November 10, 2018 Ladysmith, BC (ISN) – The Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association crowned it’s 2018 Minor Football Champions this weekend as the Peewee Southside Dawgs and Junior Bantam Cowichan Bulldogs reigned supreme over two strong Victoria Renegade teams to claim bragging rights as the best in minor football the island has to offer.
Dawgs vs Renegades 24-16
These teams, evenly matched in the regular season standings with 5-1 records, would play true to their respective records, as both teams would duel back and forth in a contested battle that would see a knotted, 16-16 score through three and a half completed quarters of play.
The Dawgs would open the scoring on their first possession on a midfield run by Gabriel de la Espriella to take the early 8-0 lead, but a rushing TD and later a 40 yard catch and run play for the major by Heath White would give the Renegades a 16-8 lead before the half. The Dawgs would reply with the magical running abilities of James Christian to knot the score with a highlight effort for a TD going in to halftime 16-16.
Both teams would play the next twenty minutes in a defensive battle that would keep the score even going into the fourth quarter. Christian would score his second and game winning TD at the mid-point of the fourth, breaking ankles along the way, to give his team ultimately the victory and the Island Championship.
The Dawgs James Christian would be given the nod as the game’s most valuable player, while Heath White of the Renegades would receive the Sportsman-like award.
Bulldogs vs Renegades 20-13
This match up pitted the undefeated, 6-0 Victoria Renegades against the 4-1-1 Cowichan Bulldogs.
Cowichan’s Nico Harris would prove too much for the Renegades defense to stop, scoring three rushing majors for his Bulldogs on the way to the championship win.
After a tough defensive, first quarter battle, the Victoria Renegades would find their way into the end zone first on the legs of Jacob Greenway. Cowichan’s Harris would reply, like-minded, beating two Renegades to the goal line to go up 7-6.
The Renegades would find their answer in Malik Gagne-Smith to regain the contentious lead, rushing for a touchdown to regain the lead 13-6.
The leader board would change one final time as Cowichan would regain the lead on Nico Harris’ second Td of the game to take a 14-13 lead into the fourth quarter. Harris would add one final TD to complete his tri-fecta of touchdowns, to put his team on top for what would be the winning TD of the game.
A series of ball handling miscues would give the Renegades a final chance at the end zone with two minutes remaining from just in side the Bulldogs fifty yard line, however a last ditch attempt down field with time expired would be intercepted by Bulldogs Davin Reithaug to turn aside the comeback attempt and seal the VICFA Championship win for the Cowichan Bulldogs.
For his efforts, Nico Harris would be named the game’s MVP. Renegades Jacob Greenway would be given the Sportsman-like award for his efforts.
All four teams will now travel to Kamloops and Coquitlam for 9-man and 12-man provincial titles respectively November 17th and December 2nd. The Peewee Southside Dawgs will represent the Island in the BC 12-man championships, while Victoria Renegades will compete in the 9-man final.
The Junior Bantam Cowichan Bulldogs, with the win, punched their ticket to the BC championship 9-man, while the Victoria Renegades, placing their second team in the big show, will play in the 12-man championship.