Sun, Rams battle of words

The Langley Rams are not a playoff team. The Rams have the best defence in Canadian Junior Football.

Those words, spoken by the head coaches of the Okanagan Sun and Langley Rams, could serve as bulletin board material in respective dressing rooms leading up to Sunday's BC Football Conference title game.

Following a home defeat to the Rams Sept. 8, Sun head coach Ben Macauley let his frustrations out on his team, and during his post-game interview.

"It's just frustrating because I don't think Langley is even a playoff team. I don't believe they're good enough to be on the same field as us most of the time," he said after the game.

Macauley didn't back off those comments after advancing to the championship game against the Rams.

"I'm not going to come out and apologize for what I said. In the heat of the moment you say things," said Macauley.

"I want to back up my team no matter what, and I think we can play a lot better football. My mistake was worrying about what the other team is doing. It's all about what we do, and that's what's going to be the key next week."

Ironically, that game began a streak of six straight wins for the Rams, propelling them into second place, while the Sun won five in a row to take the league's regular season title.

If Macauley's comment is motivation for the Rams, a comment by Langley coach Howie Zaron may do the same for the Sun.

Zaron stated a few weeks ago his defence was the best in the country. He also didn't walk back those remarks on the BCFC championship preview show.

"I think our team is better because we play better as a team," he said.

"We don't have 14 all-stars on defence, but as far as a team goes, I think we just play a better team game on defence."

In response, Macauley says he would expect to hear nothing different, and feels the same about his defensive squad.

"We certainly have some of the headlining players, but the truth is the last five or six weeks, we've had to go without a lot of them.

"We've had to really bond together and find different guys to step up and make plays. A lot of those guys are guys we've had since they were 18 years old who have stepped up in their second and third years and started to make plays for us."

The jabbing didn't stop there.

Despite finishing atop the league standings and having home field advantage, Macauley downplayed the favourites tag.

"We've continually had to come in every week feeling like we were the underdog," he said.

"They got the better of us the last time we played, and they've been on a roll ever since. The regular season means nothing now. We've got our work cut out for us."

Zaron chuckled in response.

"They finish in first place, they're at home and they have 95 per cent of the guys on the all-star team. We all know they're the favourites," he said.

"They're the best team in the province by far. We're just happy to be here. Hopefully, we can give the Sun a good game."

Kickoff Sunday is 1 p.m. at the Apple Bowl.

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