Sun dismantle Huskers

The Okanagan Sun may have felt a bit disrespected Saturday night.

For years, the Sun have planted their team flag on the Apple Bowl turf during pre-game introductions. But, when the visiting Valley Huskers did the same with their flag on Sun turf, they were angry.

"I think our team took exception to it. When another team comes in and throws their flag in the middle of your field...we have a lot of pride for our home stadium and the City of Kelowna," said head coach Ben Macauley.

"Guys take that personally. We play with a bit of an edge, and sometimes is tough to reign them back in and make sure what's a smart play and aggressive and what's over the line."

Macauley said the Sun had something to prove Saturday, and that's that they can play four quarters of football.

For the most part, they did in dismantling the Huskers 43-13.

The Sun took the opening kickoff and literally ran the ball down the Huskers throat, picking up 60 yards on the ground before the drive stalled at the Huskers 12. They had to settle for Isaac Wegner's 20-yard field goal.

The teams traded punts the rest of the quarter until the final seconds, when Bradley Hladik blocked a Huskers punt, and Dustin McGee scampered 15 years for the first major of the game.

"It's part of our group mentality on special teams. We want our best players on special teams, where some teams hide some of their guys or give their better players a break,

"We have an opposite opinion and it shows. We're able to swing momentum pretty well with those."

The Sun offence, struggled for a large portion of the opening half after the opening drive. Quarterback Jacob Loucks missed on his first eight passes, partly due to a slick football, partly due to three drops, and partly due to a colour change on the quarterback's wrist band.

"(Loucks) wasn't able to read the colours and, it was the first day using these new coloured wrist bands, so we had to make a switch back to the old ones," said Macauley.

"They were back in the locker room, so we had some miscommunication early on."

Once they got the playbands sorted out and dropsies eliminated, Loucks and his receivers finally found themselves on the same page. With the ball at the 26, Loucks completed his first pass to Javen Kaechele, who turned and outran everyone for an 86 yard touchdown.

"It was just a crossing route over the middle," said Kaechele.

"I saw the guy who was covering me was playing outside, so I cut a little early. When the ball came, I saw I had good positioning on him so I shook him, and I knew I had the speed so I just went for it.

No one laid a hand on him as he scampered into the end zone for a 17-0 lead. Another Wegner field goal in the dying seconds put the Sun up 20-0 at the half.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter but, with the Sun up 29-6 early in the fourth, the Huskers grabbed momentum for an ever-so sort period of time.

Lining up for a field goal, kicker Ethan Homan pooched the ball toward the right sideline. Remis Tshiovo ran on to it, and went unmolested into the end zone.

The Huskers recovered the ensuing onside kick, but were unable to move the football. The Sun march 85 yards in six plays, capped by Loucks 16 yard strike to Kelton Kouri to salt the game away.

On their next possession, Kouri rambled 82 yardes for his second touchdown of the night to seal the victory.

Unofficially, Loucks finished the night 7 for 19 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Kaechele caught three for 115 yards. Kouri ran 11 times for 153 yards, and caught three passes for 85 yards plus the two scores.

The Sun have looked impressive in winning their last two in a row to move into sole possession of second in the BCFC at 4-2-1.

The VI Raiders, 31-7 winners in Kamloops, lead the way at 5-2.

The Huskers fell to 4-3, the same record as the Langley Rams, who throttled the Westshore Rebels 27-3. The Rebels fell out of a playoff spot at 3-3-1 while the Broncos remain winless at 0-7.

The Sun and Raiders meet in a first place showdown next Saturday in Nanaimo.

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