It was a hard fought battle between the Oceanside Titans (10-0) and rival Harewood Bulldogs (7-3) right to the end, but the 12-13 year olds from Parksville/Qualicum were able to finish their perfect season with a 26-0 victory.
The game was a defensive battle from the start as Harewood was able to force a fumble on the Titans’ first play from scrimmage. That was followed up just three plays later with an interception by Kolby Jack for Oceanside.
The two teams then traded fourth down stops on defence until Matt Giroux opened the scoring for the Titans on the first play of the second quarter, on a 42-yard run through the heart of the Harewood defence for the major.
The Titans took control of the game on the next kickoff when they were able to force a fumble that was recovered by Jeremy Fensome.
The Bulldogs showed some life before halftime and were driving into Titans territory before their defence came up big again, forcing a fumble recovered by Giroux.
The Titans picked up where they left off in the second half, as Giroux ran 63-yards for his third score of the day after the defence came up with another big fourth down stop in their own territory. The Titans defence continued to dominate until the end, with their third shutout of the year.
Michael Clapoff added the final score for the Titans from six yards out to seal the game in the fourth quarter. Giroux was named game MVP with three TD’s, six tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery. Josh Rice lead the way on defence with nine tackles, while Connor Knutson added six tackles and a sack.
“It truly was a magical season,” said head coach Brad Burns. “The boys did everything we preached from Day One. We got better each week, and we blocked, tackled and took care of the football better than I’ve ever seen before. Our line on both sides of the ball were the unsung heroes of the entire season. We started with just 12 players, but everyone came together and made all of the coaches proud. The kids’ hard work paid off in the end.”
— NEWS Staff/Submitted by Brad Burns