The Nanaimo Redmen went to the ground to beat Island rival Victoria Spartans 22-10 on Sunday at May Bennett Pioneer Park in Vancouver Mainland Football League midget action.
The Redmen punched in three touchdowns along the ground - Jake Borserio with two and Riley Savard with the other - and the defence shut down the Spartans after an early score.
The win improved the Redmen to 4-1 on the season, keeping them in contention for first in the league.
"If we're able to stay healthy we're in good shape," said Redmen head coach Sean Roden. "We're a good team and we have small numbers, so injuries effect us in a big way, but right now we're pretty healthy. We only had 22 players dressed today, but they sucked it up."
For the Redmen it was one of their most complete games of the year and already doubles their win total from 2012, when they finished 2-8. Still, they are acutely aware that they have a lot of work to do, to get to where they want to be.
"Our D-line needs to be more aggressive, we're not getting much pass rush," said Roden. "We don't blitz a lot, so we really rely on our D-line to get pressure on the quarterback and sometimes we let them get away from us.
"On offence, we just need to be there all the time, the same guys, running the play so our trapping blocks work and they were better today. It's just repetition in practice, so that we are sharper in the game."
Borserio, 16, led Nanaimo on the ground, as he scored two touchdowns, including one in the final two minutes of the game to put the score out of reach. He was a useful battering ram all game, and was spelled by Marcus Severe, who was also effective.
"When you're able to grins the ball out against a team that doesn't have a high-powered offence, you're able to run the clock down and we were able to do that," said Roden.
Their defence was solid all game, creating several turnovers - including two fumble recoveries by Steven Bowen, and a blocked punt by Austin Lyle - and kept the Spartans' offence under wraps after giving up an early touchdown.
"It's the same as they've been all year, it been outstanding - we take away the run," said Roden. "We even switched to a 30 front for the second half to take away the pass, and they still couldn't run on us."
Up next for the Redmen are the winless Coquitlam Falcons on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Nanaimo.
Buccaneers bounce back against rival Generals
It did not take long for the Nanaimo Buccaneers to bounce back from their first defeat of the Vancouver Island Junior B Hockey League season, as they beat the Oceanside Generals 7-1 in Parksville on Saturday.
Jordan Levesque led Nanaimo with a natural hat-trick in the third period while Garrett Dunlop, Daniel Foglietta, Noah Russi and Shane Dial scored singles. Alex Mastrodonato made 14 saves for the win.
Cory Burnett scored the Generals lone goal while Alex Olson stopped 37 of the 44 shots he faced.
Burrett finishes third at Rock n Roll half marathon
Nanaimo long distance runner Erin Burrett destroyed her personal best time at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Jose on Sunday.
Burrett finished in a time of one hour, 17 minutes and three seconds, besting her previous best of 1:19.57 by almost three full minutes, to finish third overall among all women. The only downside was she missed out on $250 in prize money by just four seconds. She has not settled yet on her next race.
Hornets buzzing early in B.C. Rugby Div. 1 action
The Nanaimo Hornets Rugby Club Div. I men's team improved to 2-1 on season with a 57-10 win over the Velox Academy in the Cowichan Cup on Saturday, rebounding from a 22-5 defeat the previous week in Cowichan. Up next is a road game against the Velox Valhallians on Saturday on Oct. 26.
The Hornets Sr. Women's Division team, however, had a tough weekend, losing 60-10 to Velox at May Bennett Pioneer Park on Saturday to fall to 1-2. They next host Cowichan on Oct. 19 at 11:30 a.m. at May Bennett Pioneer Park.
Storm tie Riptide in Upper Island battle
The Upper Island Storm U-16 girls managed a 0-0 tie with the Upper Island Riptide in Vancouver Island Premier League soccer action on Friday night.
Meridian Best picked up the shut out for North Island.
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