Comox Valley Raiders foiled by Coquitlam Falcons in Midget football tilt

Raiders' QB Braydon Sherwood hands the ball to running back Jimmy Brazier during Midget football action in Courtenay.

Raiders' QB Braydon Sherwood hands the ball to running back Jimmy Brazier during Midget football action in Courtenay.

The Coquitlam Falcons were ranked #1. But the Comox Valley Raiders almost had their number when they hosted the Vancouver Mainland Football League’s top-ranked team.

Bill Moore Memorial Park in Courtenay was the setting on Sunday, Oct. 25 for an entertaining Midget football tilt that saw the Raiders put up a good fight before falling 20-8 to the undefeated Falcons.

The visitors opened the scoring with a first quarter touchdown pass, but the Raiders responded with a second quarter TD run by running back Jimmy Brazier. The Raiders played well and led 7-6 at half time as the Falcons failed to convert their touchdown.

The Raiders limited the Falcons’ offence in the first half, and were assisted by a second quarter interception by halfback Aaron Slack on the Raiders’ goal line.

The Falcons opened the second half with an onside kick, but middle linebacker Brody Fussell forced and recovered a fumble from the Falcon running back on the next play to give the Raiders the ball back. Despite consistently moving the ball, the Raiders could not finish their drives.

The Falcons took the lead in the third quarter with a TD run and two-point convert. In the fourth quarter the Raiders scored a punt single before the Falcons finished the scoring with a touchdown pass, followed by an unsuccessful convert attempt.

“We had our opportunities but some unfortunate turnovers proved to be costly,” a Raiders’ spokesperson said. “Late in the game we were on the Falcons’ goal line but just could not put the ball in for a touchdown.”

The Raider coaches were proud of the way their team played against the #1 Falcons. The Raiders gave their supporters an entertaining game to watch and the supporters were loud and clearly into the game.

Notable Raider performances go the defensive line, led by a sack from defensive end Owen Mcleod who pressured the Falcons’ QB all game. On offence, Braydon Sherwood filled in admirably at the pivot position for the injured Ryan Beauchamp.

The last chance for local fans to see the Raiders this season will be their next game Nov. 8 against the Cowichan Timbermen. The Raiders will be looking to avenge a one-point loss to the T-Men earlier this season.