With a first-place finish still in their crosshairs, the Okanagan Sun took care of business Saturday with a 38-17 win over the Valley Huskers in BCFC action in Chilliwack.
The victory pushes the Sun (5-2) into a three-way tie for top spot with the Vancouver Island Raiders and Langley Rams.
The Raiders defeated the Rams 41-27 on Saturday in Nanaimo.
However, if a pending appeal this week goes the club’s way, the Sun would be alone in first at 6-1.
The Sun had its season opening victory over Chilliwack July 27 overturned due to an ineligible player. An arbitrator is expected to rule on the team’s appeal Monday.
On Saturday, QB Theo Deezar threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Sun—62 yards to Lerone Robinson and 43 yards to receiving leader Tommy Howes.
Alex Bradley with a 49-yard run and Brennan Van Nistelrooy, with a recovery of a blocked punt also scored majors for the Sun, who led 19-10 at the half before taking control of the game in the second half.
As has been the case for much of the season, Beatty liked the play of his defense.
“I thought (our defense) was very good and executed extremely well,” Beatty said. “We were a little slow to start on offence, but (because of injuries) we haven’t had the same starters on the O-line for three weeks. O-line coach Ben Macauley has done a great job with them.”
However, Saturday’s win came with a cost. Defensive lineman Jordan Pfeifer suffered a dislocated forefoot late in the game and will miss the remainder of the season.
“It’s tough any time you lose a kid to injury like that,” said Sun coach Shane Beatty. “He’s a leader for us, a real gutsy player, so we’ll miss him for sure.”
Injuries have been mounting for the Sun who lost receiver Deion Bain last week to a broken leg, while linebacker Lucas Machado will miss several more weeks with an ankle injury.
The Sun will travel to Kamloops this weekend to take on the Broncos, before finishing up the regular season with home games against Kamloops and Chilliwack.