Sun slide continues, fall to Raiders
Sep 15, 2012 / 5:00 pm
The Okanagan Sun continue to be their own worst enemy.
The Sun turned the ball over nine times Saturday afternoon falling 44-28 to the visiting Vancouver Island Raiders.
It was a franchise worst fourth loss in a row and the first time the club has even lost three times on home field during the regular season.
The Raiders built a 31-0 lead before the game was 17 minutes old.
Quarterback Jordan Yantz threw his first of two touchdown passes to Whitman Tomuziak on the Raiders first play from scrimmage after Sun pivot Cam Bedore was intercepted.
On the next series running back Alex Bradley fumbled and the raiders marched 60 yards downfield capped off by a seven-yard run by Andrew Deleon.
After the Sun were again able to move the ball Dustin Pedersen returned the ensuing punt 61 yards and it was 21-0 before the first quarter was half old.
The Sun were unable to do anything on offense for most of the first half either through turnovers or dropped passes by wide open receivers.
"You can't be unprepared mentally against that team or any other team. We dug ourselves such a hole. Again, it's uncharacteristic of key guys making plays - they are almost putting too much on themselves," says Sun head coach Gavin Lake.
"We made some adjustments to our offense and it showed for three quarters. In the first quarter we had to get in a rhythm and we didn't."
Lake says the lack of preparation isn't on any on player or group.
"I think with a young group of guys it's on everybody. You have to do what you got to do - coaches can coach, players gotta play," says Lake.
"You go all week in practice anticipating a certain thing, you have to be ready for that. If we weren't prepared for what they offered that's a different story but we just didn't match their level."
Despite the start, the Sun pulled themselves together and outscored the Raiders 28-3 through most of the second and all of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 34-28 heading into the final 15 minutes.
Bedore's first completion, a 29-yard scoring strike to Ben White got the Sun on the board then, on the final play of the opening half Bedore ran in from one yard out to bring the Sun to within 17 at the break.
Robert Giorno ran in from one-yard out and Bradley rambled 61-yards to get the Sun back into the game.
After a Mark Mueller field goal increased the margin to nine, the Sun attempted a fake punt from their own 39-yard line with 10 minutes to play.
The snap to up back Brandon Donkers was low and the Raiders took over from the Sun 34.
"It (the call) was sound, it was 100 per cent sound. We've looked at the film," says Lake.
"It was the only snap all day we botched. Why at that time I can't explain it."
On a positive note, Bradley rambled for 181 yards on 16 carries firmly establishing himself as the Sun number one running back.
Lake says they made some adjustments up front to give Bradley some blocking help and it showed with his numbers.
Despite a slow start Bedore still finished the game 17-32 for 176 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
The loss drops the Sun to 1-5 and guarantees the first non-winning season in franchise history.
They will try to snap their four game skid next Saturday afternoon when the Kamloops Broncos invade the Apple Bowl at 2 p.m.
Ironically, the Broncos are the only team the Sun have managed to beat this year and a game they must win if they have designs on securing the fourth and final playoff spot in the BC Football Conference.
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