Okanagan Sun safety Jack Rush returns an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in BCFC action Saturday night in Kamloops.

Okanagan Sun safety Jack Rush returns an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in BCFC action Saturday night in Kamloops.

Sun blank Kamloops Broncos, stay in mix for first

After having appeal denied this week, Okanagan now 6-2 and in a three-way tie for first

At the end of a week which saw their appeal rejected by an arbitrator, the Okanagan Sun weren’t about to be denied on the football field.

On Saturday night at Hillside Stadium, the Sun manhandled the hometown Kamloops Broncos 30-0 to push their B.C. Football Conference record to 6-2.

With two weeks left the regular season, the Sun remain in a three-way tie for top spot and still very much in the hunt for a first-place finish.

“I was very pleased with our effort,” Sun head coach Shane Beatty said of Saturday’s result. “With all that went on throughout the week with the appeal, the guys stayed very focused. Initially, we addressed the situation, then never brought it up again. It was out of our hands and the guys treated that way. They responded very well.”

On Tuesday, an arbitrator ruled against the Sun in the club’s appeal to have their season-opening victory over Chilliwack re-instated. The BCFC originally overturned Okanagan’s 65-10 over the Huskers on July 27 due to an ineligible player.

On Saturday in Kamloops, the Sun grabbed momentum early and didn’t look back.

A five-yard touchdown pass from Theo Deezar to Tommy Howes, followed by a 36-yard interception return for a major by Jack Rush helped spot Okanagan to a 20-0 half time lead. Deezar connected with Zach Regert on a 15-yard score in the second half.

The offense was buoyed by the return of running back Alex Bradley, who missed three weeks with concussion symptoms, while veteran linebacker Brandon Donkers led a dominant effort by the Sun defensive corps which pitched its first shutout of the season.

Bradley rushed for 170 yards on 18 carries.

“Our defense was physical and fast, the kids flew around and made plays…it’s good to see them really starting to gel,” Beatty said. “Offensively we handled the ball pretty well, and special teams was sound. It was a good effort, all-around.”

With two games remaining, the Sun still have top spot in their sights, with this Saturday’s game between the Langley Rams and Vancouver Island Raiders to ultimately tell the tale.

Providing the Sun wins its final two games, a Langley victory would give the Sun first place in the BCFC. If VI wins over the Rams, the Raiders would take first and Okanagan would finish second.

“We’ll know by Saturday night whether we still have a shot at first,” said Beatty. “Whatever happens, we’ll take it from there.”

The Sun will wrap up the regular season with two games at home—Sunday, Sept. 29 vs Chilliwack and Sunday, Oct. 6 vs Kamloops.

 

Kelowna Capital News