An in-game adjustment helped the North Langley Bears defeat the Abbotsford Falcons 31-0.
The junior bantam football teams were playing under the lights last Friday at McLeod Athletic Park.
After the Falcons opened the game blitzing heavily, the Bears switched quarterback Owen Sieben into a shotgun position. With centre Noah Look delivering the snap on time, that bought the Bears a few extra seconds before the rush hit and got the offence on track.
Ryan Goeson, Lance Barker and Jordon Tomica broke off big inside runs while Juan Valie ripped off a pair of 50-plus yard touchdown runs. And when the Falcons adjusted to key on the running game, North Langley aired the ball out, including a difficult 40-yard touchdown reception from Grayson Gehrer.
The Bears defence had a stellar game in keeping Abbotsford out of the end zone.
Danny Lambert, James Avilov, Ian McRitchie and Hunter Patterson held their ground at the line of scrimmage, allowing opportunities for Nicholas Reimer and Ethan Sledding to get into the back field to make plays. And any Falcons ball carriers who did manage to slip out were quickly greeted by the linebacking trio of Matthew Vandas, Jordan Williams and Kayden Bell. Bell also came down with a couple of pass knockdowns.
And Mathieu Gale also came up with a 55-yard pick-6.
The ferry ride home was even sweeter for the North Langley Kodiaks.
The midget football team was in Langford defeating the Victoria Spartans by a whopping 50-0 score.
Victoria’s defence started strongly but the Kodiaks defence picked the offence up courtesy of a pick-6 from Charlie May. May also added a field goal for a 10-0 lead.
After that, North Langley’s offence found some traction, extending the lead to 30-0 at the half with touchdowns from Drey Blair (70 yard run) and then quarterback Austin Balzer connecting first with Adam Brass for a 20-yard touchdown reception and then after the Victoria defence tipped Balzer’s pass, Alex Henderson adjusted and made the catch and ran it in for the major.
Ryan Barthelson opened the second half with a 75-yard kick-off return touchdown.
North Langley closed the game with Isaiah Key hitting Brass in the end zone from 35 yards out and then Balzer finding Brendan Piegsa for yet another score.
David Wegert and Michael Huggan both had catches to keep drives alive while Ethan Bernardin and Jared Slater also moved the chains with strong runs.
On defence, Ethan Croome forced a fumble, which was recovered by Mason Block, while Rhiley Deboer, Kalum MacPherson, Yunjae Boo, Nolan Speers and Block came up with several devastating tackles. And Barthelson and Timothy Janke each were able to bring down the Victoria quarterback with sacks.
The win improved North Langley to 5-0 ahead of their showdown on Oct. 7 against another 5-0 squad, the Langley Stampeders.
The Stampeders defeated the Westside Warriors 41-6 on Sunday at McLeod Athletic Park.
Colton Dejong led the defence with six tackles, while Joe Nickel, James Clifford, Stryker Roloff and Kai Sommerville each brought down three Warrior ball-carriers. Nickel, with two, Jacob Rohan, Cam’ron Lobban, Noah Wells, and Sommerville, all came up with quarterback sacks.
Sheldon Gangloff and Roloff had interceptions and Harry Sommerville recovered a fumble and ran it back for the major.
On the offensive side of the ball, Shawn Lal threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while also running one in himself.
Two of the touchdowns went to Chavis Spencer, who also led the team with 145 receiving yards, while Azuka Okoli had 205 total yards (120 rushing, 85 receiving) and a touchdown both on the ground and through the air.
On special teams, Joshua Fletcher was good on five of six convert attempts while Kofi Twumasi delivered several booming kick-offs.
Kaleb Reemeyer scored his team’s lone touchdown as the North Langley bantam Bears fell 16-6.
The Bears were in Vancouver on Sunday against the Westside Warriors.
Jackson Carlson came up with a fumble recovery while Chris Morrison, Ethan Holland, Luke Sommerville and Ciaran Davies had strong games for the defence.
On offence, Callum Middleton had a spectacular diving catch, Coltrane Davyduck’s was able to break outside for some long runs, and quarterback Jessie Nielsen pulled out a dazzling spin move to elude a tackle.
And Mitchell Gibbs was solid on the punt return.
The North Langley Bears fell 40-8 to the Meadow Ridge Knights Blue team in atom football on Saturday in Maple Ridge.
The Bears had trouble moving the ball against a tough Knights defence.
North Langley’s defensive line trio of Levi Mangroo, Callum Berkey and Zion Miller led the team in tackles.