Winners and Losers
The bye week is here as we have just passed the mid-way point of the season with all clubs having played 6 games. The Okanagan Sun are in first place at 6-0 with their destiny in their own hands but facing a gruelling schedule the rest of the way. The Westshore Rebels are nipping at their heels at 5-1 and have a running game that is looking pretty intimidating to opposing defenses. At 4-2 The Langley Rams let a critical home game against an undefeated team slip away. You have to wonder when their play-off season ends if they will be looking at this game as one that could have made a world of difference. The VI Raiders continue to play an indifferent brand of football, but the good news is they head to the break passing a second half gut-check test. The Broncos and the Huskers remain winless but they meet each other twice in the last 4 weeks in games of pride and looking towards 2017.
Let’s look at more winners and losers from week 6.
Jamel Lyles-Westshore Rebels
Lyles had another massive game on the ground with 272 yards against the Huskers Saturday afternoon. He now has 1066 on the season with loads of football left to play and the BCFC rushing record in his sights.
He sits 18th on the all-time single season list and at his current pace of 178 yards per game could jump over several players ahead of him all the way into 7th spot after his club’s next game. The current record of 1592 yards (Matt Medwick Valley Huskers in 2000) seems sure to fall this year.
The Rebels head into the break at 5-1 and winners of 3 straight games. They are giving up more points and more yards through the air than they would like (a lot more) but have a running game built to go deep into the play-offs. They have already beaten the team behind them in the playoffs Race (Rams). The team they have to catch has to make a long trip to their home artificial turf in two weeks and they have a relatively small 6-point differential to overcome to grab first place.
The southern islanders are likely going to enjoy their time off
Junior football internet watcher
The Rebels were the lone BCFC club to not offer an internet broadcast this season, much to the chagrin of out of town Rebels fans and those of the visiting team travelling to Langford.
Good news is after the UBC Thunderbirds and Manitoba Bisons played an exhibition game there Friday night a solution was stumbled upon during their game broadcast. A last minute Rebels/Huskers game was streamed Saturday and all indications are a solution has been found either at the Rebels or conference level. Expect that the rest of the Rebels games this season will be streamed including the all-important first place showdown with the Okanagan Sun September 10.
Fans of the passing game Saturday in Langley
The Okanagan Sun and Langley Rams platooned 4 quarterbacks who went a combined 22 of 54 for 276 yards, 2 interceptions and no touchdowns. It would be easy to say the aerial attacks were ugly this night, but in reality they were worse than that. On back to back series late in the game a Rams QB threw an ill-advised pass that resulted in a Sun interception, then his Sun counterpart threw a pass that likely would have been a pick 6 had the defender been able to hang onto the ball.
Okanagan Sun defense
As already mentioned the Sun offense didn’t have a stellar game against the Rams but the Sun defense continued to be a smothering unit Saturday night. Defense wins championships as they say. If that holds true you have to like their chances to repeat considering their offense is a lot better than it showed this night.
This is two straight games without allowing a touchdown for the orange and brown defense.
Tiernan Docherty-Langley Rams
Docherty accounted for all of the Rams points, went 3 of 4 in field goals including a 47 yarder. His punting was more than solid as always.
If the Rams season comes down to a field goal attempt anywhere inside 50 yards you shouldn’t bet against them.
The Rams and the BCFC celebrated Ken Smith’s 96th birthday at halftime Saturday night.
If you don’t know Mr. Smith you should. His involvement with football and the Rams goes back decades. His is a life member of the CJFL and a BC Lions “Orange Helmet Pioneer” among many other accolades.
Many years ago, his involvement in the military was a big part of his life as well.
Good on the Rams twitter to notice that when the field lights went dark, causing a half hour game delay it was with exactly 11:11 remaining to play in the 4th quarter.
Referee in Sun/Rams game
In the 3rd quarter in Langley the Rams QB bobbled a second down shotgun snap around their own 35 yard line. In the ensuing fight for the pigskin the Rams managed to recover the fumble. Curiously the head referee ruled the play an “incomplete pass”. This resulted in the Rams having about 5-yards better punt position and not much more.
Had the Sun recovered the ball with the play overturned in error…well you never know what happens in a game like football where momentum is everything.
Blown calls are part of the game and refs take far too much criticism, but this could have been a grave error.
VI Raiders pre-break gut check
We have been justifiably critical of the Raiders play this year. It’s been consistently inconsistent. And while we suggested last week they needed to make a statement against the Broncos, the fact they didn’t dominate can easily be chalked up to the long road trip from Nanaimo that morning.
Jerome Erdman’s squad found themselves down 13-3 at the half. The way their season has gone, coupled with the fact the Broncos have been playing well at home and it would have been easy for them to collapse in the last two quarters.
Instead they took the second half 13-0 to win the game, limiting the Broncos to 111 yards of offense in the process.
The Raiders still face an uphill game to repeat their trip to the BC final but can feel pretty good about their character down the stretch and into next season after this game.
Last week in this column we referred to Huskers quarterback Noah Falconer as a rookie. We have actually done this on more than one occasion.
A fact check would have told us he is actually in his second season.
Thanks to the facebook follower for pointing out our error without laughing at us.
We should have been laughed at for this one.