Sports

Sun offense cooking heading to Kamloops

Kyle Patchell and the Okanagan Sun will take their high-octane offense into Kamloops Saturday night for BCFC action against the Broncos.  - Fred Schaad/Contributor
Kyle Patchell and the Okanagan Sun will take their high-octane offense into Kamloops Saturday night for BCFC action against the Broncos.
— image credit: Fred Schaad/Contributor

With 163 points up on the board in just four games, it's little wonder the Okanagan Sun offense has been gaining its share of notoriety around the B.C. Football Conference this season.

Fresh off a drubbing of the Vancouver Island Raiders last weekend in Nanaimo, the Sun (3-1) will look to keep the momentum rolling this Saturday night in Kamloops when they take on the Broncos.

Kamloops boasts a 3-0 record, albeit all three victories have been against lower echelon teams in Chilliwack (2) and Westshore.

Still, Sun offensive coordinator Tony Lindsay says there's no reason for his club to let its foot off the gas.

"We've watched the film and Kamloops looks pretty good, they have a solid D-line and could put some pressure on us," said Lindsay. "(Our offense has) come out of the gates fast, we've improved on every game, but we have to keep level heads. Every opponent is different and we have to be ready to go no matter who we play."

After putting up 41 points on opening night against Chilliwack, the Sun managed just 20 the next week in Langley although, if not for a couple of narrow misses on long passes, the tally could have been much higher.

The Sun really hit its stride over the last two weeks, dissecting the Raiders in successive week—38-0 and 64-20—while combining for a staggering 1,032 yards in total offense.

Led by third-year pivot Cam Bedore, Lindsay said the offence is coming into its own.

"Cam has had some time with us now (three years) and with the tools that are around him, he's developing some really good consistency," said Lindsay. "We've had some of our receivers around for a while and their experience helps. More than anything, it's all the time spent preparing that's paying off for us, approaching each team and each game as thoroughly as we can."

Lindsay said the O-line, led by newcomer Cliff Crews and Michele Vecchio, has been getting the job done on a more consistent basis this season, providing better protection and allowing the Sun to run a more balanced offence than it has in years—with both the run and the pass serving as complimentary weapons.

Running back Dillon Fortune, with 294 yards on the ground, is one of four Sun players in the top-10 in BCFC rushing.

"I've learned a pretty big lesson (as coach) the last year how important the run game is," said Lindsay. "We're using it more than I would have thought, because a lot of times we're getting six, seven yards on first down and that means you can run on second down, too. It keeps defenses off balance."

Lindsay added that keeping the offensive plan relatively simple this season has also boosted production and by not delving into "the last 20 to 30 pages of the playbook."

Game time Saturday at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops is 7 p.m.

The Sun's next home action is Saturday, Sept. 6 against the Langley Rams.

 

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