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BCFC  

Sun capture BCFC title

For the first time since their undefeated season of 2015, the Okanagan Sun are BC Football Conference regular season champions.

After a shaky first half of the season, the Sun bounced back winning their last five games to edge out the Langley Rams and take the title with a 7-2-1 record.

The clinched the championship Saturday night with a 25-9 thumping of the Westshore Rebels before a chilly crowd at the Apple Bowl.

In the process, linebacker Conor Richard tied a BCFC record with his sixth blocked kick of the season. He broke through the Westshore line and blocked an extra point early in the fourth quarter.

He may have had a chance to break the record, but on five separate occasions, with the punter standing in the end zone, the Rebels elected to concede a safety rather than chance a block or a good return.

"Conor I think would have loved to get one more to take the record outright, but we are so proud of how far he's come, not only on the field but off the field too," said head coach Ben Macauley.

"He's a special part of our program and we're happy for him."

The first half of the game more resembled a Kelowna Rockets-Victory Royals game than a BCFC game. The teams combined for just eight points, as the Sun held a 5-3 lead at the half, getting their points on two safeties and a single off Isaac Wegner's missed 30-year field goal.

The Sun had chances to score on their first two drives, but turned the ball over on both occasions deep inside Westshore territory.

On the opening drive, the Sun marched inside the Westshore 30, aided by a successfully executed fake punt. But, on second and five, Matthew Mahler's pass to the end zone was intercepted.

On their next possession with the ball at the six, Mahler was unable to handle the snap. The Rebels fell on the loose football. Both Rebel drives stalled, resulting in conceded safeties.

"The first half was good for us to see what we could do and what we struggled with," said Macauley.

"We knew we could run the ball between the tackles, and it was good to see we could finish it off with a good second half both running, and passing the ball."

The Sun took advantage of a Westshore miscue on the opening kickoff of the second half. Austin Daisy fell on the fumbled return at the Rebels 16.

Two plays later, Kelton Kouri barrelled his way in from 10-years out to put the Sun up nine.

It stayed that way until the early moments of the fourth quarter when Rebels quarterback Mason Brown hooked up with Nathan Falito for a 42-yard strike. The blocked extra point kept the Sun up 12-9.

The Sun put it away on their next possession. Facing second and 10 from their 20, Mahler hit a wide open Kouri in stride at about the 40. Kouri outran two defenders for a 90 yard touchdown, putting the Sun up 19-9.

"Wed saw a couple of times where we got mismatches with him heading out of the backfield. They're in man coverage, so it was him against a linebacker most of the time.

"I didn't know he had that much speed in him because we thought he was going to be caught from behind. Apparently he does have some speed, and he was able to use it to our advantage."

Three more safeties down the stretch closed out the scoring, as the Rebels offence seemed to pack it in. Brown was sacked five times over the last half of the fourth quarter, two of those resulting in some extra curricular shenanigans that saw two Rebels ejected.

Mahler had one of his most efficient games behind centre in place of injured Jakob Loucks. Mahler was 12 of 20 for 220 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He also ran the ball twice for 22 yards.

Kouri ran the ball 12 times for 54 yards and a touchdown, and caught two balls for 100 yards and the touchdown.

The Rebels were unable to get any traction on the ground. They managed just 66 yards on the ground, 48 of those on three scrambles by Brown who was under pressure much of the night.

The Sun will now get ready to face the Valley Huskers in one of two semi-finals Sunday.

The teams split their two meetings this season, each winning on home turf.

Next Sunday's semi kicks off at 1 p.m. at the Apple Bowl.

Unofficially, the Sun amassed 335 yards of total offence

 



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