The Nanaimo Redmen survived a scare on Sunday afternoon, beating the last place Coquitlam Falcons 27-9 in Vancouver Mainland Football League midget action.
The Redmen (5-1) led just 7-0 at the half and head coach Sean Roden let his players know it was unacceptable. They came back out and looked much better in the second half, led by unexpected touchdowns by linemen Ethan Schulz and Chae Faickney while Riley Savard returned a fumble 90 yards for a score.
"Coquitlam was 0-5 and despite some of my warnings, the players weren't up for the game as much as they could have been," said Roden. "At half time we had a talk and I think in the second half they came out and showed much more stick-to-itiveness."
Schulz usually plays right guard, but was inserted at full back for his touchdown, meanwhile Faickney was used on back-to-back running plays, pulling him from his position on the line. The two runs combined for 25 yards as he broke across the line.
"It's good for morale," said Roden. "Those two players are two of our captains and two of our most dedicated players. It's a fun thing to do."
The win puts the Redmen to 5-1 on the season, a much-improved mark over their 2-8 campaign last year. Still, Roden says the change has not been that drastic, they just could not buy a break in 2012.
"Last year was a very strange year, we were a much better team than our record indicated, we lost seven games by seven points or less," said Roden.
"This year we are getting the score to go our way."
Up next for Nanaimo is the North Surrey Bears (5-2-0) on Sunday at May Bennett Pioneer Park in Nanaimo. They have had a fairly soft schedule through their first six games, but with teams like the Bears, Cowichan Bulldogs (6-1-0) and Langley Stampeders (6-0-0) due up over their final four games, they will get a true sense of how good they really are.
"We do have the ability, we have the talent, and we have the execution a lot of the time and it's getting better every week," said Roden. "In two weeks, we have White Rock which is really struggling this year, but other than that we have three of the top four teams."
VIU Mariners split opening weekend The Vancouver Island University Mariners men's volleyball team split their opening Pacific Western Athletic Association weekend with the Camosun Chargers.
The Chargers won 3-1 (31-33, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21) on Friday at VIU, but the M's rebounded to win 3-2 (19-25, 28-26, 25-22, 15-25, 15-7) on Saturday in Victoria.
"It was sort of expected," said VIU head coach Abe Avender. "I hate losing at home, but it was nice to go down there and win in five. Some guys have some growing up to do."
On a positive note, every team in the PacWest split this weekend, so VIU did not lose any ground.
The Mariners got ahead of themselves on Saturday after rallying to take a 2-1 lead, but played very poorly in the fourth set. Things were not looking much better in the fifth set when the Chargers took a 4-1 lead, but then VIU took over at the service line. Zach Grigg got five straight points off of his serve then Avender put Niall Cobbe in as a sub and he proceeded to get six straight points off his serve as VIU rolled to the five-set victory.
"It was like the greatest serving sub in the history of the world," said Avender. "Normally your serving sub will get you one maybe two max. .. so it was awesome, a good morale booster." Dillon Collett finished the weekend with 16 kills on Friday and 17 on Saturday while Grigg had 16 kills on Friday and 14 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Victoria native Nick Stefankis started for the first time at libero and was solid.
The women, meanwhile, swept Camosun, winning 3-1 (25-8, 25-27, 25-17, 25-23) on Saturday and 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-20) on Saturday.
Up next for VIU is the College of the Rockies Avalanche on Saturday and Sunday in Nanaimo Clippers shut out Cowichan Valley Capitals The Nanaimo Clippers ended their four-game losing skid on Saturday, shutting out the Cowichan Valley Clippers 3-0. Colton Dahlen scored once in each of the first two periods and Mason Mitchell added a third in the final frame. Jayson Argue made 24 saves for the shutout.
The Clippers host the Victoria Grizzlies on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.
© Copyright 2013