April 22rd, 2023 Saanich, BC. (ISN ) – Another weekend has come and gone in the 2023 Spring Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association’s football season as Saturday the GVMFA Saanich Wolverines went 2-1 on the day defending their home turf against the visiting Cowichan Bulldogs in southern Vancouver Island Minor League football action.
On a day that resembled more a fall-ball day than the temperate spring weather that most are normally accustomed to at this time of year, the conditions weren’t a deterrent for players, family and fans of both teams that packed the hillside at Copley Park to be a part in some great southern Vancouver Island youth football action.
Under light rain showers, Atom teams opened the day-long battle between the Wolverines and the Bulldogs. The Atom Bulldogs would rule the day over a gritty Wolverine squad, defeating the home team by a convincing 40-0 score. Potentially destined for MVP status in some fan’s eyes, Cowichan QB #7 – Rylen Heyer and receiver #22 – Weston Carter would prove tough to hold down. The duo would figure in the win with 2 rushing TD’s each, and also pair up on a catch and run play for another score in the lopsided win.
The Bulldogs would open the scoring in the game on a rushing TD by Deven Randhawa and a Heyer QB keeper to make it 13-0 after the first quarter of play. In the second frame, after being pinned in their own end, Carter would carry the rock 85 yards to the house to put his team up 19-0. Cowichan’s QB would top the first half scoring with his second touchdown to round out the half with a comfortable 26-0 lead.
Despite some bright play and strong effort on both sides of the ball, the Saanich team wouldn’t be able to hold back their up-island rivals. The Cowichan Bulldogs would add another 2 Weston Carter touchdowns in the second half to round out the scoring, highlighted by his second near-field length sprint run to the endzone with Wolverine defenders in chase, to give Cowichan a solid 40-0 win.
With the victory, the Bulldogs climb to 3-0 and hold top spot, while the Wolverines settle into fourth place in week three action.
In the matinee game, the PeeWee Saanich Wolverines would chalk-up a shut-out performance versus the Cowichan Bulldogs, outpacing the canines 32-0. The win was punctuated by PeeWee rookie tackle football Wolverine player Olivia Diamond’s incredible performance on the day. Posting a three-touchdown performance, while rushing for over 150 yards, while defensively her offensive prowess was complemented by a recorded 5 solo tackles as she continues to raise eyebrows in local football circles.
With starting Wolverines QB Spencer Coey running the Saanich offensive line, it was evident to the Cowichan Bulldogs team that they would see a lot ground ball from the black and orange. Diamond would tally two majors in the first quarter, posting 55 yards out of the back field taking the handoff from Coey who would command a balanced attack to keep Cowichan on their heels. The Wolverines would lead 16-0 after the first quarter.
Cowichan would tighten up their defensive game, lineman #51 Eli Atchison with some brilliant defensive pursuit, would figure in many tackles around the line of scrimmage against the run attack of the Wolverines through the remainder of the game but the Bulldogs would, offensively, be unable to string together any consistent offensive attack to solve Saanich’s swarming defense.
Meeting Bulldog’s resistance on the ground, the line general quarterback Coey would connect through the air twice with his receivers in the second half. Saanich’s James Redmond would pull down a 20-yard catch and run play from Coey in the 2nd quarter but would be denied the endzone. Olivia Diamond would open the third quarter with her third rushing and final touchdown on the afternoon.
Wolverine receiver Tommy McArthur would be set free from 11 yards out in the fourth frame for the TD to close out the game for a 32-0.
With the win the PeeWee Wolverines include themselves in a three-way log jam at the top of the standings at 2-1, holding down second spot, one point behind the Westshore Warriors in the “points for race”. The Bulldogs fall to 1-2 in the early season.
The Junior Bantam Saanich Wolverines went in to their game with one direction in mind and that was to be the victor of two undefeated teams going into week three in the Vancouver Island Canadian Football Association. By the end of the game Wolverines would achieve that with a 32-6 win over the Bulldogs.
The Wolverines would explode out of the gates, putting up 24 points in the first quarter alone. Saanich would open the scoring with starting QB Bennett Anderson taking his team downfield on a persistent ground attack, finishing with the Anderson QB keeper from three yards out. With the rains of the early morning returning, holding onto the ball proved difficult as the Bulldogs would be the recipient of a fumbled ball on the ensuing Wolverine kickoff. Saanich’s special teams would recover the ball on the Cowichan 38-yard line. Two plays later Andersen would air out the ball to receiver Jake Piasta, who, contested by a Bulldog defender, would break away at the 18-yard line to run in for the first of his 2 touchdowns in the game, giving the home team a boost with the 16-0 lead early in the game. Anderson would find his receiver, Piasta, in the second quarter for his second, back-to-back touchdown to put his team up 24-0.
With Saanich’s Anderson relinquishing his QB spot to backup Nicholas Woodger. the Bulldogs defense would rise to a late 2nd quarter challenge, backing up the Wolverines into their own side of the field. With momentum seemingly going all Cowichan’s way and negative yards offense to the Wolverines, Saanich QB Woodger would throw a 20-yard strike over the middle to a freshly inserted starting “QB-made-receiver” Bennet Anderson. Pulling the ball in, Anderson would scamper another 30 yards to the house to score the final touchdown in the match for the Wolverines to make it a 32-0 lead.
Showing pride and grit, the Bulldogs would press on, looking to erase the doughnut with some inspired defensive play at the end of the third quarter to back up the Wolverines, forcing the Saanich to kick out of their own endzone. The Cowichan defensive pressure would continue through the fourth quarter, give Bulldogs QB Domenic Reeves run-offense a chance at the endzone late in the game. Able to march his team from deep in their own territory, Reeves would give the ball to Judd Sheen in the back field. Sheen, taking the handoff from thirty-three yards out, would break left and beat the Wolverines to the corner endzone for the Bulldogs only score of the game.
An unsuccessful conversion attempt would finish the scoring with a 32-6 final in favour of the Saanich Wolverines win.