December 1,2018 Vancouver, BC (ISN) – In what will surely go down in the minds of Bulldog football player’s, coaches and fan’s minds as one of the greatest seasons in the school’s still young football history, the Belmont Bulldogs fell short in their bid at a AAA Junior Varsity Provincial Football crown, dropping a 38-12 decision to the Kelowna Owls at BC Place Saturday afternoon.
Confidence was marked, but high, going into the final versus another undefeated team in the Owls, after running the table undefeated this year to post the winningest season in the history of the Belmont Football Program.
Staying even with Kelowna through two quarters of play, the Belmont would fight an uphill battle the last half of the game as the Owl’s rush defense would dominate and a seemingly unstoppable, strong, outside running game would create problems for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs would open the game scoring in the second quarter after a first quarter of play was spent adjusting to each other’s play. Starting Belmont quarterback Hunter Bowles would draw the attention of four Kelowna pass rushers, freeing up teammate receiver Riley Berfelo for the lob pass over the defenders outstretched arms for the reception. Berfelo would do the rest, running for twenty-seven yards for the major to take the lead. The Owls wouldn’t take long to reply, breaking through the Belmont defensive front line to rush for the TD to take a 7-6 lead.
The Bulldogs, having difficulty buying time in the pocket for their QB, would force Bowles into his second forte, which is running with the ball. Bowles would play a large role in keeping his team in favourable field possession, using his legs to extend the field.
The Owl’s would threaten again under the arm of Kelowna QB and eventual game MVP Nathan Beauchemin, but Bulldogs’ Berfelo, making his statement in the second quarter, would out-wrestle at Kelowna receiver to come away with the intereception to end Kelowna’s immediate threat.
Bulldog’s Gerren Hardisty, a staple of Belmont’s rushing core, would get the nod on three consecutive carries to help take his team up field. With less than two minutes remaining, Bowles, with a great touch of the ball, would throw to WR Beaudry Payliss on a corner route. Payliss, with an Owl defender in his back pocket, would climb a BC Place ladder to grab the ball over the defender’s head to pull the ball down for the TD in a great individual effort of his own. Belmont would enjoy a brief 12-7 lead.
The Owls on the subsequent possession would retake the lead for the last time in the game, scoring with time expiring in the half, to go into the locker room with a 14-12 lead.
The Bulldogs would find little offense in the second half, as the Owl’s defense, quicker to the play, would shut down any plausible attempt at the end zone for Belmont. Hunter Bowles, forced out of pass protection most of the contest, would leave the game late in the third quarter, taken to hospital for observation after an awkward tackle would sideline the valuable Belmont starter.
Belmont, unable to contain the outside running game of Kelowna, would see the margin of scoring favor the Owls, as the game and the BC Championship would slip away from the Dawgs.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs can now reflect back on their season knowing now this young, cohesive team will have opportunity for at least the next 2-3 years to perform at the same high caliber level, with their sights set once again at revisiting the BC High School Football Championships under the dome.
Belmont Bulldogs 6”4’ lineman Riley Scheffer would be noted for his play, receiving the Outstanding Lineman Award of the game.
Congratulations Belmont Bulldogs on a great season !