Bantam Bulldogs running back Laine Hogstead races up the sidelines during a game at McAdam Park earlier this season. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Bantam Bulldogs remain undefeated

Cowichan junior bantams and peewees show positive signs in losses

The bantam Cowichan Bulldogs continued their terrific start to the fall football season with a one-sided 35-0 win on the road over the North Surrey Tigers last Sunday.

The Cowichan defence once again overpowered the opposing offence, so the Bulldogs had the ball often, and used several different ball-carriers to inflict damage.

The defensive line allowed the linebackers and secondary to snuff out the Tigers’ passing attack, with interceptions by Gavin Kendrick and Drake Spong. Quarterback Nico Harris led the offence with strong runs and smart decisions. Laine Hogstead scored two touchdowns, and Harris, Kendrick and Sterling Henry had one each.

“The team played very well,” Shea said. “It is sometimes difficult to stay motivated when you are dominant, but the athletes are showing great maturity. The number of leaders on this team is growing every practice, and it has shown in the games. Those that are committing are succeeding.”

The bantam ‘Dogs will host the Ladysmith Steelers this Sunday, kicking off at noon.

The junior bantam Bulldogs had everything but luck going for them as they lost to the Southside Dawgs in Nanaimo last Saturday.

“If you look at the stats, we should have won the game,” head coach Opie Williams said. “We had more completions, more first downs and more time of possession. But not in the one that counts, and that is TDs.”

Southside scored all their touchdowns on broken plays as the Bulldogs consistently marched the ball into the red zone only to be stymied. It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Bulldogs scored on a pass to Iaan Anderton-Teasdale, who burned the Dawgs’ defensive back to score. Anderton-Teasdale also kicked the extra point, clearing the McAdam Park uprights and the neighbour’s fence.

Brad MacRae ran for 70 yards on 15 carries and added 12 receiving yards. Ryder Maertz had 67 rushing yards on 10 carries and caught for another 28 yards, while also filling in at quarterback after starter Cody Williams went down with turf toe. Behind the offensive line of Seb Tait, Eamon Manley, Isaac Keepence and Kaiden Jones, Williams threw four completions for 54 yards, including his touchdown pass to Anderton-Teasdale, and rushed for 19 yards.

The junior bantam Bulldogs will host Oceanside at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday.

Also in Nanaimo, the peewee Bulldogs lost 12-0 to the Southside Dawgs, although the score was just 6-0 until the last two minutes of the game.

“It was a tough, physical game on the road,” coach Trystan Ryder said. “The defences on both teams battled hard.”

Linebacker Dylan Balfour made some big tackles, while rookie cornerback William Bahen also made some big plays.

“We are starting to see improvements,” Ryder said. “But we have a lot of work to do.”

The peewees are also at home this Sunday, hosting Oceanside at 9 a.m.

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