The Okanagan Sun kept its unbeaten record in tact Sunday and in the process set up a season-ending showdown for first place next week in Victoria.
Quarterback Nick Wenman scored three touchdowns and Robbie Rodrigues gained more than 200 all-purpose yards as the Sun defeated the Langley Rams 24-10 in B.C. Football Conference action at the Apple Bowl.
On a penalty-filled afternoon, the Sun defense was once again dominant, allowing only a second-quarter touchdown to Khalik Johnson.
Casey Piper made an interception in the end zone, snuffing out a potenial game-scoring TD by the Rams in the fourth quarter.
Aldrich Berrios picked off his sixth pass of the season, tying Tye Kitzman for the Sun team lead.
On a day when Wenman didn’t have his best stuff throwing the ball, he and the Sun ran an effective ground game. The third-year QB scored rushing majors in the first, third and fourth quarters, the last a 34-yard scamper to put the game out of reach.
Rodriques had a pair of 50-plus yard plays—one on a run and one on a screen—both of which set up Wenman touchdowns. While Sun head coach Ben Macaualey would have liked to have seen more production in the air and more consistency on offense, he lauded the play of both the offensive and defensive lines.
“One of the positives was we played well across the line of scrimmage and that’s playoff style football,” said Macauley. “No matter what happens around you, if you win the battle in the trenches, get pressure on the quarterback force them to do things they don’t want to do. We kind of went into this game in attack mode. I think we did a good job of that on the offensive and defensive lines.
“Then we rely on our playmakers in the back end to make plays, we had a lot of that on defense, we need more of that from our offense.”
As much as Macauley was pleased to get the victory, he wasn’t nearly as enthralled with the rash of penalties called, the majority of them against the Sun—21 for more than 200 yards.
“Obviously, we’re very frustrated over penalties, both at our ourselves and at some of the calls,” Macauley said. “I felt it was very one-sided, that we weren’t represented well there. But they’re doing the best they can under the circumstances, I’m sure they’ll get better just like we will.”
Sun defensive back Beck Fullerton:
The Sun (8-0-1) remains in top spot, with the defending champion Westshore Rebels (8-1-0). The teams will meet next Saturday in Victoria, with the winner securing first place and home field advantage throughout the BCFC playoffs.
“It’s going to be a playoff-like atmosphere, it’s going to be a good stadium, 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 one of two BCFC semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 15 against either the Rams or Vancouver Island Raiders.