Sun Devils quickly get off to a winning start
Ray Moon could not have scripted a better way to start the first home game of the season for his SDSS Sun Devils football team Sunday (Sept. 9) at the oval in Tsawwassen.
Following a deep kickoff by the Namaimo Islanders to start the game, Grade 11 Mitch Dino threaded his way through the gaps made by his blockers to score a TD to put the Sun Devils in the lead—one they would enjoy all game en route to a 41-20 final score in exhibition play.
Moon, the longtime head coach with SDSS said he was pleased with the final result as he was able to get all of his 32-player roster into the game the Sun Devils were leading 34-0 at halftime.
"if you had pads on, you were going to play," said Moon, who in past campaigns has had as few as 19 players on the roster. This year he has 32.
"When we had 19, it was with injuries, too. At that point you're taping limbs back on," Moon joked.
Still, despite Sunday's lopsided scoreline against Nanaimo, the Sun Devils had to play without seven starters who picked up injuries through training camp.
That contributed to some lapses on the defensive side of the ball, allowing Nanaimo to score a major after one notable drive—a kickoff return that went done to the Sun Devils' three yard line.
"We'd just scored on an interception," Moon said, adding he was disappointed in giving up a big play on the ensuing kickoff.
But the Sun Devils prevailed and managed to keep a healthy distance on the scoreboard, in large part thanks to a standout performance by David Mann who was named player of the game for SDSS with two TDs and 202 yards total offence—160 in the air and 42 on the ground.
The Sun Devils now prepare for their first away game of the year Friday (Sept. 14) when they travel to the Okanagan to take on Kelowna, a Triple A team at the Apple Bowl.
On Sept. 22 they play their first league game against Victoria's Belmont Secondary school. Game time at the oval is 1:30 p.m.