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

Historic Fort Langley remembers James Douglas and Louis Riel

Annual weekend events draw hundreds to site

Candlelight vigil stands against violence on women

Annual vigil observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Aldergrove hairdressers go wild and crazy

Students show off skills they’ve learned in the career program at ACSS

Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag gone from Langley classroom

Consultation with students and parents promised by school district after controversy erupts

UPDATED: Two injured in crash involving SUV and dump truck

Collision closes 264 Street in Langley

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Second person dies following head-on collision in Surrey

Paige Nagata of Abbotsford was in crash on Nov. 4 that also killed maternity nurse

11 years sought for Burnaby man who killed girlfriend with hammer, burned her body

Manslaughter sentencing hearing started Monday in Chilliwack for Ryan Armstrong

Most Read