A pair of Surrey minor football teams continued their winning ways last weekend when both punched tickets to their respective provincial championship games.
The Cloverdale Community Football Association’s Peewee Bobcats and Jr. Bantam Cougars both won the VMFL championship game in their division. Each team is undefeated this year.
Now both squads will play in the provincial finals Dec. 5 in Langley at McLeod Athletic Park.
Yeera Sami, president of the Cloverdale Community Football Association, said he’s over the moon with the way the teams have been playing this year.
“This is a record breaking season,” Sami said. “For any club to take three division teams into the provincial finals with undefeated records is an amazing accomplishment.”
Sami attributes the club’s success to Cloverdale and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
“We have had such an incredible response from the community,” he noted. “This year, we had an increase in enrollment and it has helped all levels of the club.”
In the Peewee game on Nov. 28, the Cloverdale Bobcats defeated the White Rock Titans 22-6.
“The first half was a defensive battle with the Bobcats up 8-6 going into the locker room,” said Sami.
He said the coaching staff made some adjustments at halftime on both offense and defense and the Bobcats took control of the game in the second half.
Launching into a renewed passing and running attack, the ‘Cats crossed the Titan’s goalline to score another 14 points for 22 unanswered points in total, while their defense set up an impenetrable wall, shutting out White Rock in the second half.
With the league title win, the Bobcats improved to 12-0.
Later in the day, in the Jr. Bantam league title game, the Cloverdale Cougars kicked off against the Coquitlam Wolfpack. The Cougars overcame the Wolfpack late in the game to win 30-23.
Despite the final scoreline, Sami said the game was a defensive battle. He said both teams ran to the ball for most of the game because of inclement weather.
“The Cougars were trailing throughout the game, up until the last minute,” explained Sami.
The Cloverdale squad was down 23-14 with only two minutes left. But under heavy pressure, and facing a stalwart defensive display by the Wolfpack, the Cougars managed to march down the field in a long scoring drive. They used both passing and running plays on the drive and punched in a touchdown, narrowing hhe score to 23-22.
After the ensuing kickoff, the Cougars’ D forced a quick Wolfpack punt.
Sami said the Cougars took advantage of the momentum gained when the defence came up with that quick stop.
“The Cougars offense put together a beautiful 50-yard drive,” he said. “They took the lead for the first time 30-23, with 57 seconds remaining in the game.”
Cloverdale’s defensive unit came up big again when they forced the Wolfpack off the field.
“On the next Wolfpack drive, we stopped them with not much gain.”
The Cougars’ offense then ended the game in victory formation, kneeling down to kill the clock. With the win, the squad also improved to 12-0.
“It was a great display of football by both teams,” said Sami. “Now we’re hungry for the provincial championship games.”
All championship games will be played Dec. 5 at McLeod Athletic Park. The Bobcats play at 10 a.m., and the Cougars take the field at 12:30 p.m.
The Cloverdale Atom Lions also went undefeated this year, finishing their season on Nov. 13.
“They finished 10-0,” said Sami, “winning both VCFL and the provincial championship as the BCCFA realized after the fact the other zones didn’t have 9-man tackle teams.”
The Lions will be awarded their provincial championship banner Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. at McLeod Athletic Park.