With their passing game struggling Sunday against the Langley Rams, the Okanagan Sun needed a catalyst to spark the running game.
Second-year back Robbie Rodrigues answered the call with the best game of his B.C. Football Conference career, rushing for 183 yards on 16 carries to help the unbeaten Sun past the Rams 24-10.
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Burnaby product also turned a screen pass into a 52-yard play, helping set up one of quarterback Nick Wenman’s three touchdowns on the afternoon.
With 235 multi-purpose yards to show for his efforts, Rodrigues, 21, was named Tuesday as the conference’s offensive player of the week.
“Robbie’s a veteran guy, he’s experienced and he has a subtle way of making guys miss, not huge jukes, he can make guys miss with ease,” said Sun head coach Ben Macauley. “We’re really happy to see him get what he’s deserved for the hard work he’s put in this year and finally have it all come together with the blocking scheme set up as well.”
Rodrigues’ performance not only aided in keeping the Sun’s unbeaten season (8-0-1) in tact but also helped set up a one-game showdown for first place Saturday night in Victoria.
A win or a tie over the Westshore Rebels (8-1-0) would secure top spot and give the Sun home field advantage throughout the BCFC playoffs.
“It’s going to be a playoff-like atmosphere, it’s a good stadium to play in, we like those road trips, there’s nothing like having a meaningful game in week 10, to get us ready for the playoffs,” Macauley said. “We’ve clinched a home playoff spot and ultimately we want when it counts, but this would be a big one.”
The Sun will host either the Vancouver Island Raiders or Langley Rams in the BCFC semifinal on the weekend of Oct. 14 and 15.