The peewee Cowichan Bulldogs got off to their best start of the 2018 spring season when they visited the Nanaimo Lions at Pioneer Park last Saturday.
The Bulldogs started the game on offence and managed to string together a series of first downs to get into the red zone in the first five minutes. They then punched in the opening touchdown and took an early lead. It didn’t hold up, as the Lions came back to eventually win 22-8, but the fast start was a good sign.
“It showed us how much potential we have to score,” Cowichan head coach Tim Maertz said. “We have a lot of weapons at our disposal, and it was great to get a well-earned score on the opening drive of the game.”
Both teams had good offensive opportunities after that, but the Bulldogs managed to keep things close.
“Our defense stood strong,” Maertz said. “We only gave up a couple of big running plays, but for the most part we held off the Lions’ offensive charges.”
Nanaimo finally broke through and tied the score on the last play of the first half.
The Bulldogs weren’t the same team in the second half, playing on “a half tank of gas,” in Maertz’s words.
“We were getting tired, and started making small mistakes which turned into big plays for the Lions,” the coach said. “By the end of the game the Lions had scored two more times.”
The Cowichan defence was solid for the most part, Maertz said, but the Bulldogs’ tackling was hit and miss. Ryder Maertz and Aiden Reithaug did manage to deliver some solid hits.
The peewee Bulldogs will try to build on last weekend’s big first half when they play at home this Saturday against Gordon Head, kicking off at 10 a.m. The junior bantam Bulldogs, who had last weekend off, will take the field at 11:30 a.m.