June 11, 2017 Saanich, BC (ISN) – The Saanich Wolverines, of the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association, proved their dominance in Vancouver Island football with a trio of wins for their Atom, PeeWee, and Junior Bantam teams over the Westshore Warriors thus claiming regular season championships and advancing to the playoffs as the #1 seed in their respective divisions Sunday afternoon at Copley Field in Saanich, BC.
A much talked about finale, the marquis match up went to the matinee junior bantam contest. A head to head matchup of 2016 Fall BCCFA Provincial Champion Victoria Renegade teammates and BCFC Westshore Rebel coaches, the game from all apparent accounts of the on-field action and throngs of fans and supporters on the sidelines had the makings of a plausible early playoff match up. Download the free Live-Score app by CBS Sports to get the best mobile sports app available.
The 7-2 Warriors, holding onto second spot in the Vancouver Island Community Football Association one win behind 8-1 Saanich, looked to dethrone the Wolverines with a win and a point differential. A tough order to accomplish as all previous challengers would agree to.
The Wolverines would keep pace with Warriors, going into half time down 8-6 after what was a predominately a defensive stalemate. The Wolverines defense would crack first as signal caller Hunter Bowles, once again taking the ball under center in the game for the aspiring Warriors, would orchestrate his team down field to back up the home team. Brennan Blondeau would take the Bowles pass on an 8-yard catch and run play to go up 8-0. Wolverine veteran ball chucker, Caeden Reiter, would reply late in the second quarter, putting the rock in the hands of the lanky Linden Williams who would pound it through the Warrior front line from four yards out. A missed convert would give the Warriors a slim margin, going into halftime up 8-6.
After a Warriors fumble on their opening third quarter possession, Reiter would give the ball back to Williams who, getting a chance to stretch his legs, would again find his way to the end zone again for his second TD of the afternoon and giving Saanich their first lead of the game 14-8.
The Wolverine defensive line, starting to dominate second half, would frustrate Westshore’s backfield play, pressuring with quicker ball pursuit.
Wolverine’s Head Coach Charly Cardilicchia, perhaps not comfortable with a six-point lead, would look to the tandem of Reiter and Williams again for much needed field position, as Westshore’s defense would start to catch up with the Wolverine ball in the fourth quarter.
Williams, using his height to his advantage, would climb a ladder to pull down the ball to put the Wolverines deep in Westshore territory. Saanich’s Cole Bunting would run through the Westshore defense from 2 yards out to give the black and white a comfortable 22-8 lead with two minutes remaining.
The Warriors, not ready to concede, would look to a little magic to hopefully turn the tables in quick fashion. Westshore, catching Saanich in personnel matchups, would see receiver Noah Williams, acting as QB, throw down field to the streaking starting QB Hunter Bowles. Bowles, taking the ball in full stride, would out-race the Wolverine defense thirty yards to the end zone to pull within one touchdown 22-16 with a minute and a half remaining.
Saanich, foiling Westshore’s attempt to recover the onside kick, would run out the clock on the knee of Reiter to seal the first place victory.
Post game, Wolverine’s Head Coach Cardilicchia would breath a sigh of relief as he commented on the game. “ Westshore came gunning for us. We did a good job of weathering the storm. We have been coming out a little slower than we would like the last couple of games, so we will have to address that. We did a god job of containing Hunter Bowles for the most part.” Speaking about the talent on both sides of the ball, Cardilicchia would add, “ I think to have both of those teams at the top of the standings, from our GVMFA, it’s pretty special.”
The Wolverines will now face the fourth place Ladysmith Steelers next weekend at Copley Park in one semi-final matchup, while the Westshore Warriors host the Dawgs of Nanaimo in the other semi-final.
PeeWee Wolverines vs Warriors (48-24)
The 9-1 Wolverines and Warriors, going into action Sunday sharing with Oceanside first place on Vancouver Island, both hoped for a win and two alternative losses in the day’s island action to secure home field advantage in the playoffs.
The local match up saw the Saanich Wolverines run away with a 48-24 victory on a three TD running performance by Hudson Poppit to help lift his Saanich team to the victory. The Saanich win, combined with corresponding loss and point differential from the Oceanside Lions match versus Naniamo Lions gave the Wolverines first place and the coveted home field advantage they were hoping for.
Despite the offensive efforts of the Warrior’s Cole Bekkering, also running to the house for the TD trifecta, Westshore would be unable to keep pace with the Wolverines through the second half despite the gritty, defensive pursuit of the ball by the Warrior’s big man Sebastion Sibbald. Sibbald would leave the game late in the third quarter with a lower body injury, in which the Wolverines would find advantage to ensure the victory.
The PeeWee Wolverines will await the official outcome of a three-way tie for fourth place, playing Naniamo Lions, the Gordon Head Raiders, or the Cowichan Bulldogs in the semi-final at Copley Field.
Atom Wolverines vs Warriors (38-0)
The 7-0 Atom Wolverines scored twenty-two unanswered first half points and went on to handily dispatch the 2-6 Warriors 38-0 to secure first place in the Vancouver Island Community Football Association.
For the Wolverines, the hunt for a first place berth was a contested finish to the season as the 8-0 Spartan Sooke Thunderbirds, also in contention, looked to hang on to top spot. The unofficial magic number the Wolverines needed in a points for and against going in to the weekend was +35 points for Saanich. With the shut out, 38 point performance the Saanich Wolverines would snatch the top spot, claiming home field advantage in next weekend’s playoff round