Story and images by Erich Eichhorn ( ISN )
June 28, 2016 Langford, BC ( ISN ) – School’s out for most students. Beaches beckon those looking keep cool on a hot weekend in Greater Victoria. For a dedicated, select, large group though, the only tone heard beckoning them is the one to the gridiron as the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association wrapped up their spring football season with the Gold Cup Championships at Westhills Stadium in Langford last weekend.
The best of the best in the Greater Victoria Minor Football Atom, PeeWee, and Junior Bantam divisions’ butted heads for bragging rights to be “The” best and hoist the Cup overhead in front of stands full of family, friends and supporters.
JB Wolverine Peter Primeau ran though tacklers on his way to four TD’s in the 8-8 win over Sooke Seahawks – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The spring season came to a close in dramatic fashion as the Junior Bantam Saanich Wolverines defeated the Sooke Seahawks 48-8, in what many might call a statement win, largely on the running prowess of Peter Primeau who would amass 4 Td’s in the winning effort and would take Offensive Player of the Game honours in the dominating win. In the regular season one loss separated these two teams, with the Wolverines taking the upper hand.
Jose Pablo Pinhero was instrumental in starting Sooke deep in thier own end – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The both sides would trade scoring drives after the opening kick off, giving the appearance of a battle that was yet to unfold. The Seahawks, after a blocked Wolverine punt by Spencer Logan, would strike first on a scamper down from the Wolverine 45 yard line, breaking a tackle in the process, to mark the board first.
The Wolverines would put the ball in the hands of Primeau who would take the ball into the house for his first TD to even the score. Little did anyone know what was to come in the game. Despite some strong defensive play from the Seahawks to keep Saanich honest, Primeau and the Wolverines would continue to find answers to Sooke’s defense. The Saanich Wolverines would go up 32-8 at the half on 3 more TD’s, 2 of those by Primeau.
Caeden Reiter hands off the ball to Primeau who is winding up in the back field – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Sooke would try to recover in the third, activating QB Jared Steele in a receiving and rushing role, seeing some success moving the sticks down the field to extend the Seahawks play. Steele, despite some crushing Wolverine tackles would show some field grit, not shying away from the Wolverine defensive lines efforts to shut him down.
Jared Steele tries to put a spark into the play of his Seahawks team with his running ability – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Saanich would roll on in the second half with two more TD’s, by Primeau and Kole Sharp on a pass from QB Markus Modrovic to more than seal the championship win 48-8.
In the PeeWee Championship game, the black and white Gordon Head Raiders took on the regular season champions, the black and white Saanich Wolverines. Despite the team colors on both sides of the ball, the game was all but black and white as fans were treated to an unbelievable, defensive game that saw neither team relinquish much real estate. Both sides bending, but not breaking would flaunt with big offensive plays that would be met with bigger defensive counter plays.
Wolverine team captains pose for ISN’s Erich Eichhorn – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
For the Saanich, it would be fitting that after almost two quarters of scoreless play that a crushing defensive tackle and a stripped ball would put the Wolverines in the Raiders red zone with 25 seconds remaining in the half. Wolverines QB Cooper Junger would hand off to their “not so secret weapon” Miltiadis Zakary Koulelis in the backfield. Koulelis, threatening to exploit the Raider’s sideline, would attract a host of would be tacklers. In a heads up play, Koulelis would unload the ball to teammate Robert Hallsor who would carry the ball the rest of the way to the house to break the deadlock and take a 8-0 Wolverine lead going to the locker room at halftime.
Wolverines #88 Koulelis plays physical while carrying the ball – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Offensive scoring continued to be a rare commodity in the second half. Both teams, flirting with huge running plays to extend their field would be shut down by aggressive secondary coverage. The Wolverine’s Koulelis would figure in the second halves only scoring, assisting his field general Junger by throwing Junger’s shovel pass downfield to receiver Marko Cvitanovic, who would get the opportunity stretch out his legs running almost 50 yards for the game’s second and final touchdown and the 16-0 Wolverine Gold Cup victory.
Wolverine’s #29 Poppitt puts the hit on the Raider’s player, hoping to knock the ball loose. Poppitt would be recognized for his game’s defensive play – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Raiders Hudson Poppitt would be named Defensive Player of the Game for his relentless pursuit of the ball in the unfortunate loss. Koulelis would, without question, take Offensive honors for his dominating running game.
In the Atom Division championship game, fans were treated to a nail biter as the regular season third place Westshore Warriors would explode onto the scoreboard in for 30 points in the first half, and outlast a second half Gordon Head Raider surge to take the 30-24 Gold Cup win.
The Atom Westshore Warriors celebrate the Gold Cup win over the Raiders – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
It was all Westhore in the first half, as Cole Bekkering and Jacob Gaede would share scoring duties for the Warriors jumping out to a 30-8 lead at halftime. Raiders’ Silas Douglas would score from the 1-yard line to score the lone points in the first half for Gordon Head.
Warrior’s Cole Bekkering would score 2 TD’s in he first half to help give his team the lead – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A determined, young Raiders team would come out in the second half, shutting down the Warriors offense with gritty, hard-nosed pursuit for the ball. The Raiders, under field general Silas Douglas, would back up the Warriors defense, eventually cashing in on the effort in the fourth quarter with two TD’s by Silas Douglas and Luke Neary.
Raider’s Silas Douglas runs through three Warrior tacklers – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Cheering on their favorite – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With the score 30-24, the Raiders would get one last chance from the Warriors 45 yard line with fifty-six seconds remaining. The Warriors defensive line, spreading the field to turnover the Raiders ball on loss on downs, would snuff out Gordon Head’s last attempt on completing the comeback win. The Warriors would go on to take the championship, defeating the 8-0 Raiders for the right to hoist the Gold Cup with the win.