The Okanagan Sun saw their season come to an end in wet Langley Saturday

Sun fall in BCFC final

The Langley Rams are BC Football Conference champions for a third straight season.

In a game dominated by defence and played in a steady downpour in Langley, it was the Rams Number 1 rated defence that came out on top.

The Rams limited the Sun to just six first downs, two via penalty, and held them to just 51 yards of total offence in a 7-4 victory in the Cullen Cup championship game.

The difference on the scoreboard was a first quarter Rams field goal - the difference on the field, the inability of the Sun to take advantage of favourable field position throughout much of the game.

On seven different occasions, the Sun began a series on the Rams side of the field and on each occasion, they failed to earn a first down. With first down on the Rams 29, Dominic Britton was intercepted by BCFC defensive player of the year Kyle Clarot at the goal line on first down.

The Rams led 5-0 after one quarter off a 28 yard field goal from Tato Ferreyro Araya and a safety off a bad snap that sailed over Isaac Wegner's head and into the end zone.

The Sun got two points of their own after the Rams conceded a safety after Wegner had pinned them deep off a third down punt.

The Sun managed just 15 yards of offence in the first half with Britton failing to complete any of his eight passes and BCFC offensive player of the year Malcolm Miller spending most of the half on the bench.

Miller, who saw only a few snaps in last week's semi-final with an apparent hand injury, carried the ball just six times for two yards Saturday.

After the Sun conceded another safety early in the third to go down 7-2, their special teams came up with what could have been the play of the game.

The Sun blocked a Rams punt at the goal line, however, the ball fell at the feet of Clarot, who ran 20 yards for a Rams first down.

Instead of a touchdown or at least first-and-goal inside the five, it was the Rams who took over the football.

A second conceded safety late in the third pulled the Sun to within three at 7-4.

They had a chance to tie it following their only sustained drive midway through the fourth.

Starting on their own 21 and following a pass interference penalty, Britton hit his first two passes of the game, a 30 yarder to Matthew Sibley and a 14 yard strike to Blaise Beauchemin.

Consecutive runs of five and four yards put the ball on the Rams 21.

The Sun elected to send Liam Attwood onto the field for a 28 yard field goal, but Mike O'Shea was unable to handle the wet football, and his desperation pass came up two yards shy.

The final Sun drive was stopped at the 51 when they failed on a third and one.

The Rams will now go on to host the Western Final next weekend against the winner of Sunday's Prairie Conference final between the Saskatoon Hilltops and Regina Thunder.

The Okanagan Sun have organized a fan bus for Saturday's BCFC final in Langley

Sun fan bus off to final

The Okanagan Sun have organized a fan bus for this weekend's BC Football Conference final in Langley.

The price of a seat is $75, and includes transportation to and from the game, a game ticket and food for the ride home.

The bus departs from the Apple Bowl at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

The Sun and Langley meet for the Cullen Cup at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Both teams finished the regular season with identical 7-1 records. The Rams beat the Sun 7-0 in Langley early in the season in a game cut short due to a power failure in the area.

The Sun beat the Rams 13-6 in the regular season finale at the Apple Bowl.

Langley was awarded first place based on fewer points allowed over the entire regular season.

Both teams handily won their semi-final games last weekend.

The winner of tomorrow's league final will host the Western final against the Prairie Conference champion next weekend.

Okanagan Sun advanced to the BCFC final with a convincing 33-0 win over the VI Raiders

Sun off to BCFC final

The Okanagan Sun will play for the Cullen Cup in the BC Football Conference championship game - but at what cost?

The Sun throttled the visiting VI Raiders 33-0 Saturday afternoon at the Apple Bowl, but did it without the league's leading rusher, Malcolm Miller.

Miller left the game in the first quarter with an apparent hand injury.

He left the bench in the second quarter, but returned in the second half with his hand wrapped, a precaution according to head coach Jamie Boreham.

"Malcom's done a good job for us. He's a little sore so we decided to take him out in the first quarter," said Boreham.

"It's end of the season. We have so many bumps and bruises and we got to the point where we said we're going to be fine. Our young back's good too. It took a little longer than we hoped for, but they finished the fourth quarter real well."

Miller carried the ball just twice for six yards, both carries coming on their third possession of the game.

Kaiden Banfield carried the load for much of the rest of the game, gaining 51 yards on eight carries.

The Sun set the tone right out of the gate when Matthew Sibley took the opening kickoff 88 yards to paydirt.

Sibley fielded the ball on the right hashmark, found his blockers, sprinted to the left and scampered down the left sideline to the end zone.

It was the second time Sibley has returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Early in the second quarter with good field position at the Raiders 37 following a poor punt, Dominic Britton needed just three plays to hook up with Mike O'Shea for a 24 yard touchdown.

The offense sputtered through much of the second and third quarters, managing just a pair of singles and a conceded safety.

But, leading 18-0 in the fourth, the offence came alive..

Britton capped off a four play, 60 yard drive with a one-yard plunge.

He closed the scoring with a 37 yard strike to Sibley.

With Miller on the sidelines, Britton carried most of the load on his shoulders, completing 16 of 20 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

He also tossed a pair of first half interceptions, one on an ill-advised pass into the end zone, the other on a catchable ball deflected into the waiting arms of a Raider defensive back.

Aside from those, Britton was nearly perfect on the day.

"We liked some matchups, so we played some matchups and some systems on systems.

"I think Dom had a good week of preparation with the receivers as well. The O-Line kept him up and gave him some time. We just have to get in the end zone a little earlier. "

The defence held the Raiders in check much of the afternoon, giving up a little more than 200 yards in total offence.

