In another close game that went right to the final whistle – and despite outplaying the opposition for most of the game – the Comox Valley Raiders Midget football team dropped a 21-20 heartbreaker to the Cowichan Timbermen, Oct. 4 in Cowichan.
The game started slowly as both offences took time to get going. The Timbermen were first to march down the field, but the Raiders came up with an interception to stymie the drive. Cowichan attempted to throw deep but cornerback Jessie Elliott’s well-timed hit on the receiver as he was attempting to make the catch caused the football to go to Raiders’ safety Brandon White who made the pick.
The Timbermen answered back before the end of the first quarter as they once again drove the field and this time ran the ball in for a 6-0 lead. The Raiders blocked the convert attempt.
The second quarter belonged to the Raiders as they were clicking on both offence and defence. They started with a long drive that was capped by a TD by running back Duncan Simpson on third and goal from the Timbermen two-yard line. Jimmy Brazier kicked the convert to give the Raiders a 7-6 lead.
The Raiders added another touchdown as pivot Ryan Beauchamp ran in a quarterback sneak on the Timbermen goal line. This time the convert kick was wide but the Raiders had a 13-6 lead.
Late in the second quarter the Timbermen put together a successful drive, but on second and goal with under two minutes left in the half defensive tackle Jaco Roos stuffed an inside run and forced a fumble. Outside linebacker Duncan Simpson pounced on the ball to preserve the Raiders’ 13-6 lead.
The third quarter was much like the first as both offences had trouble moving the football. The only scoring opportunity was a field goal attempt by the Timbermen but the Raiders’ defence collapsed the line and tackle Deakon Gilmore got an arm on the football to cause the block and keep the score 13-6.
In the fourth quarter the Raiders’ offence began to move the ball and drove the length of the field. Beauchamp first hit running back Brazier with a 40-yard pass. Running back Simpson then scampered 12 yards to the Timbermen two-yard line before plunging in for the score on the next play for his second TD of the game. Brazier kicked the convert to give the Raiders a 20-6 lead.
The T-men tried to answer back but Roos had a big sack on the first play of the Cowichan drive. On the next play Roos again got in on the quarterback and hit him as he threw the ball. Safety White snared the errant pass and returned the ball close to the Timbermen 10-yard line.
A penalty on the return brought the ball back to the 25-yard line. The Raiders’ offence stalled and went backward with a holding call. An attempt to pin the Timbermen deep with a punt backfired when the returner raced almost 100 yards to the house. The Timbermen missed the convert to make the score 20-13.
This touchdown seemed to swing the momentum. Cowichan stopped the Raiders’ next drive to get the ball back with minutes left. They then drove and scored with 44 seconds left to close the gap to 20-19.
Opting to go for the two-point convert and the win, the T-men ran the ball outside and just managed to get across the goal line and secure the come-from-behind 21-20 win.
With the way this game ended the Raiders will definitely be looking for revenge when they host the Timbermen on Nov. 8 at Bill Moore Memorial Park. The next game for the Raiders is Sunday, Oct. 11 against the Langley Stampeders at 2:30 p.m. at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.