Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
September 29, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Spartans midget football team, despite down six players due to injury, put up a great fight against the visiting second place Langley Stampeders in a 46-24 loss in Vancouver Mainland Football League action Sunday afternoon at Westhills Stadium.
It was a welcome return to home field for the Spartan midget team after playing their first four regular season games on the road. Sitting in the middle of the league pack with a 2-2 record, an eager Spartans team was ready to show their hometown fans what their team was made of against the 4-0 Langley Stampeders.
Spartans Running Back Archie Acosta takes a would-be Stampeder tackler for a ride. – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The road-weary Spartans would fall behind the Stampeders early in the game, as the Spartans secondary would have trouble containing the running game of the visiting Langley team. Langley would jump out to a 23-3 lead in the second quarter, highlighted by a forty yard catch and run play to Stampeders Ryan Porteus.
Spartans QB Brett Johnston scrambles to buy time for a receiver to get open Sunday against the Langley Stampeders – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Spartans offense would ignite late in the half, when with time running down, Spartans QB Brett Johnston would throw a bomb downfield, finding teammate Alex Rutten in the Stampeders house for his first of two touchdowns on the afternoon. The Spartans would go into the locker room down 23-10 at the half.
A strong running game would keep tackler Nathan L’Heureux from slowing down the Stampeders – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
After a Stampeder 50 yard run back for a touchdown to open the second half, the Spartans multi-talented Johnston, not be denied a reply, would make the Stampeders bite on a faked punt and run it approximately 60 yards for the major to keep pace and send the Spartan fan-faithful into fits of boisterous encouragement.
Reciever Alex Rutten celebrates one of his two touchdowns against the Langley Stampeders Sunday at Westhills Stadium – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Despite the strong defensive effort by the Spartans D-line, forcing the Langley QB to scramble out of protection many times in the half, the Spartans would fail to stop the Stampeders creativity, as the team in red and black would open up a 38-24 lead early in the fourth. The visiting Langley team would add one more touchdown and the extra point to seal the loss for the game home team.
Spartans Cheerleaders, new this year, braved the rain and wind to cheer on their team in front the Spartan faithful – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Spartans’ President Robert Dubicki, in a sideline interview, is confident that the best is yet to come from the senior Spartans. ” We’re doing o.k. at this point in the season, but it is our hopes that our (injured) guys will get healthier, and have them back later (in the season). We’re going to be a better, different team than at the start (of the season).”
The Spartans final away game is at Pioneer Park, in Naniamo, Sunday, October 6th, at 12:00 pm.