Both Cowichan Bulldogs football teams continued their winning ways last Saturday as the Comox Raiders paid a visit to McAdam Park.
The peewee Bulldogs emerged with a 34-0 win over their Comox counterparts, while the junior bantam ‘Dogs prevailed 36-6.
The peewees started right where they left off in their previous game, with the Cowichan defence firing on all cylinders as Comox started the game on offence. Led by Eric Guo, who tackled the Raiders’ running back and sacked the quarterback on consecutive plays, the Bulldogs put a quick stop to the Comox attack. The offence needed only three plays to get on the board after that.
When the Bulldogs kicked off following their first touchdown, Aiden Reithaug picked off the first pass the Raiders threw. Although he ran it in for an apparent pick-six, the score was called back on a penalty. The Bulldogs kept possession and simply marched the ball down the field to score again.
“We were strong on both sides of the ball all game long, and it really paid off for us,” Cowichan peewee head coach Tim Maertz said. “With our defence shutting Comox down all game long, we were able to try a lot of things offensively that we normally wouldn’t do.”
The Bulldogs threw the ball more than usual, and it worked to their advantage. Bradley McRae caught a pass for a 20-yard gain, and Ryder Maertz took a hand off for a 15-yard run and his first touchdown of the season, giving the Bulldogs a 22-0 lead going into halftime.
The Cowichan defence took control early in the second half as Cayden Summers registered his second sack of the game to end the Raiders’ first possession. The Bulldogs continued to try out new plays on offence, including a five-yard pass to Jordan Buscaino.
“I was really happy to have the opportunity to get the ball to players that don’t get that many chances to touch the ball during a game,” coach Maertz said.
As the game continued, Reithaug scored his third touchdown of the game after beating nearly every Comox defender on one run. The Bulldogs stopped the Raiders’ next possession deep in the Comox zone, and Nico Harris found Davin Reithaug with a long pass that got the Bulldogs to the one-yard line, with Cody Williams carrying the ball over the line just before time expired.
“These players continue to surprise me,” Maertz said. “They continue to grow as a team. They work hard every play and it’s showing on the scoreboard at the end of the game. I’m really proud of this team.”
Junior bantam coach PJ Shea was thrilled with the complete team effort he saw from his players.
“The team has found focus,” he said. “You can see it in the games, but more importantly, you can see it in our practices. With focus comes success.”
Jesse Kwasny, Brock Lamont, Trekker James, Eli Caine and Nikki Ladouceur scored for Cowichan, showing how the team has developed and diversified on offence. Jordan Russell led the defence with several highlight-reel tackles.
Both Cowichan teams will head south this Sunday to face the Victoria peewee Trojans and junior bantam Spartans at View Royal Elementary School.