Barsby goes to battle in semifinal

Nanaimo's Barsby Bulldogs take the field against the Mission Roadrunners this Saturday (Nov. 23) at UBC.

Barsby Bulldogs players Parker Bowles

Barsby Bulldogs players Parker Bowles

Mission impossible? Maybe, maybe not.

The Barsby Bulldogs take the field against the Mission Roadrunners this Saturday (Nov. 23) at UBC with a berth in the Subway Bowl championship on the line.

If the two powerhouse AA varsity football programs are meeting up on the gridiron, then it must be that time of year, the time of year when the games matter most.

“As a program and coaches, we’ve been at each other in the playoffs in one form or another since 2010. We’re not strangers to these guys,” said Rob Stevenson, coach of the Bulldogs. “Their players know our players, our players know them; there’s a lot of mutual respect, I think.”

The Roadrunners are a speedy, skilful team with a handful of stars.

“We’ve got to be able to tackle out in space and not let them get the ball in their playmakers’ hands,” Stevenson said.

Kyle Vollet, Bulldogs linebacker, said Mission has some “pure athletes” whom the ’Dawgs will need to tackle by committee.

“It’s got to be great angles and good speed getting to the football,” he said. “Truly it’s got to be all 11 men getting to the football this weekend.”

Barsby’s offence will look a little different than Mission’s. The ’Dawgs can pass the ball when they need to, but their bread and butter is the run game.

“Good power football,” Vollet said. “We like to smash people in the mouth and we’re going to keep that going.”

Both programs are undefeated in 2013, so something’s going to give on Saturday.

“If we play confidently and we play within our system, it should be a good day,” Vollet said.

A good day for a mission, one that the Bulldogs choose to accept.

“What a big game that’s going to be,” Stevenson said. “It’s going to be a fun game.”

GAME ON … Barsby and Mission kick off Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium … To read about Barsby’s quarter-final victory, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com