North Langley Kodiaks stand tall, down Bears in championship final

Team of Fraser Valley football players shake off disappointment of last year’s championship loss to defeat North Surrey

Football is a game of inches.

In Al Pacino’s famous speech to his team in the movie Any Given Sunday, he tells his team ‘The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch.’

The North Langley Kodiaks were faced with that situation.

The Kodiaks led 7-0 against the North Surrey Bears in the B.C. Community Football midget provincial championship game on Sunday at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.

The Bears had the ball at the one-yard line — 12 inches away from scoring what could have been a game-altering touchdown — in the final minute of the first half.

And twice, North Surrey handed the ball off. Both times, they ran up the middle, but the Kodiaks were having none of it, as the Kodiaks defensive line did not give up an inch, stopping them for no gain.

Buoyed by that huge defensive stand, North Langley went into the locker room riding a wave of momentum. The Kodiaks scored two field goals in the second half and while the Bears did find the end zone with two minutes to play, they could not recover the ensuing on-side kick as the Kodiaks held on for a 13-7 victory.

“If it wasn’t for that (goal-line) stand, the game could have gone either way,” admitted North Langley coach Chad Henderson. “The boys were stoked (at the half).

“They stayed calm and just performed.”

The win was also redemption for the Kodiaks, who lost in last year’s championship final.

“Basically, that was our motivation this year, to get back in and win it,” Henderson said. “Beginning of the year we used it (as motivation) to light a fire under the boys’ butts.”

The Kodiaks finished in top spot during the regular season, including two victories over the Bears.

Week 1 saw North Langley prevail 23-14 while in week 8, the Kodiaks rallied from a 20-6 half-time deficit to win 29-27.

The majority of the roster is from North Langley, but there are also players from Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge and Coquitlam.

Some of the local players have been together for nearly a decade under Henderson, moving through the age-group ranks, and winning a provincial title in 2014 at the bantam level.

Henderson credited the team’s veteran core of 18-year-olds, as well as his coaching staff, for such a successful season.

“There was a lot of self-motivation as this was the last game for a lot of them,” he said.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mission groups host Coldest Night of the Year Walk

Mission Youth House and Hope Central help those who are homeless, hungry and in need of support

City seeks pedestrian/bike light to cross Abbotsford-Mission highway

Trailwork and light would help link Discovery Trail segments

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

VIDEO: Mission Optimist Club Talent Show

Highlights from the show on Saturday

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Dawson Creek man, wanted in court, sought by B.C. RCMP

33-year-old Jeremiah Alexander Smith’s vehicle found abandoned near Hope

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read