Perseverance pays off for Redmen

Nanaimo Redmen players Devon Carli, front, and James Danylchuk chase a North Langley Bears opponent during Sunday
Nanaimo Redmen players Devon Carli, front, and James Danylchuk chase a North Langley Bears opponent during Sunday's Vancouver Mainland Football League game at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park. The Redmen won 48-0.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

The Nanaimo Redmen finally won their first game, and better yet, it's not too late.

The city's Vancouver Mainland Football League midget team (1-8) whalloped the North Langley Bears (2-7) by a 48-0 score on Sunday at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.

"It sucks when you lose and we were losing and losing because we just weren't finishing," said Dylan Tucker, Redmen quarterback. "It finally came together today and it feels great."

Sean Roden, Redmen coach, said his team didn't necessarily play any better than it had in other games this season, but perhaps limited mistakes at key times.

"I'm not really super excited about this win, but I'm relieved," said the coach. "We got off the schneid, so to speak."

The red team took advantage of its scoring opportunities and was effective with the ground game. James Danylchuk scored two rushing touchdowns and Dylan Tucker, Jonah Wassell, Jon Evenson and Rob Vlaj also scored run TDs. Trent Wright added a punt return touchdown.

Thanks to the VMFL's generous playoff structure, one win could be enough to lift the Redmen into the post-season. The team is well aware of those possible playoff scenarios, since it has never given up throughout a trying season.

"We've lost so many tough games and it's only brought us closer as a football team, as friends," Tucker said.

Nanaimo has one regular-season game remaining, on the road Saturday (Nov. 3) against the Chilliwack Giants (7-2). A loss and the Redmen could still make the playoffs, but they'll be playing to win.

"To a man we all believe that we're a far better team than our record shows," said Roden. "And a team that is as good as we think we can be should make the playoffs and should do some damage in the playoffs, at least be a threat."

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