The Okanagan Sun stumbled out of the gates and despite a spirited comeback attempt, fell to 1-and-5 on the B.C. Football Conference season after a 44-28 loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders on Saturday night at the Apple Bowl.
The Sun fell behind 31-0 to the first place VI Raiders before turning the game around in the second quarter. However it was just too big of a hole to climb out of against the BCFC’s top team.
“You can’t be unprepared mentally against that team or any team,” said Sun coach Gavin Lake after the game. “We dug ourselves a hole and it was uncharacteristic of our key guys. They are almost putting too much pressure on themselves.”
The Sun righted their ship and even had some momentum at half time when they cut the lead to 31-14 but the Raiders quashed the comeback in the second half.
Second year running back Alex Bradley had a big day for the Sun, rushing for 184 yards on 16 carries. He averaged over 11 yards per carry and had one touchdown but says the team just couldn’t recover from its slow start.
“We didn’t come out in the first quarter and put points on the board like we did in the second quarter and second half,” said Bradley. “I thought we had a comeback there for a second but we didn’t finish it off.”
Quarterback Cam Bedore completed 18 of 32 pass attempts for 175 yards and a touchdown but also threw two interceptions.
Lake said the team’s veterans have been struggling.
“Guys that we have put in leadership positions haven’t stepped up and made plays,” said Lake. “They have to find a level of awareness that they are not ready to do. Whether that’s because they have had a lot of coaching changes and third year guys are just hearing different messages, I have to find a way to fix it.”
The Sun are back in action this weekend when they host the Kamloops Broncos at 2 p.m. at the Apple Bowl on Saturday.