Bantam Bears Provincial Champions!

10678853_10152807534585090_5817691512532214611_nCongratulations to our undefeated Bantam Bears who capped their perfect season with a 38-13 victory over Salmon Arm in Kamloops to win the 9-man Provincial Championship. Amazing season Bears you’ve made us proud! Go Bears Go!

Championship Results

The North Langley Bantam Bears capped their undefeated season with a convincing 34-2 victory in the VMFL finals over the visiting Richmond Raiders in 9 man football. The Raiders came into the game looking to avenge their lone loss of the season which came at the hands of this same Bears team earlier in the season.

Richmond returned the opening kickoff almost to midfield but an aggressive North Langley defense yielded little ground and two plays and a penalty later the Raiders were forced to punt. When the snap sailed over the Richmond punter’s head the Bears found themselves with a first down on the Richmond 25 yard line. Three plays later Treven Baarts hauled in a 20 yard pass from Jacob Stebbings to open the scoring.

The two teams took turns moving the ball without scoring over the next few series until Stebbings, flushed from the pocket, took the ball all the way to the Raiders 10 yard line on a timely 18 yard scramble. From there Zander Bailey took over, scoring the first of his three touchdowns on the day. The defensive gem of the game came when Pablo Wigwigan ran down a Raider back who gone 60 yards downfield and seemed certain to score. This gave Richmond a first down on the Bears 6 yard line but big hits by Jacob Price and Ryan Barthelson kept the Raiders out of the end zone. While the Bears were forced to concede a safety, providing the Raiders their only points of the game, this defensive stand seemed to deflate the Raiders. Shortly after Stebbings connected with Andy Hanlen for a 21 yard touchdown pass and the Bears took a 20-2 lead into half time.

The second half was all Bears. North Langley seemed able to move the ball at will as Zander Bailey scored on runs of 24 and 10 yards to increase the Bears lead. Connor Hurley, Mason Block and Jake Evans led a relentless Bears defense that prevented the Raiders from getting much past mid field. Richmond turned to their passing game in the final few minutes but pressure from the Bears line and tight coverage downfield left them thoroughly frustrated.

This was the Bears most complete game of the season with every player making contributions that led to an utterly dominant performance over a talented opponent. The Bears head to Kamloops next Saturday to take on Salmon Arm for the Provincial Championship and their final game of the year.

-Chris Hurley

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Peewee Bears

For the first time since 1995 the North Langley Bears are champions of the Valley Community Football League’s peewee division. The trophy was hoisted after a resounding 36-6 win over the Abbotsford Falcons Nov. 15 at McLeod Athletic Park. The Bears generated nearly 300 yards of offence and their highest point total of the season. They will be back at McLeod on Nov. 29 to face the Vancouver league champion for bragging rights to the BC Lower Mainland.

In regular season play the North Langley defence gave up the second fewest number of points in the league, and they stayed true to form in the final by limiting the Abbotsford offence to a single TD and 129 yards. Six times the Bears forced a turnover on downs, twice after only three plays. Brandon Folkerts registered seven solo tackles and had a part in at least five others.

Marcus Stang opened up the scoring near the end of the first quarter when he sped through a gap in the Abbotsford line and raced down the field for eighty yards and six points. With that run the Bears’ leading rusher went over 1,000 years gained on the season.

Near the end of the second quarter, Caleb Faust swept left after a fake hand-off to Stang going up the middle. Key blocks opened up a huge hole enabling Faust to fly through the defence untouched to the end zone from the Abbotsford 43 yard line.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Faust had a similar run for 39 yards that took the ball into Abbotsford territory. That led to another major on a twenty-yard run by Mathieu Gale.

Down 20-0, the Falcons put together their longest possession of the game. Running back Carter Squire made a 20-yard catch and run on a third down play, and he capped off the drive with a five-yard TD run. But on the point after attempt, Squire was brought down at the two yard line by North Langley’s Connor Bernardin.

On the next possession the Bears’ offence engineered a 73-yard drive, using up most of the fourth quarter and ending any chance of an Abbotsford comeback. Although the Falcons’ defence stopped the Bears at the three yard line, the North Langley defence forced a quick turnover on downs. On the next play QB Jordan Williams plowed ahead for the TD.

Desperate for quick yardage the Falcons went to the air, but Mathieu Gale clipped their wings by intercepting an errant pass at the NL 43 yard line. With a wall of Bears ahead of him to block, he returned the ball 52 yards to the Abbotsford 15, and four plays later swept right from the eight yard line for his second TD of the game. Tyson Hoy’s point-after kick was one of three successful attempts on the day, yielding six points.

-Andy Faust

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Week 10 Results

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