The atom Cowichan Bulldogs played their most exciting football game of the season on Saturday, coming just short of a win over the Nanaimo Seahawks White when time ran out.
Nanaimo opened the scoring, but a big tackle by Pearse Molleken and Rylen Heyer prevented the extra point. The Bulldogs took the lead in the second quarter after big runs by Harrison (Solo) Plaxton set up a touchdown run by Gus Steeves and Rylund (Blondie) Monti caught the two-point convert.
The Cowichan defence came up strong on Nanaimo’s next possession, forcing the Seahawks to punt thanks to a big tackle by Keyla Eskelson. Nanaimo got the ball back on a fumble and scored again to take a 12-8 lead into halftime.
The Seahawks scored again early in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs replied with another touchdown from Steeves after a big catch by Deven Randhawa, with Ethan Lust catching the two-point convert. A big stop by Heyer on Nanaimo’s next possession gave the Bulldogs great field possession, but Cowichan lost it on downs. Vaughn Williams made a huge hit to force a fumble by the Seahawks that was recovered by Plaxton.
Plaxton then made two big runs to set up his own touchdown that put the Bulldogs ahead late in the fourth quarter. Nanaimo managed to get back in front again with just 35 seconds left on the clock.
Coach Opie Williams used his last timeout to set up a third-and-25 play on the Bulldogs’ own 10-yard line. Steeves completed a pass to Lust behind the Nanaimo defence, and he was racing to the end zone for the winning score when a shoestring tackle stopped him on the Seahawks’ 25. With no timeouts left, the clock ran out on Cowichan.
The atom Bulldogs will be back in action at home this Saturday at 10 a.m. against Nanaimo Blue. The peewee Bulldogs play at 11:30 a.m., and the junior bantams — who lost 44-7 to the Westshore Spartans last weekend — take the field at 1:30 p.m.