Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – The Greater Victoria Minor Football Association saw their spring season come to an end last Sunday as local teams played off in finals action with their own version of what many play for as their own Superbowl-like Football Championships.
The Greater Victoria Minor Football Association Gold Cup Final was held last Sunday with hard-hitting action in all three age divisions from atom to Jr Bantam – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
For the Greater Victoria Minor Football executive it was a culmination of a season long effort to get to the final day. For many young players, it was either the start of a promising football career or a graduation day to something bigger on the football horizon.
Six teams, after successfully advancing on semifinal wins in their respective divisions last weekend, went head to head in front of a packed stadium of family members, friends and fans.
Wolverines Hudson Poppitt runs away from the Seahawk defense in opening day action in the Atom division – Erich Eichhorn image (www.alsportmedia.ca)
In the late morning opener, the Atom division Sooke Seahawks battled a Saanich Wolverine team looking for a three-peat win to add to their resume. The matinee game saw the Peewee Westshore Warriors vs the elder Saanich Wolvernies. The Westhore Warriors were looking to repeat as champions after last year’s winning performance. The late game featured the Jr. Bantam Gordon Head Raiders against the home side Westshore Warriors.
Atom Sooke Seahawks vs Saanich Wolverines (13-38)
The top two Atom teams went undefeated in the regular season, with the Wolverines taking the decisive upper hand in the offensive category scoring 123 more points over the course of the season in comparison to the Sooke Seahawks. That stat would hold true in the Finals head to head match up where Saanich would flex it’s defensive muscle to hold the Seahawks to just 13 points in the game.
Seahawks Malakai Allen has one of his moments. The speedy Allen would give the Wolverine defense fits with his outstanding running ability – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Wolverines would fire the first opening salvo early in the game to go up 8-0, but Sooke would battle valiantly defensively to stay in the game and find their own scoring touch, tying the game at 8-8 at the end of the first half on an explosive run to the end zone by Malakai Allen.
The Wolverines running back Hudson Poppitt would answer Allen’s first half run with a jaunt of his own to put his Saanich team ahead 14-7 early in the third quarter.
Malakai Allen would set up the Seahawks field position again with another highlight reel run, leaving the ball for Connor Steves to punch it in from the goal line for the major to pull to with three points 16-13 with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter.
A determined Wolverine won’t be denied the extra yards as he unleashes a hard hit to knock his opponent back – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Little did the Sooke Seahawks realize the Wolverines #29 Hudson Poppitt was just warming up. Poppitt would be turned free by the Seahawks defense, running through and around the defensive line of the Sooke Seahawks, scoring the next three touchdowns, a remarkable total of four touchdowns in the final half and five in the game to lift his team to the 38-13 Gold Cup final championship.
Peewee Westshore Warriors vs Saanich Wolverines (19- 6)
The regular season third place Westshore Warriors answered the bell of the undefeated Saanich Wolverines. Looking like a team that prepared well for their opponent, the Warriors had an answer for the potent offense combination of QB Caeden Reiter, and Gerren Hardisty.
Wolverines Gerren Hardisty was kept as quiet as quiet might be for an allstar runner under the Warriors defense but still showed his ucanny ability to find the holes in the defense racking up yardage – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The lanky Wolverine Jackson Reid climbs the ladder to try and bring down this Caeden Reiter bomb – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Warriors, under field general Simon Hales, would jump out to a 19-0 lead at the half setting the tone with a powerful display of running for the opening touchdown of the game by Hunter Bowles. Using the legs of Connor Pettepiece and Boles for favorable field possession, the Warriors would have control of the game. Wolverines Daniel Pause would finally punch the ball across the line in the third quarter with a four-yard effort. Despite some late game passing heroics by the Wolverines Reiter, the Westshore Warriors would triumph with the19-6 Gold Cup win.
Hunter Bowles shows some lateral movement to step out of the way of a Wolverine tackler. Bowles was nearly unstoppable out of the back field for the home field Warriors – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Celebration !! Westshore Warriors Dawson Lemmen throws his arms up in victory with the 19-6 win over Saanich Wolverines – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Jr.Bantam Westshore Warriors vs Gordon Head Raiders (30-22)
In one of the most anticipated games of the day, the second place Westshore Warriors took on the punishing undefeated Gordon Head Raiders. It was to be a duel between starting QB’s in Warriors Kalen Jules vs Gideon Kremler and what each could muster in their respective teams to come away with the win.
Raiders QB Gideon Kremler takes off with the ball here, as he would many times in the game keeping the Warrior defense honest – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Gordon Head’s aggressive style of defense would key to holding the Warriors down, but would take some time to find their pace as the Warriors would hit the score sheet first on a major by QB Jules, using his legs to find the house. It wouldn’t take long for the Raiders to reply, perhaps in a statement TD, QB Kremler would be instrumental in providing the yardage for their own points to even the score at 8-8.
Westshore would take a short-lived 13-8 lead, as both teams sparred offensively.
The Westshore Warriors would stay neck and neck with the Gordon Head Raiders with their own sucessful ground attack – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Raiders, would capitalize on the talents of their allstar QB Kremler at the end of the first half when, Kremler, scoring on his one of many touchdowns on the afternoon, would run through the Warriors front wall for the seven yard touch down to pull in front 16-13 at the half.
The Warriors defense would have to on top of their game to stop the running attack for the Raiders – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Warriors Kalen Jules would pull a play out of his bag of tricks throwing a lateral in the flat to #10 that would ultimately find Brett Cunard downfield and camped in the end zone for the touchdown reception in the third quarter to jump on top again 22-16.
The nimble Warriors QB Kalen Jules passes behind the line of scrimmage looking to a pass and run play near the sideline to spread the field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
That would seem to wake up the Gordon Head Raiders offense, as that would be the last points the talented Warriors team would see. The Raiders would go unanswered the rest of the game, putting the next fourteen points to the board to take the commanding 30-22 lead to the final buzzer for the championship win.
The Warriors were able to hold off the Raiders on this and many plays, but it would come down to a single touchdown to decide the Warriors defeat – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In one of the best Jr. Bantam games seen in some time locally, there should be an air of confidence in football fans that there is a great, talented stock of players for minor and major football to come from both teams for the future.
Images from all Gold Cup games will be made available at this link http://tinyurl.com/q635r6l