Call it the Storm Bowl.
The Barsby Bulldogs and Clarence Fulton Maroons kicked off the 2011 AA varsity football playoffs Friday afternoon in bitter cold, driving rain and howling wind.
Fans might forget the final score – 46-0 for the home team – but they won’t forget how their mettle was tested by winds strong enough to blow over loudspeaker equipment at Merle Logan Field.
“That’s a game everybody will remember for that reason,” said Rob Stevenson, Barsby coach. “It must have been a rogue element of that storm that hit Alaska. It was wild.”
When the Maroons weren’t being pelted by rain, they were being hit by Bulldogs players, over and over again.
The home team had more than twice as large a roster as the visitors.
“They looked pretty short benched but they fought, gosh darn it,” Stevenson said.
The ’Dawgs were dominant, owning field position and chewing up yardage en route to a 40-0 halftime lead. The remainder of the game was played run time.
“You challenge them to execute as if the game’s 0-0, that you finish with the same focus and intensity that you started the game with,” Stevenson said. “Standards don’t get lowered.”
Because the score was so lopsided, the Bulldogs were able to share around playing time and it showed on the box score, as Barsby’s seven touchdowns were scored by seven different players.
Tyler Vollet had a 51-yard touchdown catch from Isaac Mitchell, and Brad Robson, Jacob Odynsky, Dexter Shea and Tim Hampson all had rushing majors. Nate Berg returned a punt for a TD and Kyle Vollet returned an interception for a TD. It was one of two picks on the day for the JV call-up.
Other defensive stats saw Berg make five tackles to go with a sack and Robson with four tackles and a sack.
The Bulldogs will now prepare to take on Abbotsford Collegiate at the University of British Columbia on Friday (Nov. 18) at 3 p.m..
So Friday’s Storm Bowl was the last home action of the year for Barsby, and they appreciated the cheers.
“A big shout out to the folks out there in red and black that came out to support their team and endured the exact same weather as everybody on the field,” Stevenson said.
GRID BITS … The Nanaimo District Islanders were supposed to play a playoff game Friday, as well, but the contest got cancelled the day before. A mainland team was penalized on a player-eligibility issue, shaking up the Tier 2 varsity playoff brackets and giving NDSS an unexpected first-round bye. NDSS will face Timberline on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at NDSS field.