Twelve months after a heartbreaking defeat, the Okanagan Sun are on their way back to the B.C. Football Conference final.
In a game that was over almost as soon as it began, the Sun disposed of the Kamloops Broncos 75-7 in the BCFC semifinal Sunday at the Apple Bowl.
The Sun will host Vancouver Island Raiders next Sunday for a berth in the Canadian Bowl.
Kyle Kawamoto and Kyle Patchell scored three touchdowns each for the Sun who dominated the proceedings from the opening kick off.
Head coach Shane Beatty called it the best effort he’s seen since he took over the club to start the 2013 season.
“All three phases, we dominated,” Beatty said. “We came out prepared…we played fast and we played physical.
“Our best effort in three years…I’m so proud of these kids and the staff.”
Quarterback Cam Bedore was on the mark for the Sun once again, tossing four touchdown passes, including a pair of highlight-reel strikes to Kawamoto in the first quarter.
“What a beautiful throw,” Beatty said of the game’s first major, an 86-yard connection between Bedore and Kawamoto. “(Sun GM) Jay Christensen said he’d never seen a deep ball like that. It was unbelievable. It was 65 yards in the air. It was awesome.”
Josiah Joseph tossed a pair of touchdown strikes and ran for another major as the Sun racked up the second most points scored in a game this season.
After yielding a season-high 38 points to the Broncos two weeks ago in the final game of the regular season, the Sun made amends with an air-tight defensive performance on Sunday.
Sun linebacker Keagan Hughes said his teammates came well prepared.
“We watched a lot of film, and noticed some of their schemes and their tendencies,” said Hughes, the second year-player out of Mt. Boucherie. “Our coaches did a lot work preparing us. We came together, worked on it and perfected it as best we could.
“The team coming together like we did, it was a great game.”
The Broncos’ offence took a hit on the first play of the game when all-star running back Jacob Palmarin went down with an injury and didn’t return.
Cord Delinte had two of the Sun’s four interceptions, including an 87-yard return for a touchdown.
After coming up short in last year’s BCFC title game against the Langley Rams, Kyle Patchell said the Sun will have little trouble getting motivated for Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders.
“We were focusing on this (Kamloops) game the whole time, so hadn’t thought about the final too much,” said Patchell, in his fifth and final season with the Sun, “but now we can start focusing on Nanaimo.
“We’re definitely excited to be hosting a BCFC championship game and try and get some redemption for last year.”
The Cullen Cup final between the Sun and Raiders will kick off at 1 p.m. next Sunday at the Apple Bowl.