John Barsby Bulldogs player Trentyn Anderson gains yards after a catch during Friday’s AA varsity high school football game against the Sentinel Spartans at Merle Logan Field. The ’Dawgs shut out the Spartans 37-0.

Pass-happy Bulldogs shut down opponents

John Barsby Secondary School’s AA varsity football team beat the Sentinel Spartans 37-0 on Friday at Merle Logan Field.

The ground-and-pound Barsby Bulldogs have a new game plan this year, and it’s working.

John Barsby Secondary School’s AA varsity football team beat the Sentinel Spartans 37-0 on Friday at Merle Logan Field thanks to a shut-down defence and an aerial attack.

The ’Dawgs set a program record, said coach Rob Stevenson, with 35 pass attempts. All five Barsby touchdowns came through the air.

Usually the Bulldogs are quite content to rush the ball all the way down the field. Stevenson said it’s a novel feeling, like “a woollen turtleneck,” for him to call so many pass plays.

“It’s fun to watch these guys express themselves,” he said. “Barsby really prides themselves on being multi-sport athletes. The senior basketball team’s out on the field right now, playing pitch and catch.”

Mark Dhamia and Tyler Hill caught two TD passes each and Chris DeGoutiere had one, too, a highlight catch in double coverage. North Rainey threw all five TD passes.

“It’s a lot of fun considering Barsby’s always been known as a run-first team and the pass second,” said Rainey. “This year we’ve kind of changed it up a little bit, we’ve been passing a lot and it’s a lot of fun as a quarterback.”

Stevenson said a lot of Barsby’s key guys are ironman players, so a pass-happy offence is a little easier on their bodies.

“Our objective is to get into that post-season tournament with the best draw possible and as healthy as possible,” he said.

As for the shutout, it was the third straight for Barsby’s D.

“You never get tired of them…” said the coach. “They’re the ultimate compliment of a defensive effort.”

Cole Virtanen had 10 tackles and an interception, Hill had two picks and Naythan Vogt had one.

The Nanaimo District Islanders lost 62-24 to the Ballenas Whalers on Friday in Parksville.

GAME ON … The Kocher Classic between the Barsby Bulldogs and Nanaimo District Islanders will be played Friday (Oct. 10) at 7 p.m. at Merle Logan Field. Admission is free.

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