The Kamloops Broncos three game winning streak came to a crashing halt Saturday at Hillside Stadium
The Okanagan Sun scored 38 points in the second and third quarters in a convincing 54-16 win over the previously unbeaten Broncos.
Defensive back Kasey Russell scored on a pair of one yard runs to lead the Sun who found the end zone five times on the ground.
The Broncos opened the scoring on a 39 yard field goal but it was all Sun from there.
On the ensuing possession, quarterback Cam Bedore ran in from 19 yards out to put the Sun up 7-3.
They didn't look back from there.
A conceded safety and Thomas Huber's 26 yard field goal put the Sun up 12-3 early in the second quarter.
After TK Twagwu recovered a fumble at the Broncos 41, the Sun needed just two plays to hit the end zone again.
Bedore connected with Pierre-Luc Lord on a 40 yard strike then on the next play Russell punched it in from a yard up to put the Sun up 19-13
The Broncos made it close with a 13 yard major from Steve Schuweiler to Derek Yachison and a 12 yard field goal following an on-side kick but were able to just get a field goal the rest of the way against a stingy Sun defence.
Dillon Fortune capped off a 101 yard rushing effort in the first half with a 29 yard run to put the Sun back up 26-13.
After Landon King intercepted Schuweiler on the next Bronco possession, Alex Bradly ran in from 18 yards out to put the Sun up 33-16 at the half.
The Sun produced the only points of the second half.
Mikhail Maloff took the opening handoff of the second half and rambled 40 yards to the Broncos one. Two plays later Russell punched home his second major of the night and fourth of the season to put the Sun up 40-16.
Bedore tossed his lone touchdown pass of the night later in the third quarter, a 35 yard strike to Lerone Robinson before giving way to rookie Josiah Joseph.
The Mount Boucherie grad closed out the scoring with a 46 yard touchdown toss to Kamloops native Lliam Wishart. The touchdown was Wishart's first in the BCFC.
The win is the third in a row for the Sun who move into a temporary hold of top spot in the BCFC with a 4-1 record heading into their bye week.
The Broncos and Langley Rams, who were upset 52-44 in Nanaimo Saturday, are both 3-1.
Those two teams will meet head on next weekend in Langley.
The Raiders win moves them to 2-3.
After a week off the Sun will conclude the regular season with four of their final five games at the Apple Bowl.
They will begin the second half of the season Sept 6 when they entertain the Langley Rams, the only team who have managed a win against the Sun this season, a 33-20 victory at home earlier this month.
For the first time since they joined the league in 2007, the Kamloops Broncos play a meaningful game against the Okanagan Sun.
The Broncos, winless in 13 career starts against the Sun, put a franchise record three game winning streak on the line when they host their regional BCFC rival Saturday evening.
Kamloops sits atop the BC Football Conference standings along with the Langley Rams, both a perfect 3-0.
The Sun find themselves alone in third at 3-1.
They can leapfrog the Broncos with a win Saturday.
The Sun are coming off back to back dominating wins over the reigning BCFC champion Vancouver Island Raiders capped off with a 64-20 victory last Saturday in Nanaimo.
In that game Sun quarterback Cam Bedore enjoyed his best junior outing, completing 18 of 24 passes for 351 yards and four touchdowns in nearly three full quarters of work.
Kyle Patchell caught eight of those passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
The Broncos meantime are coming off dominating back to back wins of their own against the hapless Valley Huskers.
Kamloops is led by quarterback Steve Schuweiler who is third in the league in passing with 876 yards and 10 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
His favourite receiver is Derek Yachison who has hauled in 15 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns.
Rudy Uhl has found the end zone four times.
The Sun won all three meetings between the two teams by a combined 104-8.
That includes consecutive shutouts of 30-0 and 51-0 near the end of the season.
In fact, the Sun have gone 10 quarters without allowing a point against the Broncos.
Saturday's game ends an ugly start to the season which will see the Sun play four of their first five games on the road.
They reverse that over the back half of the season, playing four of their last five in the friendly confines of the Apple Bowl.
The Sun begin the second half of the season Sept 1 when they host the Langley Rams.
Just when you thought you had the Okanagan offence figured out, they pull the classic bait and switch.
The Sun, which has been run first and run often all season, crossed up the Vancouver Island Raiders with an air show for the ages in a 64-20 dismantling.
Quarterback Cam Bedore and receiver Kyle Patchell both had career nights on Saturday lopsided win in Nanaimo.
Bedore, who had just 261 yards passing in three games coming into Saturday's contest surpassed that in the first half alone, throwing for close to 400 yards and four touchdowns in just three quarters of work.
Josiah Joseph came in to lead the offence in the fourth.
Patchell, a third year receiver, went over 200 yards receiving and caught three touchdown passes - the first three touchdowns of his career.
Patchell came into Saturday's game with just two catches for 26 yards this season and 415 yards total in two plus seasons in a Sun uniform.
The Raiders got on the board on their first possession and led 7-5 after one quarter but it was all Sun after that.
The Sun outscored the Raiders 31-7 in the second quarter and 21-6 in the third in the rout.
Bedore got things going early in the second hitting Lerone Robinson from 32 yards out to put the Sun up for good 12-7.
After Thomas Huber nailed his second three pointer of the night from 20 yards out to make it 15-7, Bedore and Patchell went to work.
Bedore hit Patchell for his first career touchdown reception, a 76 yard pass and run to make it 22-7.
On the next possession, Patchell gained 22 yards on second and 20 to keep a drive alive that ended in Mikhail Maloff's one yard run.
Dustin Rodriguez got that one back on a 95 yard catch and run following the ensuing kickoff, however, Patchell hauled in his second major of the quarter from 22 yards out in the final minute to put the Sun up 36-14 at the half.
In the first half alone Patchell caught six passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns while Bedore completed 16 of 20 for 298 yards and three touchdowns.
The Sun didn't let up in the third.
After Brennan Van Nistelrooy scampered to the Raiders four on a fake punt, Dillon Fortune found paydirt on the next play to put the Sun up 43-14.
The Raiders again cut the deficit when Nathan Berg ran in from one yard out but that was all the scoring they would manage.
Bedore hit Patchell from 19 yards out to make it 50-20 before Maloff scored his second of the night on a one yard plunge set up by Fortune's 90 yard run.
Patchell closed out the scoring late in he fourth when he picked up teammate Cory Nagata's fumble at the seven and rambled into the end zone.
Saturday's win was their first in Nanaimo since August, 2005, a span of 14 games.
It was also their largest margin of victory over the Raiders and the Raiders largest margin of victory ever in franchise history.
The Sun, who pounded the Raiders 38-0 last weekend at the Apple Bowl, have outscored their arch rivals 102-20 over the two games.
The win also moves the Sun to 3-1 while the Raiders slip to 1-3, their worst start in franchise history.
The Sun hit the half way point of the season next weekend when they play in Kamloops.
The Okanagan Sun are hoping to complete the improbable double Saturday.
The Sun look to sweep a home-and-home set with arch rival Vancouver Island Raiders.
Consider the fact the Sun have never beat the Raiders twice in a season and have dropped 14 in a row in Nanaimo, (including five in the playoffs) dating back to 2005 when the Raiders moved up island from Victoria.
The lone Sun victory in Nanaimo was a 24-6 triumph in their first ever meeting back in August of 2005.
While history is stacked against them, last Saturday's most recent showing is at least encouraging.
The Sun dominated the Raiders in all three facets of the game during a 38-0 thumping of the visitors to the Apple Bowl.
It was the first time the Sun had ever shutout the Raiders and was also Nanaimo's largest ever margin of defeat.
"It's hard to beat a team two times in a row. That's why I didn't like the scheduling initially," says Sun head coach Shane Beatty in advance of Saturday's clash in Nanaimo.
"Hopefully we can go down there and play our game. Dictate to them. Don't change a lot of things we did but get better at what we did."
Beatty says the Sun have made some adjustments to a team that shredded the Raiders for 439 yards while giving up just 214.
We have to change. We have to keep making changes until we're happy," says Beatty.
"We've moved a couple of key guys to certain positions and we changed a couple of coverages in the secondary. On offence we are going to run the course...run the ball, throw when necessary and take our shots deep when necessary."
While Beatty was pleased with Saturday's performance, he says the secondary and the ability to bring down quarterback Liam O'Brien were his biggest areas of concern.
Despite the shutout, Beatty is challenging the defence to play better.
"We gave up two passes of 33 and 25 yards that I wasn't happy about and we had five or six sacks that we missed the quarterback. Let's correct those mistakes and see what happens."
The Sun also have a chance to all but eliminate the Raiders from race for top spot in the BCFC.
Just three games into the season the Sun have a chance to hand the Raiders their third loss of the season while improving their own record to 3-1.
Saturday's game begins at 4 p.m. in Nanaimo.
This is the second of three meetings between the two teams.
The Sun and Raiders meet again Sept 13 in Nanaimo.
The old saying goes if you don't notice an offensive lineman during a football game that means he must have done his job well.
The unsung heroes in the trenches rarely get noticed, or talked about, until a quarterback gets sacked or a running back gets stuffed at the line.
For at least one week, Okanagan Sun offensive lineman Michele Vecchio changed all that.
The 6'1", 290 pound Rutland Senior graduate is the BCFC's offensive player of the week.
The Sun running game shredded the Vancouver Island Raiders for 257 yards in a 38-0 thumping Saturday.
Vecchio led the charge opening up holes for running backs and keeping the two quarterbacks off the ground all night without a sack.
The entire offensive Line was solid on the night, but Vecchio stood out with his strong play, anchoring a solid team effort.
The Sun and Raiders conclude their home-and-home series Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo.
For the second straight week a Westshore Rebels linebacker has been named the “BC Lions Defensive Player of the Week.” This past weekend Tyler Leader certainly lived up to his name, leading the conference with nine tackles and added an assist.
Saturday afternoon one play on special teams stood head and shoulders above all the others. Westshore Rebel defensive back Jake Hauge broke through the line on a Valley Huskers field goal attempt.
He blocked the kick, picked up the bouncing ball and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown, his first career touchdown.
Hauge is named the “BC Lions Special Teams Player of the Week.”
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