By Bruce Fuhr,
The Nelson Daily Sports
The loss early in the season may have been a blessing in disguise for the Castlegar Vikings.
Because ever since the defending champs dropped the opener the Vikes have been perfect, continuing the trend right on through to capturing the West Kootenay Men’s Flag Football League title Sunday at Mount Sentinel Field.
The Vikes overcame below zero temperatures, and a stingy Dam Inn Mates squad, to claim its fourth straight title with a 26-12 victory.
The game was a rematch of the 2009 final won 16-4 by Castlegar.
“Defence was clearly the key for us,” said Castlegar receiver/defensive back Steve Mota. “Our defence gave them nothing. (Dam Inn) had us first and goal twice and didn’t score.”
After intercepting Dam Inn on the goal line late in the opening quarter with the game scoreless, the Vikes drove the length of the field.
The long drive down the field was capped off in a major score when Castlegar quarterback David Kravski connected with John Lloyd from inside the red zone making it 7-0.
Castlegar then went up 14-0 when Mota intercepted a short pass before out running the Mates into the end zone for a pick-six.
Dam Inn rallied back to close the gap as Griffin Augustine found the end zone for the Mates. However, the two-point conversion fell short keeping the Vikes in control.
In the second half Jason Trower scored for the Vikes to increase the lead.
Bryan Lauzon and Lloyd also had interceptions for Castlegar. Augustine had one of the two interceptions for Dam Inn.
"Dam Inn was definitely our (toughest) competition,” Mota explained. “We had to come ready to play each and every time we played them. We match up well. Our go to guys made plays, their go to guys made plays.”
Castlegar had an easy time advancing to the league final after the regular season champs disposed of Nelson Impact in one semi final.
In the other contest Dam Inn Mates needed a late touchdown to knock off Hume Brewers.