On Friday night at McLeod Athletic Park, the North Langley Bears junior bantams were held to under 30 points for the first time this season.
But the news wasn't all bad. The Bears earned a point in the Valley Community Football League standings after a 12-12 tie with the Abbotsford White Falcons.
With Bears' starting quarterback Brett Christensen out of action, Jacob Stebbings assumed the starter's role.
Stebbings responded with a strong game including pass completions to Andy Hanlen, Connor Hurley, and Alex Henderson.
Zander Baily scored his first of two touchdowns on the ground with a 52-yard run in the first half.
After appearing to be tackled in the end zone on the previous play, Abbotsford's Samwell Uko ran 109 yards for the score to put the Falcons up 12-6 at the half.
But Jake Evans and Nick Lacroix led a ferocious North Langley defense that shut down Uko and the Falcons the rest of the way.
Bailey's second touchdown run of the day salvaged a tie for the Bears.
The Bears suffered their second loss of the season Saturday against the only team to have beaten them in 2012 - the Abbotsford Falcons, who came away with an 18-6 victory.
The Falcons drove down the field and scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass on their first possession.
The Bears responded on their next possession with Marcus Stang scoring on a 60-yard touchdown run.
It was a defensive struggle the rest of the way with the Bears' defence shutting down the Falcons until the final play of the first half.
This time, the Falcons connected on a 50-yard touchdown pass.
On a bright note, the Bears' D-line came to play with Jacob Diebert and Chris Morrison each recording a sack.
Jaxon Stebbings, Owen Sieben, Jedakai Hurley, and Jacob Evans also made key tackles
The North Langley offence continued to move the ball after the first Bears' drive with some nice runs by Callum Middleton, Jun Mclean, and Caleb Price but just couldn't punch the ball in for a score.
The Bears continue to improve in great strides.
Although the Abbotsford Falcons scored early and often, North Langley's defence tightened up after the disappointing start before falling 30-0.
The Bears' offence managed to move the ball well with Nicholas Triemstra catching a pass and Brandon Bynjolfson, and Joey Yeomans, Ken McLean, and Cadeyrn Barthelson all having great runs.
The Bears have a busy next few days ahead. They play tonight (Thursday) in Maple Ridge and travel east this Saturday (Oct. 27) to take on the Chilliwack Red team.
With rain cascading down, the Bears turned in their best performance of the season.
North Langley trailed the Abbotsford Falcons 7-6 at the half after the Bears' Ian Canning scored a touchdown on a pass from Kenzie Oram.
The final score of 28-12 for the Falcons does not really tell the story because it was a tight contest until the last few minutes.
The Bears took the lead early in the second half with a second touchdown strike from Oram, this time to Max Joseph.
Abbotsford quickly responded by returning the kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown to re-take the lead at 14-12.
Later, the Bears had the ball on the five-yard line, but could not punch it in with three chances.
The Falcons proceeded to march the ball downfield with a long drive to add an insurance touchdown in the final minutes.
The Bears lost 34-3 to the visiting Victoria Spartans Saturday.
After falling behind early, the Bears put together a drive that took them 70 yards to the Spartans' end of the field, thanks to major gains on the ground by Mook Kim and Sebastian Joseph, and a 15-yard pass completion from Braeden Pritchard to Adrian Clements.
The drive ended with a 35-yard field goal by Chris Baerg to put the Bears on the board.
On defence Eric Boomars made several tackles and forced a turnover on a fumble recovery.
Alec Robertson made big tackles on Spartan ball carriers in the backfield.
Marcel Mirek, Zach Guy, Garrett Fredley, David Fredo, Barry Duguma, Clements, and Joseph were also active in the tackling department.
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