Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
June 22,2014 Langford, BC (ISN) – The GVMFA executive committee couldn’t be happier with the way the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association Finals went this weekend. If anyone could be happier it would have to be the Saanich Wolverine Football organization.
The Saanich Wolverines Peewee Team would fine the running game on route to a 33-8 win over Peninsula Wildcats – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Greater Victoria Minor Football Association’s spring football league, extending from Victoria to Naniamo, provides developmental football competition for age levels from Pre-Atom to PeeWee levels with the hopes of developing that talent that will continue to feed the strong community based football organizations the island has come to rely on.
After a day of Silver Cup finals to decide third and fourth place on Saturday throngs of fans and parents filled Westhills stadium to watch the Saanich Wolverines represent and dominate over the competition on Sunday in all three-division Gold Cup Championship finals.
PeeWee Wolverine Captains hoist the Gold Cup after a victory over the Peninsula Wildcats – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Pre Atom Gold Cup
The Pre-Atom (ages 7-9) division was first to hit the field Sunday a.m. with the Saanich Wolverines taking on the Gordon Head Raiders for the coveted Gold Cup Championship. It was apparent from the opening snap that both on-field coaches were going to run their young horses at each other, trying to establish the better running game over the cross-field competition. Both teams would be equally matched through much of the game. Both teams fighting it out near mid-field like two boxers in the centre of a ring. In a defensive lapse, Saanich would give way to Gordon Head, with Raiders striking first with a 50-yard touchdown run by Bryce Reuther to jump out to a 6-0 lead early. That lead would hold until the end of the third period when Wolverines Mathew Thompson would run the sideline for the major to tie up the game going into the final quarter. Both teams would trade touchdowns, with the Wolverines having to ask for late period heroics from Thompson to even the score. A missed conversion by the Wolverines the dying seconds would send the game to overtime.
Wolverine Mathew Thompson would run for the winning touch down to defeat the Gordon Head Raiders – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
You can’t tackle what you can’t see. A mismatch provides this Wilverine some added yards – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In OT, the Wolverine’s thought they had the championship in the bag when their trusted ball carrier Thompson scampered 55 yards for a touchdown. That effort went unrewarded and was called back on a penalty. Not believing that lightning can strike twice in the same place, the Wolverines would run the same play from the other side of the field for their artful dodger, sending him on a 60 yard run to the end zone for the Championship winning TD. The Wolverines would win 18-12.
Atom Gold Cup
In the mid-day clash, the Atom division Wolverines played the Peninsula Wildcats. The Wolverines narrowly made it into the finals when they were given a semi-finals “last play of the game scare” by the Sooke Seahawks who would score a TD with only seconds remaining, only to miss on the tying conversion kick to loose the game. The Wildcats had not lost a game all season, but narrowly won against the Wolverines in the last week of the regular season The Wolverines would make up for that lapse by dismantling the regular season champions 33-0 to take the victory. Saanich’s QB #24 Marcus Modrovic and #19 Peter Primeau would team together to slice up the Peninsula defensive lines with their impressive display of running skills. Primeau, sporting an arm cast, ran for three touchdowns for his Wolverine team.
Peninsula Wildcat runner attempts to escape from the Wolverine tackle – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
PeeWee Gold Cup
The Peninsula Wildcats would look to redeem their younger, understudy Atom team’s loss at the hand of the Wolverine organization when they played the senior (Peewee) Wolverines in the premier match up of the day. The Wildcats finished third in league play, while the Wolverines finished first by way of point differential. Both teams would match up well in the first half, although the Wolverines would be lucky to come away unscathed by costly penalties that jeopardized all-important field position. The Wolverines would take the lead late in the half on a touchdown run to jump ahead 14-8. Saanich would show glimmers of offensive possibities in the second half, but the Wolverines defensive core would rise to the occasion, shutting down the Wildcat running game. The Wolverine offense, allowed to stay on the field with converted first downs, would press further ahead on a successful ground campaign adding another 19 points to the tally and an ultimate 33-8 win over the Peninsula Wildcats.
Wolverine runs through the Wildcat defensive line – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A Wildcat finds some rare running room to advance up field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In Saturday Silver Cup action the Cowichan Bulldogs defeated the Naniamo Bombers 20-6 in Pre Atom, Gordon Head Raiders won 22-14 over the Westshore Warriors in Atom play, and in Peewee action the Westshore Warriors vs Cowichan Bulldogs PeeWee Score not avail at deadline.