North Langley Bears Callum Middleton fends off a Chilliwack Giants tackle during the bantam season opener at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. Langley won 14-0. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: North Langley Bears open football season

All-day event at McLeod Athletic Park

The North Langley Bears opened their 2018 fall tackle season at McLeod Athletic Park on the Labour Day weekend.

The Saturday event featured a pancake breakfast, carnival games, dunk tanks, prizes and draws and a day of football with every Bears team, starting with flag football at 8:30 a.m.

After the atom and peewee Meadow Ridge Knights blanked the Bears teams (36-0 and 21-0 respectively), the junior bantam Bears beat the bantam Knights 44-38, staging a comeback win that saw the Langley team down 38-14 in the third quarter, then go on to score 30 unanswered points to win.

The bantam Bears, meanwhile, cut the Chilliwack Giants down to size with a 14-0 win.

A midget game was scheduled, but had to be canceled because the other team didn’t have enough players.

The opening day festivities are the big fundraiser of the year for the North Langley Football Association (NLFA), home to the Bears and the Kodiaks.

READ MORE: North Langley Kodiaks win championship final

NLFA is a community football association for kids six to 18, part of the Valley Community Football League (VCFL) which consists of teams from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, North Langley, Maple Ridge and Mission.

Last years, the NLFA, began as the Walnut Grove Bears before re-branding to North Langley, celebrated its 25th anniversary.

After coming perilously close to folding seven years ago, the association has nearly tripled in size with roughly 170 players registered in flag, atom, peewee, junior bantam, bantam and midget North Langley teams combined in 2017.

READ MORE: Bears’ birthday bash

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Chilliwack Giants no. 8 runs into some heavy traffic during Saturday’s season opener against the North Langley Bears at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Two players, one ball. Bears versus Giants at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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