The home team won the first-ever game at Nanaimo’s newest sports facility.
The John Barsby Bulldogs defeated the Langley Saints by a 48-18 score in AA varsity playoff football action Friday, Nov. 10 at the brand-new Nanaimo District Secondary School turf field.
“This is, frankly, the best field in British Columbia, it really is,” said Rob Stevenson, Barsby coach. “We see them all and there’s no comparison.”
He thanked School District 68 and the City of Nanaimo for their efforts to ensure that the field was ready for Friday’s game.
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“From a football perspective, it’s a football field with other lines on it,” Stevenson said. “It’s just so professionally done. It’s a huge surface. It’s going to be a great facility for camps; for all sports it’s going to be great.”
He foresees NDSS field becoming a destination venue for big games.
“It’s a natural amphitheatre; it’s got a stadium feel to it, just with all the buildings around it and the concrete and the echo. We get some Friday night lights out here, it’s going to be a happening,” the coach said.
Andrew Ranftal, one of the Bulldogs captains, joked that there was “nothing like a good mudfight” on Nanaimo District’s old grass field, but he’s happy to see change.
“I love this new field, personally. It’s very impressive and I believe ND is a very lucky team to have their own turf field,” he said.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) November 11, 2017
Stevenson said the facility is going to help to enrich the lives of a lot of young people in years to come.
“There’s going to be so many man hours and woman hours spent out here with people doing the right thing with their lives,” he said.
As for the game, it was out of reach early, 40-6 before the Saints managed some late scores.
“I think it was a good effort overall, but still we need to keep tightening,” said Steen Rasmussen, Barsby running back.
Ranftal called it the Bulldogs’ best game of the season.
“We still have a lot of things to improve on, every team does, but I’m really excited to see how far we can go and I believe in my teammates,” he said.
Barsby quarterback Cam Wright was 13-for-18 passing with three touchdowns. Zach Taylor had 131 receiving yards and two TDs and Kole Postema had five catches and a TD.
Dave Wicks rushed for a touchdown and 85 yards on the day.
Defensively, Steen Rasmussen had three interceptions, taking back two of them for touchdowns, and six tackles. Colin Nutting had six tackles, a fumble recovery and a pick six. Kaden Brown had a sack.
The NDSS Islanders, meanwhile, played a road game Friday in AAA varsity playoff action and were shut out by a blowout score against the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
GAME ON … The Bulldogs will travel to play the Vernon Panthers in the AA varsity B.C. quarterfinals next week in the Okanagan.