Sports

No double for 'Dawgs

Barsby Bulldogs player Brad Robson, middle, is tackled by Mission Roadrunners opponents Daniel Orydzuk, left, and Kristjan Jakobs during the third quarter of Saturday
Barsby Bulldogs player Brad Robson, middle, is tackled by Mission Roadrunners opponents Daniel Orydzuk, left, and Kristjan Jakobs during the third quarter of Saturday's Subway Bowl AA varsity provincial championship game at B.C. Place stadium.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Barsby Bulldogs came only a few yards away from pulling off a double championship.

Hours after John Barsby Community Secondary School’s junior varsity football team won the B.C. championship on Saturday, the AA varsity football team lost 16-12 to the Mission Roadrunners. Both games were part of the Subway Bowl provincial championships at B.C. Place stadium.

After trailing all game, Barsby, down 16-12 midway through the fourth quarter, had a chance to take its first lead but fumbled inside Mission’s five-yard line.

Barsby’s Robert Morris gave his team one final opportunity, intercepting a pass on his own four-yard line, but the ’Dawgs couldn’t gain ground and punted the football away with three and a half minutes left. They never got it back.

“It hurts like hell,” said Rob Stevenson, coach of the Bulldogs. “The harder you work for something, the harder it is when you come up short.”

The Roadrunners struck first early in the first quarter, intercepting a pass and promptly driving and scoring.

Barsby’s Brodie Virtanen scored on a TD run to tie the game 6-6 and the score held until Mission made it 16-6 early in the third quarter. The Roadrunners had the lead, but the Bulldogs’ physical play and pounding run game started to give them an advantage and led to a Dexter Shea rushing TD that made it 16-12.

The fourth-quarter fumble was Barsby’s fifth turnover of the day.

“When the dust settled, they’d made a couple more plays than we had,” Stevenson said. “If there ever were mistakes made, they were made in an earnest effort with the best of intentions.”

Barsby lineman Jordan Kuziek won a player of the game award. Mission’s players of the game were standouts Kevin Wiens and Jesse Forcier.

Wiens said when the opposition threatened, his team dug in.

“We just thought about the goal, what we wanted most, and that was the championship…” he said. “It feels fantastic.”

For some of Barsby’s graduating Grade 12 players, Saturday’s loss was their first in more than two years, and many of them leave with a 43-4 record on the high school gridiron.

“With the storybook career they all had, it’s a tough ending,” said the coach the day after the game. “So it was really emotional in the changeroom and on the bus ride home. A lot of hugs, and guys saying goodbye that I’m going to see Monday in class.”

GRID BITS … Nate Berg carried the ball 22 times for 155 yards, Shea had 13 carries for 110 yards and the ’Dawgs as a team rushed for 306 yards. QB Isaac Mitchell was 1-for-5 for 12 yards and an interception. Brad Robson led the defence with nine tackles, Berg had six tackles and two sacks and Jacob Odynsky had six tackles and one sack … To read about the junior varsity Bulldogs, provincial champions, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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