wasn’t just about offence for the Bulldogs, either. Defensive highlights included Eric Guo trapping a Steeler ball-returner in their own end zone for a two-point safety, and several tackles deep in the Ladysmith backfield by Mason Martindale.

“We are on a roll and I don’t see us slowing down for anyone,” coach Harris said. “My boys are intent on taking the championship this season. They play hard, hit hard and win big. As a coach, all I want them to do is improve their skill levels and knowledge on the field, show good sportsmanship and have fun playing the game.”

The junior bantam ‘Dogs will face their toughest competition this Saturday when they host the Westshore Warriors at 11:30 a.m.

The atom Bulldogs avenged a loss earlier this season with an 18-6 win over the Nanaimo Bombers last Saturday.

“Our entire team played a very solid game,” Cowichan head coach Trystan Ryder said. “This was a big game for us to win. Nanaimo handed us our first loss in the season opener and the players were jacked up to avenge the loss.”

Cruize Heemskerk, Dylan Balfour and Chase Carter all scored and had some big runs for the Cowichan atoms, while the defence made several tackles for negative yards.

The atom Bulldogs also host Westshore this Saturday, kicking off at 10 a.m.