Playoffs In Sight As Minor Football Heats Up In Langford

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 Story and Images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

Langford, BC – It was a busy day of football at Westhills Stadium as the Greater Victoria Minor Football League held a series of five consecutive games in Langford as the spring football season starts to wind its way into the playoffs with only 2 weeks remaining.

Lucas Nielsen scores the touchdown for his Warriors with a Wolverine tackler in tow during football action at Westhills Stadium – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Teams, even more at this junction of the season, are all trying to put their best foot forward to either solidify their league standing or climb into a favorable playoff position.

Going into Week 8, the Saanich Wolverines are the team to beat, holding top spot in both the Atom and PeeWee divisions, while challenging for second place in the competitive Jr, Bantam division.

ISN spent the day at the field to give you a brief image and story recap of four of the five games played Sunday.

PeeWee Division – Saanich Wolverines vs Westshore Warriors (20-1) 

           The Saanich Wolverines continued their path of dominance to this point in the season with a strong 20-1 win over the Westshore Warriors.

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A well-placed straightarm gave this Warrior extra yards holding off a would be Wolverine tackler – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Wolverines, undefeated so far this season, brought a balanced offensive and defensive attack to the field to open the game, but neither team could find their scoring touch early in the game.  The Wolverines would finally strike first on a catch and run play by Saanich’s #54 Jackson Reid at the end of the first quarter. Reid would cover an untested 20 yards for the major. The Warriors would find a spark in the legs on Connor Pettepiece early in the second frame. Pettepiece would slice his way through the defense with some consistency to move the chains, but unable to get far enough to put points on the board for his team. The Wolverine’s Jackson Reid would make his presence felt on defense as well in the second quarter, breaking through the Warriors O-line to get to Warriors QB Simon Hales, knocking him back for a loss.

 

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Jackson Reid of the Saanich Wolverines slips in to the end zone untouched – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

That loss would ultimately force the Warriors to turn over the ball on a loss of downs, giving the Wolverines prime field position. Wolverines QB Caeden Reiter, taking advantage of the turnover, would march his team down field to the Westshore 1 yard line. On the subsequent play, Reiter would out the ball on the ground, with the QB keeper, and punch it in for his own score to put his team up 14-0 to end the first half.  The Wolverines would close the game with their 3rd touchdown of the game.  The Warriors, denying the Wolverines the shutout win, would score their only point of the game on a kick wide through the end zone for the rouge. Final score 20-1 Wolverines.

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Saanich Wolverines ran away with the 20-1 win over the Westshore Warriors on running plays like this one through the secondary – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

Atom Division – Sooke Seahawks vs Nanaimo Bombers (26-6)

      According to the GVMFA standings, the Sooke Seahawks were enjoying an undefeated season starting Week 8.  The Seahawks added to that statistic with a convincing win over the third place Nanaimo Bombers, and kept pace with the division leading Saanich Wolverines.

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Sooke Seahawk Malakai Allan would 2 touchdowns in the game one explosive running plays like this one – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

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Bomber’s Justin Trimmer is tripped up by a Seahawk foot tackle – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

It would be a game of field position much of the first and second quarters as both teams spared without drawing first blood.  The Seahawks Malakai Allan would finally take advantage of a well-placed block in the second, turning the corner and running for 30 yards and the first major of the game.  The Seahawks would add a second touchdown, but not before the Bombers #84 Justin Trimmer would also use his legs, like Allan, and bring his team briefly on even terms. The Seahawks would enjoy a 12-6 lead at halftime. The Seahawks would do all the damage in the second half. Allen would score his second touchdown on the afternoon, to pair with a touchdown by Sooke QB Aaron Campbell to put the game out of reach with the 26-6 win.

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Nanaimo Bomber Justin Trimmer takes on four Sooke defenders during Sunday game action at Westhills Stadium – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

PeeWee Division – Sooke Seahawks vs Naniamo Lions (8-22)

       Sooke Seahawks starting QB Connor Keys would go head to head with the Lions QB Bruno Sanderson behind centre.  The seventh place Lions, looking to gain ground on their fifth place south island neighbor, wouldn’t take long to jump out to the early lead with a ground attack engineered by Sanderson, putting the ball first in the hands of  #16 Colton Campbell, and then follow up with a second running touchdown by Lochalan Guild that left the Seahawks secondary chasing the fleet-footed Campbell and Guild to the end zone going up 14-0.

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Sooke tackler AvAn Wickheim looks to pull down the Lion runner after a near facemask holds him at bay – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

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Sooke Seahawks didn’t have an answer for the swarming defense of the Nanaimo Lions. Lions defenders wrap up a Seahawk ball carrier – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Both teams would exchange touchdowns before going into the locker room at halftime with the Lions maintaining a 22-8 lead over the home side. The Seahawks defense would come out in the second half holding the well-balanced Nanaimo team from adding to their point total for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, the Lions defense was equal to the offensive efforts of the Seahawks. With the second half of the game finishing in a stalemate, the Nanaimo Lions would take a convincing 22-8 win.

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Lions Dylon Johnson keeps an arm distance from a Seahawk tackler – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

Jr. Bantam – Saanich Wolverines vs Westshore Warriors (8-8)

       The second place Jr. Bantam Westshore Warriors battled the third place Saanich Wolverines down to the wire in the game finale at Westhills Stadium Sunday. 

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This game was a toss up as both teams were equal to the task with an 8-8 draw  – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The game was just as much about defensive stops as it was about missed opportunities as both teams would give no less an inch than a yard to each other most of the contest.  The game was filled with playoff tension from the opening kickoff.  Both teams would have a difficult time finding their way to the end zone through the first quarter, starting the second quarter in a nil-draw. The Wolverines would take advantage of a late first quarter blocked punt to find themselves on the Warriors twelve-yard line early in the second.  The Wolverines QB Jacob Jenish would put the rock in the hands of Bryden Holt who would be the first to find a crack in the defensive line of the Westshore Warriors for the touchdown. A successful conversion would put the crosstown team on top 8-0.  In an offensive flourish, the Warriors would answer the Wolverines bell, evening the score when Warriors Lucas Nielsen would put yards between himself and the line of scrimmage, taking the Kalen Jules handoff and run the ball into the house to pull even at 8-8. The Wolverines defense, seemingly making a closing first half statement would get to Warriors QB Jules, sacking him twice in the closing minutes of the first half to thwart a momentum shift in the Warriors favour.

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Lucas Nielsen drags his tackler across the goal line for his Westshore Warriors only points of the game  – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Wolverines RB / Rec Sam Mosky would prove invaluable in the second half, responsible for moving the ball up field against a tightening Westshore defense, giving his team first down conversions for extended plays.

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Sam Mosky would slash his way through Warrior traffic to give much needed yardage for the Wolverines – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Both teams would spar until the Warriors would find their opportunity to go ahead with ten minutes remaining in the game. The Warriors would get as close as to the Wolverines twenty yard line before being turned away on loss of downs by the Saanich defensive line. The Wolverines would get equal opportunity to march the ball down field with seven minutes remaining, but would meet a strong Warrior effort as well, denied the go ahead score. As time ticked away, both teams squandered winning opportunities as both teams, just out of kicking range, couldn’t get close enough for the rouge point to pull off the win.  Both teams would walk off with the 8-8 win.  There might just be a rematch in store for these two teams in the playoffs? Let’s hope so!

Playoff Finals will take place June 20th and 21st  at Westhills Stadium. 

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