It’s often been said familiarity breeds contempt.
If that’s holds true in junior football, don’t expect any pleasantries to be wasted when the Okanagan Sun visit the Vancouver Island Raiders later this month in Nanaimo.
After butting heads three previous times already in 2012, the longtime rivals will battle one final time on the weekend of Oct. 20 in the B.C. Football Conference semi-final.
“We have to return to the rock in two weeks,” said Lake, whose club lost two nail-biters in Nanaimo this season, 30-29 and 32-30. “The first two have been good battles. We’ll be looking forward to going back there for another shot.”
Combined with Westshore’s win over fifth-place Kamloops Saturday, the Sun (3-6) secured the fourth and final playoff spot in the BCFC on Saturday with a 36-0 victory over the winless Chilliwack Huskers (0-9).
In a game where the result was a foregone conclusion even before the opening kick off, Lake said it was a challenge for his players to maintain a steady level of intensity from start to finish.
“You don’t like to think that way, you really have to try and go 100 per cent, no matter who you’re playing, to prevent injuries. Having said that, it’s hard to get dialed up when you’re playing a team that’s struggling like Chilliwack. I thought we played a bit too loose, took some penalties we shouldn’t have…but in the end it’s the W that counts.”
Sun quarterback Cam Bedore fired a trio of touchdown passes—two to Tommy Howes— with backup Austin Komonoski adding another.
Robbie Yochim scored the other Sun major on a 98-yard punt return.
While there are still bugs to be worked out of the Sun’s game in general, Lake said there are areas that continue to show progress with each passing week.
“I thought it was a breakthrough week for our return game, we popped a few there, so that gives us a bit more of an attack, helps us with field position and gives us some confidence,” said Lake. “Our linebackers and DB’s are getting on task with the pass a little bit better, and on offense we’re getting a better balance between run and pass. Things are coming along.”
The Sun also welcomed back kicker Steven Shott who returned after missing a year to recover from back surgery. Shott was 0-for-2 in field goal attempts, but was hampered by a bad snap and a block.
The Sun will close out the regular season Saturday at the Apple Bowl with their third and final meeting of the season against the Langley Rams.
On the line for Langley (6-2-1) is a second-place finish and a home playoff game the following week.
“With second place there for the taking, the (Rams) are going to be more motivated than normal,” Lake offered. “They have some weapons, two receivers (Macolm) Williams and (Nick) Downey, who are off the charts, and their quarterback (Greg Bowcott) is very good. They have a solid linebacking corps, and their defense is excellent. It’s going to be a good test again for us.”
Kick-off Saturday at the Apple Bowl between the Sun and Rams is 2 p.m.