September 3, 2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Spartans bantam and midget teams opened up their 2017 VICFA / VMFL fall football season at home, splitting the results in the pair of contests against the Nanaimo Redmen and the Langley Stampeders.
The 9-man bantam Spartans got off to a quick start against the Redmen and never looked back. Scoring a balanced attack that saw four Spartans TD’s in the first half to set the tone under QB Cole Junghans, the Spartans would dominate in a 33-8 win over the visiting Nanaimo team.
Despite a strong running game, the Redmen would fall victim in their passing game, hampered in their efforts to connect consistently enough to move the chains and mount any form of attack against the faster Spartan secondary.
Spartans Blake Stolth would set the pace for the black and gold, scoring two of his three touchdowns in the first half, adding another to the cause in the third quarter. Owen Cheng and Mike Kunz would also carry the ball for touchdowns.
In the twelve-man senior match up, the midget Spartans couldn’t hold back an impressive Langley Stampeder club, falling to last year’s 2016 BCCFA Midget 12-man provincial champions 36-7.
Loosing many veteran players from last year’s BCCFA playoff team, the midget Spartans would look to returning, less experienced players to lead the way, but despite making a game of it early, the Spartans would falter in the afternoon heat and agressive defensive line pressure of a notably larger and quicker Stampeder squad.
Unable to keep up to Langley’s explosive RB Azuka Okoli, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think Spartan defenders were seeing Okoli’s jersey number in their sleep, chasing him half the game, Okoli was near unstoppable. Okoli would finish with two touchdowns in the game, but more important, valuable field position for his team when needed.
The Spartans, looking to keep pace with the Stampeders, would get on the board early in the second quarter, after falling behind 24-0, for their sole visit to the end zone when Victoria’s QB #3 (*) would throw a strike to receiver #4 (*), pulling down the rock in the house over a Langley secondary to deny the shutout, cutting the margin to 24-7 in a losing effort.
The Stampeders would go on to hand the Spartans their first loss of the season with a 36-7 defeat.
The midget Spartans will now travel to Vancouver for a date with the North Delta Longhorns of the Vancouver Mainland Football League, while the bantam 9-man Spartans go their separate way and travel to Nanaimo for game two of a home and home series with the Redmen. Both games are slated for Sunday, September 10th.
footnote : * player’s names not available at deadline