Sun need sharper game for Raiders

Okanagan coming off sloppy win over Huskers, host Vancouver Island for first place on Sunday

Despite a lopsided final result, the Okanagan Sun weren’t exactly the picture of perfection in Saturday’s 48-21 win over the Chilliwack Huskers.

With first place on the line and the defending BCFC champion Vancouver Island Raiders next on the agenda, head coach Jason Casey said his Sun will need to be markedly better than the error-laden club that took to the field against the winless Huskers.

“It was a sloppy game for us on all three sides of the ball,” Casey said “Whether we played down to them, or just weren’t ready to play, it’s hard to figure out.

“It was a step backwards for us, but the good thing is the mistakes we made are correctable. As a coaching staff we weren’t happy, but we can benefit from this and learn from it. It was just a speed bump, we’ll work hard this week and be ready for Sunday.”

A pair of 55-yard interception returns for touchdowns by Chilliwack’s Tanner Hamade off Jeremy Joseph-Mraovic were among the low-lights of the night for the Sun. A failed third- down gamble by the Sun deep in their own zone also led to a Huskers’ score, their first in 23 quarters against Okanagan.

Still, one sloppy night in Chilliwack aside, Casey believes the Sun are a much better football club—all across the board—than the one that lost to the Raiders 33-20 on Aug. 27 in Nanaimo.

The Sun has outscored its opponents 209-34 in the four games since.

“We are a team of competitive athletes, our guys know when it’s time to get down to business and I expect they’ll do that,” Casey said. “We’re a lot better club than we were last time when we played down there (Nanaimo). Our O-line has been phenomenal, our defense and D-line continues to do a great job, and our kicking game is improving with each game. We’re a long way ahead of where we were two months ago.”

To claim top spot in the BCFC for the second year in a row, the Sun (8-1) must beat the Raiders (9-0) by 14 points or more.

With so much at stake, including homefield advantage for the playoffs, Casey said his club will hold nothing back.

“It’s balls to the wall for us, we’re not going out there to just win the game, we’re playing for first place and nothing else,” he said. “Winning the game 20-10 won’t mean a thing. It’s the same finishing 8-2, second place is second place. We need to win by two touchdowns, so we’re laying our cards on the table.”

Kick off Sunday at the Apple Bowl is 1 p.m.

Tickets are available at okanagansun.ca, or at the gate beginning at 11 a.m.

 

Kelowna Capital News