Quarterback Jake Laberge found himself running for his life much of the afternoon. When he wasn't knocked to the ground or forced to scramble himself, Laberge managed to complete on nine of 28 passes for 79 yards.

The Raiders also lost a pair of fumbles and turned the ball over on downs four times.

The Sun will face the Langley Rams for the Cullen Cup in Langley next Saturday.

The Rams won the right to host the final, beating the Valley Huskers 39-8 in the other semi-final.

The Okanagan Sun kick off the BCFC post season on home turf Saturday

Sun host Raiders in semi

The Okanagan Sun hope to get one more crack at the league champion Langley Rams.

Standing in their way, a date with the VI Raiders Saturday afternoon at the Apple Bowl.

The Sun and Raiders faceoff for the third time this season in one of two BCFC semi-finals.

It won't be much of a surprise if running back Malcolm Miller gets the ball early, and often for the Sun.

The Raiders were unable to slow Miller down during their two regular season meetings, as he slashed through their front seven for 623 yards and five touchdowns on 66 carries (9.4 yards per carry).

Miller won the league rushing title with 1,360 yards in just eight games.

Quarterback Dominic Britton threw for nearly 350 yards in the two games, including five touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Despite a lopsided 70-25 win over the Raiders during their only meeting at the Apple Bowl, head coach Jamie Boreham was less than thrilled with the overall effort.

"It was embarrassing to have a game like that, and not respond and not adjust, and not play better and stop taking penalties," Boreham said at the time.

The Sun were assessed 225 yards in penalties during that game.

They also allowed Raiders quarterback Jake Laberge to throw for 271 yards.

Saturday's other semi pits the Rams against the Valley Huskers.

The winners of Saturday's games will meet in the BCFC final the following weekend.

The BCFC winner will host the Prairie Conference champion in the national semi-final, with the Canadian Bowl slated for the home park of the Ontario Football Conference champions.

The Okanagan Sun won the battle but not the war, falling just short of first in the BCFC

Sun win showdown but...

The Okanagan Sun had numerous chances to do what they had to to claim first place in the BCFC and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But, when the dust settled, they came up a few yards, and a single point short.

The Sun 13-6 victory over the Langley Rams left the teams deadlocked with identical 7-1 records, and a 13-13 tie in the head-to-head meetings. Langley finishes first based on allowing fewer points scored over the course of the season.

The game, played before a raucous crowd at the Apple Bowl was every bit the defensive struggle it was billed to be.

And, while it was the Sun defence that created great field position deep inside Langley territory, it was the Rams defence, and some untimely miscues by the Sun offence, that allowed the Rams to leave Kelowna with first place firmly tucked in their pocket.

An interception at the Langley 27 late in the first quarter gave the Sun their first chance to get a leg up, but they managed only two yards, and had to settle for a Liam Attwood 32-yard field goal.

Midway through the third, the Sun fell on a fumble at the Rams six but, after two running lays put the ball on the one, quarterback Dominic Britton bobbled the snap on third-and-goal, turning the ball back to the Rams.

Late in the fourth, up 10-6, Britton and receiver Mike O'Shea hooked up on a 39-yard strike, setting the Sun up with first-and-goal at the Langley two.

However, a procedure penalty moved the ball back to the seven, forcing the Sun to settle for Attwood's 18-yard field goal.

"It was a tough game. Football is a tough enough game, and beating a good team is a tough enough objective, winning by eight...now we just have to win football games," said head coach Jamie Boreham.

The game was tied 3-3 at the half as neither team was able to mount much of an offence.

It stayed that way through the third quarter and, just as it looked as if the game would end in a deadlock, O'Shea shook free from a defender down the middle of the field, and Britton hit him in stride for a 55-yard touchdown 90 seconds into the fourth.

It was their biggest offensive play of the night.

Needing eight to secure first place, Boreham sent Attwood out to convert the touchdown rather than try for two.

"Yea we thought about it a lot. But, with time left in game and situation, and we have a great kicker. We were willing to put it on our kicker's foot."

On the ensuing possession, Langley quarterback Michael Calvert connected on a 65 yard strike to Daniel Kubongo down the left sideline.

The play set up a 20-yard field goal from Tato Ferreyro Araya, cutting the deficit to four.

Attwood's 18-yard field goal with just under four minutes to go again put the Sun up seven.

On their ensuing drive, with under two minutes to go, sure-handed Malcolm Miller coughed up the ball on a third-and-one at the Rams 36.

The Sun held, forced a punt and, in the dying moments, Britton found Kyle Zakala for a 39 yard strike, putting the ball at the Rams 23.

Miller scampered for eight yard to the Langley 15.

The Sun let the clock run down to zero, but took too long getting the field goal team out on the field. The ensuing 10-yard penalty for delay of game put the ball back on the 25.

Liam Attwood's field goal attempt looked to curl just inside the right upright, but was ruled no good. The Rams ran the ball out, preserving the seven point margin and securing top spot.

Boreham said there was some talk about trying to punt for the single.

"We thought about that but it was chilly out. Ball's cold, air's cold.

"The ball doesn't travel that far and we weren't averaging 40 yards a kick, so that leaves us five or 10 yards short in the end zone. So, putting it on our kickers foot, I've been in that situation in the CFL."

Britton finished the game 11-16 for 205 yards and a touchdown. Most of that came in the fourth quarter, when he completed eight of 11 for 195 yards.

Miller, who set a single-season rushing record, was held to just 79 yards on 23 carries. He also caught three passes for 36 yards.

The Sun will face the VI Raiders, who beat Chilliwack Saturday in one semi final while the Rams will host the Valley Huskers.

Game time for next weekend's semi-final at the Apple Bowl will be determined early next week.

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