The Nanaimo Redmen are probably as good an 0-5 football team as there has ever been in the Vancouver Mainland Football League.
The city’s midget team reached the mid-point of the 2012 season with a 28-23 road loss to the Coquitlam Falcons on Sunday. It continued a trend for the Redmen – every loss this season has been by one touchdown or fewer.
“At times we played really well,” said Sean Roden, coach of the Redmen. “After five straight losses, I think that the spirit and the feeling on the bench was by far the most positive after this one.”
The visitors had a rough start. Roden said he “put his foot down” after spotty attendance at practice and started guys who have demonstrated better commitment. It meant a slightly more inexperienced lineup, and Nanaimo found itself trailing 14-0 five minutes in.
The red team got some momentum back as Trent Wright’s 75-yard catch and run from quarterback Dylan Tucker brought his team to the two-yard line, where Tucker ran a sneak for a touchdown.
Tucker would add a five-yard TD run and a 30-yard TD throw to Jonah Wassell. Spencer Vos kicked a 25-yard field goal.
The defence benefited from the return of linebacker Ethan Schulz from injury, and he and the rest of the unit did a good job of stopping the run as the game wore on.
Roden said he and his players recognize that the second half of the schedule might be more favourable, and the VMFL’s playoff format means that a 3-7 record should be good enough to qualify for post-season play.
“Kids can get discouraged pretty easily but they’re really not,” said the coach. “The vast majority of them are really staying upbeat and positive and continuing to work hard.”
GAME ON … The Redmen host the Cowichan Bulldogs on Sunday (Oct. 7) in a 1 p.m. kickoff at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park.