Redmen through to semifinals

The Nanaimo Redmen shut out the Langley Stampeders 23-0 on Sunday at Caledonia Park in Vancouver Mainland Football League playoff action.

Nanaimo Redmen player Alex Kutra

Nanaimo Redmen player Alex Kutra

Two football teams took the field intent on forcing the play. Only one team got its way.

The Nanaimo Redmen shut out the Langley Stampeders 23-0 on Sunday at Caledonia Park in Vancouver Mainland Football League playoff action.

“We played well and took it to them physically on both sides of the ball,” said Sean Roden, coach of the Redmen.

The game was moved to the unfamiliar venue because Caledonia had a lot less snow than the north end’s Pioneer Park. But it was still sloppy out there, meaning the run game was paramount for both teams.

“What they do best, similar to us, is run the ball first and we completely established early on that they weren’t going to be able to do that on us and it forced them out of their game plan, I’m sure,” Roden said.

The Stamps made only three first downs all day, getting stopped twice on third-and-inches. Defensively for the Redmen, Taylor Saine, Ethan Schulz, Jordan Pugh and Devon Carli took away Langley’s outside run game and the whole D line was dominant in the middle of the field. Another defensive highlight came from veteran Mike Haverstock, who made a touchdown-saving tackle on the last play of the first half after sprinting to catch a Stamps player who was trying to return a fumble to paydirt.

Alex Kutra scored two second-half touchdowns and Kalden Keen had Nanaimo’s other major. Adrian Keller had an interception early in the game.

GAME ON … The Redmen will face the No. 1 seeded, undefeated White Rock Titans on Sunday (Nov. 27) on the mainland.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com