The Cowichan Bulldogs football club recently kicked off their fall season after nearly a month of practice.

While this week’s matches were canceled due to poor air quality, last week’s matches were played.

Midget head coach Tim Maertz was pleased with his team’s effort against the Victoria Spartans despite the absence of some key players due to illness or injury.

“We have a small roster full of great talented players, and I’m really excited to be part of their journey this season,” Maertz said.

The first quarter saw the Bulldogs find their groove and shake off the rust. Victoria managed to move the ball to the Cowichan two-yard line and threatened to score, but the Bulldogs defense came in strong and stopped them.

Defense was also the name of the game early in the second quarter, but the team’s offensive lineup opened up when Trey McQuaig-Jones netted a 25-yard punt return. As they were forced to punt again, after another great defensive stand, Ryder Maertz finally broke the scoring drought and ran a 50-yard QB for his first major of the season.

Logan Laver also scored his first major of the season, making it 12-0 for the Bulldogs at halftime.

“Victoria threw the ball a lot more in the second half and moved the ball into our end of the field,” Maertz said. “Our defense remained strong, forcing Victoria to throw a basket, which was missed, but went through the back of the end zone to score a red.”

That made it 12-1 for the Bulldogs.

The defense was led by big plays from Connor Harper and Ben Wilson.

After another run from Laver, a two-point convert on a pass play to Trey McQuaig-Jones closed the scoring, giving the Bulldogs a 20-1 win.

Bantam action saw the Bulldogs fall to the Nanaimo Seahawks 44-6.

“It was a learning curve, as the majority of our players are freshman bantams, with some moving up from junior bantam,” coach Opie Williams said.

Max Lang scored the team’s only touchdown although the team missed the point after an attempt. Lang ran for 36 on 12 carries, his longest being the 31-yard touchdown run.

Aiden Jeffries and Jaeden Williams took the rest of the team’s races.

Kolten Crook led the team in tackles with four tackles and three assists, while Lucas Laver was close behind.

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