Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
November 17,2013 Duncan, BC (ISN) – The second place Cowichan Bulldogs advanced to the next round of playoffs with a quarter final 36-0 win over the Victoria Spartans in Vancouver Mainland Football League action Sunday at McAdam Field in Duncan.
The Spartans, after advancing last week with a convincing win over the Comox Raiders to secure a seventh place finish in regular season play, looked to upset a strong Cowichan side.
The Cowhican Bulldogs fought the Victoria Spartans in midget football playoff action Sunday with the Bulldogs defeating the visiting team 36-0. – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
When Bulldogs head coach Opie Williams was asked about the prospect of playing the Spartans, he would answer, ” Victoria has always been a hard battle. Even though they were ranked seventh, they were still a very talented team with eleven players making the Star Bowl.”
Running back Archie Acosta blows through the Bulldog’s defensive line – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Cowichan Bulldogs, dropping only one game all season, proved to be a tough opponent for the Spartans to handle.
Spartans Acosta plays receiver between two Bulldog defenders – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Spartans Star Bowl selection QB Brett Johnson, playing in his graduating final season, went head to head against his Bulldog counterpart QB Erik Kenner. Both Johnston and Kenner would look to their running game early. The Bulldogs would find their pace first in the game. Fullback Liam Palcu-Johnston would punish Spartans D-line twice from the red zone, while Kain Melchoir would add to his teams total with an exciting punt return for a touchdown before the end of the first half to take a commanding lead.
Bulldogs QB Eric Kenner hands off to RJ Piche to carry the ball – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Spartans QB Johnston would look for an answer before the end of the first half finding go to receiver Alex Rutten on successive first down completions backing up the Bulldogs defense and putting the Spartans offense on the Bulldogs 10 yard line. Johnston would keep the ball to scamper into the end zone with 1:40 remaining on the clock only to have the score negated on a Spartans penalty. The Bulldogs would go in to the locker room up 22-0 at the half.
Spartans Sasha Shurvin looks to catch Drayson Price in the backfield – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Spartans would find limited success trying to pound the ball on the ground in the second half on the back of Archie Acosta, Morgan D’Ganigian and the scrambling abilities of Brett Johnston himself. Unfortunately for the Spartans, after relying on Johnston’s remarkable agility all season, Johnston would suffer an upper body injury on a crushing Bulldog tackle after one of his scampers for extra yards. Johnston would be helped off the field and not return to the game. The Spartans Kaleb Lee would take the Spartans helm to finish the game..
Bulldog’s Kain Melchoir runs away from Spartans Johnny Zwede – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Spartans defense would rally to hold to the Bulldogs to just one touchdown in the second half, but would be unable to find the end zone to pull any closer to the striving Cowichan Bulldogs.
Spartan’s Johnny Zwede receives the ball for a kick off return – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Coach Williams would comment about his teams play, “I felt that was our best game that we have played all season. The boys played 4 quarters, 48 minutes of football. We have struggled with (that) all season. Erik Kenner had a great game at QB. He really stepped up his game. The defense played a great game as always.”
Cowichan’s nosegaurd Brock Gowanlock towers over two Spartans players – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Bulldogs will go on to play the Naniamo Redmen, Sunday, November 24th at McAdam Park.
Spartans QB Brett Johnston throws the ball before getting tackled by a Bulldog defender – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Spartans Justin Galley gets a hand on ball carrier Drayson Price – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )