History made, Sun blank Raiders
The Okanagan Sun made one of their biggest statements since their second national championship win in 2000.
The Sun dominated in all three phases of the game Saturday shutting out the reigning BCFC champion Vancouver Island Raiders 38-0.
It's the first time the Sun have shutout the Raiders and the largest margin of victory over a team which has dominated them over the past decade.
Dexter Janke took the opening kickoff to the Raiders 49 yard line and four plays later Kory Nagata bulled his way into the end zone to give the Sun an early 7-0 lead.
The Sun marched down the field with an authority that was missing a week previously in Langley, with runs of four and 13 yards from Dillon Fortune and a 22 yard pass from Cam Bedore to Lerone Robinson before Nagata hit pay dirt.
"Our kids are in great shape and they come out fired up and the come out fast. If we keep that up for four quarters we can beat anybody," says head coach Shane Beatty of the fast start.
The difference between Saturday and a week ago in Langley - the Sun were able to sustain the momentum for the entire four quarters.
Backup running back Kasey Russell doubled the lead five minutes into the second quarter with his first of two majors from one yard out.
That touchdown was set-up by Brennan Van Nistelrooy's 24 yard scamper down the left sidelines of a fake punt from third and five at midfield.
Looking for more four minutes later and deep in Raiders territory, Bedore was intercepted by Raiders linebacker Nigel Henry. The turnover was negated by a roughing the passer penalty giving the Sun first and goal from the one.
On the next play Fortune bulled in from the one giving the Sun a 21-0 lead.
After Thomas Huber kicked a 16 yard field goal to put the Sun up 24-0, Bedore marched the team down the field in four plays culminating in a 24 yard scoring strike to Jesse Kendall.
The 31 points are the most the Sun have ever scored against a Raiders team in one half.
Russell banged home his second of the game early in the fourth quarter on another one yard plunge.
The Sun were able to keep the Raiders at bay the rest of the way to record their first shutout of the season and fourth in six regular season games dating back to the end of last season.
"It's really special anytime you can get a goose egg, but the way we ran the ball tonight, that's special," says Beatty.
"We broke their will and we were physical tonight. It's nice to see the kids execute all three phase of the game, special teams, defence and offence."
Beatty also had special praise for Bedore who bounced back from a terrible game in Langley.
Bedore went 11 for 16 in the opening half with one touchdown and no interceptions. He completed his first seven passes and nine of his first 10.
"That's the quarterback we saw out of Cam the whole four weeks of camp. His reads were excellent."
Most of the throws in the opening quarter were quick outs to the flat five, six, seven yards downfield.
"Like I've said for the last three weeks, we're going to run the ball, we're going to pass short on timing, quicken the routes, and take our chances deep. We did exactly that," says Beatty.
Zach Regert was his favourite target catching six passes for 62 yards.
Fortune was the busiest of the backs carrying the ball 10 times for 76 yards and the touchdown.
With starting running back Alex Bradley out of the lineup, Fortune says he's looking to take advantage of the opportunity.
"I'm looking for a breakout year and that's exactly what I want but at the same time we're all a team, we're all a family so we have to do it all together," says Fortune.
Together, the Sun ran the ball for 256 yards on 29 carries.
In all the Sun amassed 427 yards in total offence to the Raiders 255.
The win improves the Sun record to 2-1 while the Raiders fall to 1-2.
The two teams will hook up again in Nanaimo a week from now in the back half of the home-and-home series.
It's going to be harder to go down and beat them in their own house....to beat them twice in two weeks, but we're ready to go play some football," says Beatty.
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