By John DeCoste
The Valley atom, peewee and bantam Bulldogs are all off to the minor football tier-1 playoffs this weekend.
The atoms advanced automatically when Fall River forfeited their scheduled semifinal game last Saturday.
The peewees squeaked out a come-from-behind12-6 victory over Bedford Saints and the bantams shutout the Dartmouth Destroyers 26-0.
The regular season champion atoms will host Timberlea Saturday at 1 p.m. in Canning.
The peewees will meet the Halifax Raiders Saturday at 6 p.m. at Burnside, and the bantams will play the Bedford Saints Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Mainland Common in Halifax.
In last week’s peewee game, Bedford jumped out to an 8-0 lead with a converted touchdown. Connor Ross got Valley on the board with a spectacular 70-yard interception return to make the score 8-6.
Keir Frank-Rogers then scored a rushing touchdown to give the Bulldogs the lead and account for the eventual winning points.
Quarterback Caleb Melanson left the game with a back injury early in the first quarter, but Ross stepped in and proved to be a more than capable replacement.
Head coach David Ross, while reluctant to single out individual players in what he termed “a total team effort,” made mention of the play of defensive linemen Alex Adams and Dyton Blackett, as well as Jacob Ogilvie who was “constantly disruptive” from his safety position.
The bantams got an outstanding effort from their entire defensive unit in their shutout win over Dartmouth.
Ben Best and Michael Ogilvie scored rushing touchdowns while Matt Priestnall had a major through the air.
Michael Ogilvie added two field goals and two extra points.
“The story of the game however was the great play of the Bulldogs defense and the bulldogs special teams play,” said coach Reg Ogilvie. “Special mentions go to Noah Graves on defense, Luke Oulton on special teams.”