The Nanaimo Redmen, coming off a one-point loss, feel like they could be on the cusp of turning things around.
The city's Vancouver Mainland Football League midget team (0-3) lost 22-21 to the North Surrey Bears on Sunday on the mainland.
"It was by far the best game we've played so far this year, the most consistent," said Sean Roden, coach of the Redmen.
It was the third straight game in which Nanaimo has lost by four points or fewer.
The red team was mostly hurt by a couple of big plays on Sunday. An interception-return touchdown late in the second quarter made it 8-0 for the home team at the half, and then, just after the Redmen took their first lead at 14-8, the Bears broke free for a 75-yard rushing TD.
The teams traded touchdowns from there and Nanaimo couldn't quite get into scoring range in the dying moments.
"If it wasn't for two plays, we outplayed that team quite convincingly through the whole game, on both offence and defence," Roden said. "There was more positives to take out of this game than either of the first two."
Running back Devon Carlie scored a 10-yard touchdown as part of a big day that saw him finish in the neighbourhood of 150 rushing yards. Quarterback Dylan Tucker scored a TD on a two-yard sneak and also threw a 35-yard TD to Payton Paladini.
Fullback James Danylchuk and the Redmen offensive line as a whole had a strong game and Matt Vandervelde was the player of the game on defence.
GAME ON … The Redmen midget team hosts the North Delta Longhorns (2-1) on Sunday (Sept. 23) in a 4 p.m. kickoff at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.