The Ballenas Whalers junior varsity football team took the bite out of the John Barsby Bulldogs in their first conference game of the season.
Despite not having all of their players due to sickness, the Whalers were still able to bring the Bulldogs to heel, posting an overwhelming 47-0 victory in front of home fans at the Ballenas Secondary field on Oct. 3.
Coach Jeremy Conn, along with other avid football fans, did not expect the game to be so one-sided, as the Bulldogs are known as one of the powerhouses in football on Vancouver Island.
“We knew this was going to be a good challenge,” said Conn. “We got the good breaks early that gave us the momentum. It’s the first ever game we’ve had like that against Barsby. This was a good showing by our kids.”
The Whalers were outstanding in both defence and offence. Ballenas limited the Bulldogs to just a few first downs throughout the game. The touchdowns came early for the Whalers, as they found ways to punch through the Barsby defence while mixing it up with an effective rushing and passing game. Overall, Conn said, it was a team effort and that, to him, was the highlight of the game for Ballenas.
“We have a good mix of talented kids that can run the ball well, we’ve got a big offensive line and we have a quarterback that makes good decisions,” said Conn. “Today, with the good weather, we were able to throw the ball. It was good mix and a really aggressive defence. It was a true team game. Everybody contributed.”
In the first half, the Whalers racked up a 35-0 lead and they never let up. The Bulldogs fared better in the second half and nearly scored. A strong defensive play by Ayden Chambers, swatting the ball away from the receiving hands of a Bulldog player by the uprights, preserved the shut out. The Whalers added two more touchdowns in the second to seal the win.
Demar Hohnstein and Steve Boller each scored two touchdowns while quarterback Ben Chomolok, Ben Filla, and Bruce McCabe each had a touchdown. Mariano Gonzales scored all the field goals for the Whalers.
The junior Whalers will play their next conference game Wednesday against an unfamiliar foe, Earl Marriot Secondary of Surrey. Conn said the teams have never met before, and the Whalers will not be taking this game lightly.
“Our old saying is respect everybody and fear nobody,” said Conn, who hopes to have all his players healthy on Wednesday.