PARKSVILLE – The Junior Bantam Oceanside Titans won their semi-final football match-up against rival Campbell River Sunday afternoon to advance to the Mid-Island Co-op League Championship game.
It was a classic defensive battle on the frozen tundra of Ballenas’ football field in which the Titans emerged victorious by a score of 13-6 in front of frozen but loud friends and family.
The Titans marched down the field and scored on their first drive of the game on a long run by DJ Smith-Hodgson, who escaped two potential tacklers on his way to the end zone. The Titans defence came up big in the first half by preventing the Fighting Eagles from hitting the scoreboard to hold a 7-0 lead at the break.
The defensive battle continued in the third quarter as the two teams traded offensive drives that ended in punts before the Titans extended their lead to 13-0 early in the fourth on a broken play run up the middle by running-back Jacob Kirby who had a huge game on both sides of the ball.
The boys from Campbell River weren’t ready to quit though as they drove the field on the next possession for a score to make it a 13-6 game. It was too little too late as the Titans were able to close out the semi-final match with strong defensive plays by Sam Paquette and Callum Jasinski.
“It was a total team effort all week and it really showed from start to finish” Coach Brad Burns commented. “Our boys won the battle in the trenches which allowed our running backs and linebackers to make plays. They were fired up to play from the opening kickoff and maintained it throughout the game.”
Despite losing both league games to the Fighting Eagles, the Titans came up big when it counted and will be playing for the Mid-Island Co-op League’s Championship.
The final game will go Thursday night under the lights of Beban Park in Nanaimo against long-time rival Harewood Bulldogs at 6 p.m.