Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
November 10, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Spartans midget football team extended their season Sunday with a convincing 45-6 win over the Comox Raiders at Westhills Stadium.
The senior Spartans, coming into game on the playoff bubble after last weeks close, last minute, 17-10 loss to the White Rock Titans, looked to earn a berth to the Vancouver Mainland Football League playoffs with a win over the eleventh place Raiders. The Spartans, in an injury-riddled season, have had difficulty putting a mark in the win column of late, dropping their last six decisions. With a never give up attitude and a sense of team pride, the Spartans came away with the win when it counted the most.
Spartans graduating QB Brett Johnston takes to the foot on the roll out looking down field – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
When asked about his team’s win, Spartans head coach Shortt would comment, “I’m happy with the teams performance. Comox isn’t the strongest opponent. Considering our practice week, we did what we needed to do to get the win.”
Spartans graduating class poses with their coaches for ISN’s Erich Eichhorn in a pregame tribute to their services – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The win gives 14 graduating Spartans at last one more game of eligibility at their current level. Those graduating were honored in a pregame tribute by the Spartans organization and fans.
The Spartans defense rides Comox Raiders to a tackle – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Powered starting senior QB Brett Johnston, the Spartans offense would find receiver Alex Rutten to start the scoring, taking a short pass from Johnston and run the sideline for an untouched 48-yard major early in the first quarter of play. Running back Archie Acosta would add to his Spartan team’s scoring with his own running play, powering into the end zone, jumping out to an early 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter of play.
Receiver Alex Rutten runs the sideline for 45 yards to his first of two touchdowns on the afternoon against the Comox Raiders – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The noticeably smaller offensive line of the Comox Raiders were no match for the defensive line of the Spartans, as the defensive squad would keep the Raiders in check, holding the up island visitors off the score board until late in the game. Before the end of the first half, QB Johnston would call on both Acosta and Rutten once again to take the rock to the house for their second touchdowns of the game. Johnny Zewde and Morgan D’Ganigian would also contribute to the Spartans 45-0 halftime lead with their own touchdowns.
The ever dangerous Spartan running back Archie Acosta would power his way to two touchdowns on the afternoon against an undermanned Comox Raider side Sunday at Westhills Stadium – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With the game now out of reach and running without stop time, the Raiders would come out in the second half with a sense of urgency that may have caught the Spartans defense off guard. The Raiders would find consecutive first down conversions that would put them in Spartan territory. Inside the fourth quarter three-minute warning, the Raiders would finally crack the Spartans defense, breaking into celebration at a 35-yard scamper to the end zone by their running back #80. That score would help Comox not only salvage some pride, prevent the shut out loss., but also give the “never-say-die” Raiders not only their first points of the game, but of the entire ten game season. In reflection of his Spartans giving up the late touchdown to the Raiders coach Shortt would say, ” It was good to see Comox get their first touchdown, even if it was aided by our penalties and breakdown in coverage. To give them their first touchdown of the year, I’m not really upset by that, All the power to them, and I hope they (Comox) come back even stronger next year.
With the win, the Spartans will enter the playoffs as the seventh seed and will visit the second place Cowichan Bulldogs next weekend looking for an upset win and move a step forward to a Vancouver Mainland Football League championship.
Game time and location are still to be announced.