Sun: a win is a win is a win

For nearly three quarters, the Kamloops Broncos looked poised to pull off the biggest upset in the BC Football Conference in recent memory.

The 0-8 Broncos played stout defence, and did just enough on offence to nearly ride a narrow lead all the way home.

But, 10 points in the final two-and-a-minutes propelled the Sun to a critical 18-10 victory over the Broncos.

"We played how we practiced all week, which was...missing a lot of guys, low effort," said head coach Ben Macauley.

"It certainly wasn't the message we were preaching, but I think guys might have taken a day off or a week off based on Kamloops record. And, it showed right off the bat."

It looked like the Sun might make this one a laugher early. They took the opening kickoff and marched 76 yards in nine plays, capped with a six-yard strike from Matthew Mahler to Javen Kaechele.

They made it look easy on the opening drive - Malcolm Miller ran four times for 48 yards and Mahler completed three of his four passes for 33 yards and the touchdown.

But, the offence managed just 78 yards combined on six possessions the rest of the first half.

Kamloops took advantage of a number of second stringers in the defence, dinking and dunking their way to 128 yards through the air and a touchdown.

The Broncos cut into the lead with a short field goal late in the opening quarter then, on their next possession, marched 72 yards in six plays, capped by a 24-yard strike from Reid Vankoughnett to Darian Pritchard for a 10-7 lead.

The Sun had a chance to tie it in the waning second of the half but, as they did much of the afternoon, shot themselves in the foot.

Isaac Wegner missed a 33-yard field goal, the first of two misses from that distance.

It looked as if the Sun would grab the lead in the opening moments of the third quarter. They blocked a pun and recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, but an offisde penalty negated the play and handed the Broncos a first down.

While the offence continued to sputter in the third, the defence, with an infusion of starters, locked down the Broncos as both teams took turns running a few plays then punting. The teams combined for seven punts, a missed field goal and interception in the quarter.

Wegner put the first point on the Sun column since the opening drive when his punt sailed into the end zone for a single point 43 seconds into the fourth quarter.

As the quarter ticked down and the punts mounted, the Sun, who were winning the field position battle, started a drive on the Broncos side of midfield.

With the ball at the Kamloops 47, Kelton Kouri took matters into his own hands, carrying the ball on six of the next seven plays, getting the ball to the 12, where Wenger connected from 19 yards out to put the Sun up 11-10.

With time running out, the defence out an exclamation point on the win. Defensive lineman Cory McCoy stripped the ball from Trent Price with a bone-crunching hit.

Conor Richard scooped up the ball and rambled 20 yards to put the game out of reach.

The defence, which gave up some yardage in the first half, shut the Broncos completely down in the second half.

Vankoughnett completed just three of 15 passes for 23 yards, He was also sacked four times. In all, they managed only 45 yards of total offence in the second half.

Unofficially, the Sun ran for 174 yards and threw for just 84 yards.

The win means the Sun can assure a first place finish with a win or tie in their season finale next Saturday against the Westshore Rebels. A loss Saturday could have put the Sun on the road throughout the playoffs.

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