© John DeCoste - kingscountynews.ca
Parker King, left shown here on a punt return, and his bantam Bulldogs teammates hosted the Timberlea Titans Sept. 28 in Canning. Both teams were unbeaten going into the weekend match, but the Titans earned a 30-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
By John DeCoste
The Valley Peewee and Bantam Bulldogs both improved to 3-0 on the season with wins Sept. 20-22, while the Atom Bulldogs earned their first victory.
The Peewees scored a 28-0 win Sept. 22 in Bedford. Head coach Kevin Hayes had termed the game “our first real test of the season,” and the final margin of victory would suggest the Bulldogs passed that test with flying colours.
Bedford played a “touch defence,” he said, which limited the Valley offence to 82 yards on the ground and 95 through the air.
The Bulldogs’ defence, though, was dominant, limiting Bedford’s effectiveness on offence and giving the Valley offence short fields to work with.
Coach Hayes cited linebackers Logan Potter, John Van Luxemborg and Jaydon King, who combined for 10 tackles and two sacks, as keys to the victory on defence.
Jayden Simmonds chipped in two tackles and four sacks on defence, while the defensive line of Josh Cummins, Ethan Sperling, Emma Banfield, Myles Sweet and Keegan Ward “performed well and limited any progress in the middle.”
Offensively, Alex Hayes completed five of eight passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for another score. Simmonds rushed 10 times for 54 net yards and one touchdown, Micah McDowell hauled in a 29-yard touchdown pass, and Kaleb Winter added a pair of two-point conversions.
The Bantam Bulldogs had a little harder time of it before improving to 3-0 by pulling out a 25-21 win Sept. 20 in Truro.
Leading 21-19 with less than two minutes remaining, the hometown Freightliners looked poised to score the victory, but special teams turned out to be their undoing.
With a minute to play, the Valley defence forced Truro to punt, then Austin States ran the kick back 55 yards into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
It was the second special teams touchdown of the game for the Bulldogs. Earlier, Parker King, who finished with three touchdowns in the game, returned a kick for a major score of his own.
King and Connor Ross led the way for the Bulldogs offensively, while Cam Smith, Tyler Corbin and Jordan Smith starred on the defensive side of the ball.
The Atom Bulldogs, meanwhile, blanked Halifax 14-0 for their first win of the 2013 season. The Bulldogs defence was strong throughout, limiting Halifax to very few yards gained.
Offensively, Owen McCrae had all 14 of his team’s points. McCrae rushed for a touchdown and added a two-point conversion to put Valley up 8-0 at halftime.
McCrae then added a pair of field goals of 20-yards-plus in the second half. This is pretty much unheard of at the Atom level, where most players struggle to convert kicks from the regular point-after-touchdown distance, much less 20 yards.