The physical nature of his team’s play Saturday night in Langley wasn’t an area of concern for Shane Beatty.
Mental gaffes, however, has the Okanagan Sun head coach scratching his head following Saturday night’s 33-20 B.C. Football Conference loss to the hometown Rams.
“We just made too many mental mistakes,” said Beatty. “We were physically prepared but not mentally. We took bad penalties, we threw three picks, we fumbled the ball and we couldn’t protect our passer. We should have won that ball game and would have if we could have eliminated even a couple of those mistakes.”
Thanks to a solid running game led by Dillon Fortune (80 yards), the Sun dominated the opening quarter but couldn’t find the end zone—an offside penalty snuffed out one scoring attempt. Instead, the Sun settled for three Hunter Verhulst field goals and a safety for an 11-0 lead.
A fumbled snap on a punt and an interception yielded by the Sun allowed Langley back in the game in the second quarter, as they took a 13-11 lead to the locker room at half time.
A Dillon Fortune major in the third quarter put the Sun back on top, but early in the fourth quarter, a too-many-men on the field penalty against Okanagan on a fake punt turned the game in Langley’s favour for good.
The Rams outscored the Sun 17-2 in the fourth quarter, sealing the game with a 56-yard Dylan Tucker to Tore Corrado touchdown pass and a Tucker three-year plunge with 48 seconds remaining.
“We didn’t play well up front and didn’t have a good night offensively,” Beatty said. “If we do anything a little better, we win. We weren’t sharp overall. This one is on us, as coaches.”
The Sun return to action Saturday night when they play their home opener against the Vancouver Island Raiders.
Kick off at the Appel Bowl is 7 p.m.
The Sun and Raiders will meet again the following weekend in Nanaimo.