The junior bantam Cowichan Bulldogs punched their tickets for both the Island and provincial football championships with a 46-0 thrashing of the Southside Dawgs in Ladysmith last Saturday.
The Bulldogs set the tone for the game on their first drive, which ended with big Dillon Wilson pounding his way into the end zone for a touchdown. Cowichan methodically and consistently kept the Southside offence on the sidelines for the rest of the afternoon.
“We knew that we could outright beat this team,” Cowichan coach Ted Harris said. “We really have been on the top of our game and probably the best team in our league. We have so much depth at each position and some very skilled and powerful athletes.”
Wilson and Davin Reithaug both finished the day with three touchdowns, while Nico Harris also scored and kicked three converts. The same three players were also pillars of the Cowichan defence, all three contributing strong performances and big tackles at key moments. Ryder Maertz had a great game at defensive back, picking off one Southside pass and knocking down another, and first-year player Mason Martindale also contributed some timely tackles.
The Bulldogs will head back to Ladysmith’s Forrest Field this Saturday to face the Victoria Renegades for the Island title. Both teams have already qualified for the provincial nine-man championships in Kamloops on Nov. 17.
“We are exactly where we want to be at this point in the season,” coach Harris said. “We are strong, skilled, healthy and at the top of our game. This weekend’s final is going to be a barn burner — the two best teams in the league battling for the championship.”
The bantam Bulldogs were scheduled to play the Victoria Spartans last Sunday, but the Spartans were unable to field a team. Cowichan will visit Comox on Saturday to play the Raiders for the Island bantam championship.