North Langley Bears running back Zandar Bailey appeared in mid-season form against the visiting Mission Niners in bantam football action Saturday afternoon.
Bailey racked up nearly 200 hundred yards rushing during the Bearsâ€™ convincing 28-6 over the visiting Niners.
North Langley opened the scoring early when Jacob Stebbings found Andy Hanlon in the end-zone for a 10 yard touchdown pass.
Later in the first half, Stebbings took the ball in himself for a touchdown on a one-yard run from scrimmage.
The Niners answered back with a touchdown of their own after a long third quarter scoring drive, but they had no answer for Bailey or running back Pablo Wigwigan, who each scored second half touchdowns on the ground.
Wigwigam and Connor Hurley had strong games on defence for the Bears, with each contributing several key tackles in the Bears’ victory.
The Bears had a big win to open their regular season, defeating the Mission Niners 38-20.
Quarterback Owen Sieben had an outstanding game, calling his own number and running the ball in for four touchdowns.
Troy Edwards also ran the ball over the goal line twice for major scores.
The game was decidedly in the Bearsâ€™ hands after an interception by Kayden Bell.
The Bears also added some great defence by Manny Fotiou and a two-point convert by Ty Gallinger.
The Chilliwack Blue Giants and Bears battled to an 18-18 deadlock last Saturday at Chilliwackâ€™s Townsend Park.
Quarterback Jaxon Stebbings, who passed for one touchdown and ran for another, was named the Bearsâ€™ game MVP.
A key offensive play early on for the Bears was a third down run of 18 yards by Marcus Stang.
Later, after the Bearsâ€™ defence had held Chilliwack to a three-and-out, their offense took over at the Chilliwack 16. On first down, Stebbings rolled right and connected with Mathieu Gale at the three yard line. After making the catch, Gale took the ball into the end zone (their two-point conversion attempt failed).
On their second play after the ensuing kick-off, the Giants scored a touchdown on a long run by their quarterback.
The two-point convert failed when three Bears sacked the Giantsâ€™ pivot.
Midway through the second quarter, the Bears engineered an 11-play, 64-yard drive, which ended in another touchdown.
On third down and 16 to go on the Chilliwack 21, Stebbings took off around the right end of the line, speeding past the Giantsâ€™ defence to reach the corner of the end zone.
Then, with the Giants facing third and long on their own 50, it looked like the Bears would go into halftime up by six points. But instead, Chilliwackâ€™s quarterback broke through to the left, again for a 60-yard touchdown run. The pass for a two-point convert was incomplete, so the first half ended 12-12.
In the third quarter, the Giants took the lead for the first time when their running back got through the line to the left and sprinted 85 yards for the major score. On the two-point conversion attempt, the Bears tackled the ball carrier for a loss.
On the Giantsâ€™ kickoff, North Langleyâ€™s Marcus Stang fielded the ball on his own 40 and took it 29 yards to the Chilliwack 41, followed on the next play by a 13-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, the Bearsâ€™ defence held the Giants deep in their own end on two consecutive possessions.
Then, from the Chilliwack 21, Stebbings kept to the right and made for the corner, but this time was pushed out of bounds at the two yard line.
On the next play Jordon Williams took the ball up the middle for the tying score. North Langleyâ€™s attempted two-point convert for the lead failed.
Late in the game the Bears had one last possession starting at their own 46 yard line, thanks to an interception by Gale.
A 19-yard run by Stang, along with a 15-yard penalty on the Giants for unsportsmanlike conduct put the ball on the Chilliwack 25.
But there was no gain on the final play, leaving the score knotted at 18.
â€“ by Andy Faust
Junior bantam Bears
Tough defence by both teams was the theme of the Bearsâ€™ season opener against the Mission Niners.
Although the Niners started off very strong by scoring a safety on their first play, the Bearsâ€™ huge defensive line kept them back, creating a very close game.
The offensive highlight for the Bears came during the third quarter, when Ethan Bernardin carried the ball 95 yards for a touchdown, making the score 8-6.
Defensively, the Bears forced two key turnovers, the first one being an Ronil Chand interception in the first quarter and the second coming off a fumble by the Niners in the third quarter, with Ben Pascoe recovering the ball.
Brandon Brynjolfson, Carolos Tede Kopp, Dakota Jenkins, and Vincent Paulicelli made some big tackles that held the Niners back.
In the second quarter, Dakota Jenkins sacked the quarterback for a 19 yard loss.
Quarterback Michael Huggins completed a pass to Evan Rees, giving the Bears a first down in the third quarter.
Brandon Brynjolfson went airborne to tackle a Mission player, preventing the Niners from scoring their second major of the day.
In the fourth quarter, Brynjolfson took a hand-off and rambled downfield, but was taken down just before he got to the end zone.
The Bears return to action Sept. 6 against Meadow Ridge White at McLeod Athletic Park.