After having their originally scheduled season opener cancelled a week earlier, the Ballenas Whalers senior football team proved overmatched against the larger Belmont Bulldogs Friday in Langford.
Despite 73 yards rushing and another 157 passing from Grade 11 quarterback Ben Robinson, the AA Whalers were held off the scoreboard in a 21-0 loss to the AAA Bulldogs in the non conference game.
“It was a typical first game of the season, in that we had a lot of penalties and made a lot of little mistakes that come back to bite you against a big, tough, talented opponent like Belmont,” Ballenas coach Dan Smith said. “It really hurt us having our game cancelled last week; Belmont was in good form because they played two games already and looked very sharp.”
Still, the Whalers played tight with the hosts and trailed just 6-0 entering the fourth quarter before they were worn down by Belmont’s conditioning, size and speed,” Smith said.
Newcomer Liviano Canil hauled in five passes for 120 yards and Dayton Coles rushed for 53 yards on seven carries to pace the offence, but the Whalers were stymied on three trips deep in Bulldogs territory.
“Ultimately we have to work on finishing our drives and getting points on the board,” Smith said.
The Whalers face John Barsby in a league game in Nanaimo Friday at 7 p.m.
Juniors fall, 22-7
It was a similar story for the Junior Whalers in the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader, though Ballenas was doomed mostly by lack of numbers.
Fielding just 15 players, the Whalers played close to the Bulldogs for much of the game and even carried a 7-6 lead on quarterback Ben Chomolok’s early touchdown run. But, as with the senior team later in the evening, the Junior Whalers were simply worn down by the bigger and deeper Belmont team, Smith said.
“Our kids had to play ‘Ironman’ football and were pretty tired in the end,” he added. “All in all, this was a gutsy performance; we could use another 10 kids.”
Damon Thompson rushed for 49 yards, Kolby Jack added 42 and Chomolok ran for 22 yards and completed four of six passes for 26 more in the loss. Jack paced the defence with 11 assisted tackles.
The Junior team visits Holy Cross in Surrey on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.
— NEWS Staff