Week 6 Preview
Week 6 of the season is here and we have games in the BC interior, Fraser Valley and the island.
This is the last weekend before the Labour Day bye weekend. The next games take place Sept 10, so get your fix now!
Saturday, Aug 27 @ 4PM
Valley Huskers (0-5) @ Westshore Rebels (4-1)
Lifetime head to head: Rebels lead series 24-6
How to watch-no video stream available follow @BCFC_media on twitter
The second half of a home and home series, with the Rebels dumping the Huskers 47-23 in Chilliwack last weekend. The Huskers well documented propensity for second half meltdowns was on full display Saturday as the teams went into the half with Westshore leading 15-14 before outscoring the home team 32-9 in the second half.
The Huskers best chance for a win this weekend is likely that the Rebels overlook them with the mid-season break looming. That’s the beauty of football, whether regular season or play-offs. One game and the right game plan in place can mean everything. It’s not hard to imagine that the Rebels have a bit too much swagger in their step, it would be typical of any team coming off a win like they just did facing the same winless club a week later. What makes that a dangerous proposition for them is that the Huskers seem to be playing like they believe in that old adage “any given Sunday” and are confident they are capable of beating any BCFC team with the right bounces going their way.
This is a match-up of the #1 rush in the conference of the Rebels (305 YPG) against the last ranked run defence of the Rebels (244 YPG). Not a recipe for an upset.
It’s also the #1 passing attack of the Huskers (247 YPG) versus the last ranked defense against the pass of the Rebels (274 YPG).
A full breakdown of last week’s game statistics can be found here
Players to watch
Rebels quarterbacks Scott Borden & Ashton McKinnon;
We all know the Rebels can run the football, they can run the heck out of the football. But if they are going to work on improving their middle of the pack passing game (4th ranked at 218 YPG) and become more of a balanced threat come play-off time this is likely a game they will work on it.
Ashton and Borden have thrown the exact same number of passes (57) although Borden has a better completion percentage (57.9 to 50.9) and more yards (611 to 477). Both pivots will be looking to take the reins of the Rebels offense. While Rebels head coach JC Boice is likely to publicly say he has two quarterbacks who can play, and he does…he also likely would prefer to see one step up and take control of the #1 job.
Entire Huskers offensive line;
The Huskers lead the conference in passing but offensively that’s all they can hang their hat on. 22 yards per game on the ground is not going to beat anyone. The offensive line of the Huskers is going to have to push, punch, clip and claw through the big Rebels defensive line to open some lanes for Huskers running backs.
The Huskers leading rusher Ryan Beaubien sits 19th in the conference with 46 yards while teammate Ed Perrin is 24th at 37 yards. If either one of them has a big game, who knows?
Saturday, August 27 @ 7PM
VI Raiders (2-3) @ Kamloops Broncos (0-5)
Lifetime head to head: Raiders lead series 12-1
The Raiders won the previous meeting between these teams in Nanaimo on opening day 37-14 so the Broncos will be looking to return the favour and get in the win column for the first time. Both teams are coming off what could best be described as crushing losses. The Broncos were manhandled 31-0 by the Sun in Kelowna while the Raiders squandered a 14-0 lead at home to the Langley Rams, all but killing any hope of hosting a play-off game. This is possibly a matchup of demoralized football teams, and it’s only going to get worse for one of them Saturday night.
At the risk of piling on both clubs, they are arguably the two most inconsistent clubs in the conference. On any given weekend Raiders coach Jerome Erdman and his Broncos counterpart Brad Yamoaka are either seeing reason for optimism or pulling their hair out. Brad has way more options follickly speaking btw… You can see the frustration on both men’s faces in the interviews that take place Sunday mornings following the last game.
The Raiders need to not only win this game but make a statement against a Kamloops Broncos team that is playing very well at home. Their next three games are against the big dogs in the Rams, Rebels and Sun in that order so things only get tougher from here on out before closing against the Huskers. If the Raiders lose this game you can see the season being more about regrouping and players auditioning for jobs for 2017 than anything else
The Broncos likely expected to be right about where they were at this point of the season when you consider the graduation number from last season and the schedule to this point.
If they can win this game in a big way, namely overcoming the 23-point deficit they have head to head against the Raiders then they have a play-off shot looking at the schedules both teams have ahead of them. Lose and the play-offs of 2015 were a one hit wonder.
The game in Langley is being rightfully touted as the game of the week in the BCFC, but this one is massive on many levels as well.
Players to watch
Raiders running back Nate Berg;
Berg was stifled by the Rams defense last week, although he didn’t see the ball much on 8 caries for 14 yards. He racked up 114 against the Broncos defense in week 1 which has been susceptible to the run all season. VI will be looking for a big game out of him Saturday if they are to get back on track.
Broncos running back Jacob Palmarin;
The CJFL’s reining rushing champ has been on the shelf all season after being injured late last year. Rumours were he was ready to go the last couple weeks but he was not dressed again against the Sun Saturday night. He would be a huge boost to an offense that is churning out just 60 yards per game on the ground.
Saturday, August 27 @ 7PM
Okanagan Sun (5-0) @ Langley Rams (4-1)
Lifetime head to head; Sun lead series 37-14-1
The longest standing rivalry in the BCFC, this game will have many eyes on it, including those of the Westshore Rebels who could find themselves in a 3 way tie for first place with these clubs if the Rams win.
The Rams have home field advantage for this one, but traditionally that hasn’t been concern to the Sun who hold an 18-7 edge in the Rams home parks (both Langley and their previous homes in Surrey). The last Rams win coming at home in 2014 33-20.
Statistically there is virtually nothing to choose between the two clubs. They are tied atop the conference average points per game at 39 and defensively the Rams are #1 at 16 per game just a whisker ahead of the Sun who sit #2 at 17 against per game. The clubs are the most balanced on both sides of the ball looking at the per game averages below.
Passing Rushing Net OFF Pass DEF Run DEF DEF
Rams 228 (1st) 192 (2nd) 395 (2nd) 124 (1st) 128 (3rd) 226 (1st)
Sun 216 (5th) 176 (3rd) 360 (1st) 206 (2nd) 73 (1st) 250 (2nd)
Between them the teams have won 9 straight games, the Rams last loss coming opening weekend against the Rebels.
As we mentioned pre-season this game is one of the top 10 to watch this season…Its everything we had hoped for and more now.
Players to watch
Rams QB Stephen Legare;
The Sun have a very aggressive front 7 and will likely be coming after the sophomore pivot hard in order to rattle him early. How he handles the physicality of the Sun defense will be key to the Rams success Saturday night.
On a side note, Rams running back Nathan Lund was a scratch last week against the Raiders. While he hasn’t had the year the Rams might have expected (11th in yards with 148) his 9.2 yard average shows how dangerous he is when he does touch the ball.
Sun linebacker Conor Richard;
The dual citizen from Tennesse is barely 18 years old but already proving himself as one of the top defensive players in the conference. The speedster will likely be noticed either tracking Rams running back Nathan Lund (see above), or the dangerous Rams receiving core led by Khalik Johnson and Seye Akinsanmi