Tenacious ‘D’ was the key to victory for the Comox Valley Midget Raiders on Nov. 8 as they dominated the Cowichan Timbermen 22-0 at Bill Moore Memorial Park in Courtenay.
Playing their final game of the season, the Raiders were looking to avenge a 21-20 loss to the T-Men earlier this season. With this game on their home field, and with the support of all the Raider fans, the result was much different.
“This was a game that the Raiders wanted to badly win as they felt that they gave the Timbermen the win in their last game, having held a 20-6 lead in the fourth quarter,” a Raiders’ spokesperson said.
The Raiders defence was a force all game and really set the tone for the game. The Timbermen had trouble handling the Raiders’ defensive front seven all game as they held the visitors in check and pressured their QB all game.
Middle linebacker Brody Fussell played a strong game and on a key play in the opening quarter hit the Timbermen running back and stripped the ball and recovered his own forced fumble.
In the first quarter the Raiders opened the scoring with a punt for a single point by Jimmy Brazier before running back Duncan Simpson added a touchdown run. Brazier added a successful convert kick to give the Raiders an 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Raiders’ defensive dominance was on full display as they sacked the quarterback four times and continually shut down the Cowichan offence. On one drive linebacker Brazier and defensive end Darby Misener had back-to-back sacks. Brazier and Misener also combined on a joint sack later in the quarter. Linebacker Fussell also contributed with his own QB sack.
On the final play of the first half quarterback Braydon Sherwood hit receiver Aaron Slack for a 50-yard TD pass. Slack had an impressive run after the catch all the way into the end zone assisted by some excellent down-field blocking. Brazier again converted the touchdown to give the Raiders all the momentum going into half time with a 15-0 lead.
The second half saw a stalemate in the third quarter before the Raiders finished off the T-Men with another touchdown in the fourth quarter. On third and three from the Timbermen eight-yard line the Raiders’ second quarterback Ryan Beauchamp took a boot leg to the left and rumbled in for the major. Brazier booted his third successful convert kick.
The Raiders’ defence ensured the shut out with continued strong play. Notable defensive plays in the fourth quarter were linebacker Richard Tipper with a sack for a 14 yard loss and linebacker Fussell with a big tackle on third and eight to cause a turnover on downs.
While the season did not always go as planned for the Raiders, this was a great game for them to conclude their season. The Raiders defence, led by the front seven play of linemen Misener, Jaco Roos, Deakon Gilmore, and Jesse Valdock, and linebackers Brazier, Fussell and Tipper, had an outstanding performance.
“The Raiders’ defence has played well all season and this game was just another example of the hard work put in all season by defensive coordinator Josh Revenberg,” the team spokesperson said.
The offence was led by the strong play of Brazier, Simpson and Slack, all playing their final games as Raiders. This was also head coach Ryan Pederson’s last game as he has decided to take a well-deserved break from coaching.
“The Raiders’ organization wants to recognize and thank Pederson for all his years of coaching as being a volunteer coach is a time-consuming endeavour and his efforts are greatly appreciated,” the spokesperson said.
The Raiders will conclude their season with the annual awards banquet in the coming weeks. While the Raiders are sad to see their senior players move on to their next adventures, the Raiders Midget team now begins to shift their focus to next season.
The Raiders are always welcoming new players. No previous football experience is required and the only equipment needed is a pair of cleats. For more information go to comoxvalleyraiders.com