Nanaimo Redmen receiver Jonah Wassell

Nanaimo Redmen receiver Jonah Wassell

Redmen stand tall, reach final

The Nanaimo Redmen defeated the Cowichan Bulldogs 14-9 on Sunday in Duncan in the Vancouver Mainland Football League semifinals.

Nanaimo stopped Cowichan cold and won a huge playoff game.

The Nanaimo Redmen defeated the Cowichan Bulldogs 14-9 on Sunday in Duncan in the Vancouver Mainland Football League semifinals.

The Redmen were able to stop up the Bulldogs late in the fourth quarter on a goal-line stand to protect a lead. They gave up a safety on the ensuing series, but stopped the Bulldogs again and time ran out.

Nanaimo coach Sean Roden said his team installed a new defence just to game-plan against Cowichan’s power run game.

“The boys embraced it, they were all confident it would work and it did,” he said. “They executed it beautifully.”

Austin Lyle threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jonah Wassell in the first quarter and then Lyle dove for another TD in the third quarter.

“Cowichan plays really good defence, but we were able to have the majority of the possession of the ball and did quite well in field position,” Roden said.

The victory vaults the Redmen into the VMFL final for the first time since they won the league championship in 2009, so Sunday’s win was a big one.

“When you look at the joy in their faces winning that game, you realize what you’re doing it for,” Roden said. “They’re so excited.”

GAME ON … The Redmen play the North Surrey Bears on Sunday (Dec. 1) at 4:30 p.m. at Langley’s McLeod Athletic Park.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com