North Langley Kodiaks stand tall, down Bears in championship final

Team of Fraser Valley football players shake off disappointment of last year’s championship loss to defeat North Surrey

Football is a game of inches.

In Al Pacino’s famous speech to his team in the movie Any Given Sunday, he tells his team ‘The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.’

The North Langley Kodiaks were faced with that situation.

The Kodiaks led 7-0 against the North Surrey Bears in the B.C. Community Football midget provincial championship game on Sunday at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.

The Bears had the ball at the one-yard line — 12 inches away from scoring what could have been a game-altering touchdown — in the final minute of the first half.

And twice, North Surrey handed the ball off. Both times, they ran up the middle, but the Kodiaks were having none of it, as the Kodiaks defensive line did not give up an inch, stopping them for no gain.

Buoyed by that huge defensive stand, North Langley went into the locker room riding a wave of momentum. The Kodiaks scored two field goals in the second half and while the Bears did find the end zone with two minutes to play, they could not recover the ensuing on-side kick as the Kodiaks held on for a 13-7 victory.

“If it wasn’t for that (goal-line) stand, the game could have gone either way,” admitted North Langley coach Chad Henderson. “The boys were stoked (at the half).

“They stayed calm and just performed.”

The win was also redemption for the Kodiaks, who lost in last year’s championship final.

“Basically, that was our motivation this year, to get back in and win it,” Henderson said. “Beginning of the year we used it (as motivation) to light a fire under the boys’ butts.”

The Kodiaks finished in top spot during the regular season, including two victories over the Bears.

Week 1 saw North Langley prevail 23-14 while in week 8, the Kodiaks rallied from a 20-6 half-time deficit to win 29-27.

The majority of the roster is from North Langley, but there are also players from Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam.

Some of the local players have been together for nearly a decade under Henderson, moving through the age-group ranks, and winning a provincial title in 2014 at the bantam level.

Henderson credited the team’s veteran core of 18-year-olds, as well as his coaching staff, for such a successful season.

“There was a lot of self-motivation as this was the last game for a lot of them,” he said.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

VIDEO: Medea Ebrahimian mourned by friends and family

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

LETTER: Politicians should be held accountable for their decisions

Another letter writer is critical of Langley Township’s handling of the Yorkson community park

Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce to hold series of COVID-related webinars

Tourism updates, Canada Emergency Response Benefit details, and public speaking workshops expected

Langley seniors centre offers food care and tax help but no recreation

The seniors facility has announced a partial reopening with limited services

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read