It was a dynamic half of football that the Okanagan Sun would surely like to duplicate on a weekly basis.
In one of the club’s more dominating 30-minute performances in recent memory, the Sun (7-1) racked up a 49-0 half-time lead, then cruised to a 50-6 win over the Kamloops Broncos in B.C. Football Conference action Sunday at the Apple Bowl.
While head coach Jason Casey lauded a total team effort on the offensive side of the ball, he was particularly impressed by the work of the men in the trenches.
“I can’t say it enough, I’m so pleased with our O-line, they’re playing big mean and nasty,” Casey said.
“I want defenses to fear our O-line, so for the first half I thought they played phenomenal and guys feed off that. As a whole I’m very pleased, there are just minor things we need to tweak.”
Casey was equally encouraged by the Sun’s big guns on offense, including quarterback
Jeremy Mraovic who completed 13 of 15 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns. He added another score on the ground, before taking a seat on the bench for the second half.
“That’s the kind of thing you want, your quarterback is traditionally your leader, he’s leading by example, we want to see our guys raise their game to that level, so we’re pleased to see what happens in Week 9 and Week 10.”
Mraovic hooked up with Danny Turek for 114 yards and two touchdown passes as the chemistry between the two Manitoba natives continues to grow.
“Me and Danny talk about it every day and we just work hard in practise in getting our timing down,” said Mraovic. “We know we can be a dynamic duo, but he’s not the only guy in our receiving corps who can do damage, we’ve got four really, really good receivers.”
One of those four receivers, Tommy Howes, hauled in a pair of TD passes from Mraovic.
Robbie Yochim, with an interception return, and Steven Doege on a two-yard plunge scored the other Sun touchdowns.
In their last three outings, with Jay Christensen serving as offensive coordinator, the Sun has scored 161 points.
“He knows the game, he understands every single position and he’s a great teacher,” Casey said, “so I wouldn’t say it’s just a coincidence. I mean we’ve got the talent there, and him coming in a tweaking the system and being exceptional teacher, I think everyone’s feeding off that and guys are playing well.”
On defense, Doege was his usual disruptive self with three more quarterback sacks.
With the game well in hand in the second half, the Sun coaching staff subbed in a number of backups to get some much needed reps in anticipation of their final two regular season games.
And while being outscored second half by the Broncos isn’t a major concern for his club, Casey would have liked a much sharper effort over the last two quarters, particularly on defense.
“To me as a coach, a close game like that with our defense, we’re not winning that game right now,” Casey said, “so we’ve got a lot of work to do in that aspect.
“We didn’t take our foot off the pedal (in the second half), we just changed gears per se, and there’s still some mistakes that we’re making that we need to tweak to get ready for next week and the week after.”
The Sun will visit the Chilliwack Huskers this weekend, then will wrap up the the regular season Oct. 9 at the Apple Bowl when they take on the rival Vancouver Island Raiders (8-0) in a game that will decide first place.