Peewee Bulldogs quarterback Cruiz Heemskerk scrambles during a recent home game at McAdam Park. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Bantam Bulldogs 7-0 after win over Ladysmith

Junior bantams look to lockup playoff berth this weekend

The bantam Cowichan Bulldogs improved to 7-0 on the season with a 67-0 road win over the Ladysmith Steelers on Sunday. The game marked Cowichan’s sixth shutout in seven games this year, and it was the team’s largest margin of victory to date.

“The athletes came out motivated, and followed through with the game plan that we had developed,” Cowichan coach PJ Shea said. “The game provided us the opportunity to try some new things, and have different athletes take on more of a role. I am proud of our team, and I am so impressed with their development.”

Stirling Henry set the tone of the game early, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The Steelers’ next offensive series was interrupted by an interception that Finn Shea ran in for another major. Gavin Kendrick ran the ball in on the Bulldogs’ first offensive series, and it was 21-0 for Cowichan in the first three minutes.

Cowichan continued to score, with touchdown passes from Shea to Laine Hogstead and Jesse Kwasny, as well as two running touchdowns by Hogstead and one each by Shea, Henry and Joe Swift. A pair of defensive safeties accounted for the other points.

The bantam ’Dogs have a bye this week, followed by their regular-season finale in Comox on Oct. 27.

The junior bantam Bulldogs played in Ladysmith on Saturday night, defeating the host Steelers 45-6.

“Ladysmith is a good team and gave us a fight,” Cowichan coach Opie Williams assessed.

Brad MacRae ran 45 yards, breaking three tackles to score on the Bulldog’s first possession. A broken play led to Cowichan’s second score when Cody Williams scampered into the end zone untouched. The snap was off on the convert, and as Iaan Anderton-Teasdale went for the kick, holder Ryder Maertz pulled the ball away on a Charlie Brown and ran it in instead. MacRae and Williams both had two more touchdowns before the game was over. Defensive highlights included a touchdown-saving tackle by Jaeden Williams.

The junior bantams are now in fourth place in their division and control their own destiny for the playoffs. They play their last regular-season home game this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. against the Victoria Renegades.

The peewee Bulldogs visited the undefeated Ladysmith Steelers on Saturday for their biggest test of the year so far.

“Ladysmith has a very big team and definitely used it to their advantage,” coach Trystan Ryder said. “Outside sweeps were the name of the game for the Steelers, and their large running back was hard to handle.”

The Bulldogs opened the scoring when Dylan Balfour finished off a series of powerful runs by Cowichan, with a two-point convert by Andrew Bahen. The second half saw Cowichan quarterback Cruiz Heemskerk connect with receivers Mika Kendrick and Johnny Bloudell for some big yards, while William Bahen and Aylin Canning made big tackles on defence.

The peewees will also play their last home game of the season this Sunday at 10 a.m. against the Renegades.

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