Sun roll late, stay perfect

The Okanagan Sun broke open a tight game with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to a 34-17 win over the hometown Langley Rams.

It was a close contest for much of the game until the Sun took advantage of some big plays on defence, giving the offence a short field to work with.

Kelton Kouri ran in his second touchdown of the game and quarterback Nick Wenman called his own number for a second major late in the game to put the game out of reach.

The Rams put points up on the board first when Wayne Parker hit on a 36-yard field goal on Langley's first possession of the game. The drive was aided by a roughing the kicker penalty against the Sun.

Isaac Wegner put the Sun on even terms on the first play of the second quarter from 22-yards out.

Kouri ran in his first major of the game from two-yards out to give the Sun a 10-3 lead, one they would not relinquish.

After a punt block. the first of three on the night, the Sun drove the ball down the field where Wegner hooked up with Kyler Mosley to make it 17-3.

It looked like the Sun would take that lead into halftime until, on third down, quarterback Colby Peters hooked up with Khalik Johnson in the end zone with just seconds left on the clock.

It was the first touchdown the Sun defence has allowed since the first minute of the second quarter against Victoria two games ago - a span of 134 minutes.

The Sun clung to a 20-17 lead heading into the final quarter when the the defence and special teams took over.

After Kouri made it 27-17, Beck Fullerton picked off his first pass of the season and ran it back deep in Langley territory. Wenman went over from two-yards out to close out the scoring.

The defence intercepted a pair of passes, including Ty Kitzman's third in three games. They also forced a fumble on the opening kickoff.

The special teams group blocked three punts, giving them five blocks on the season, including four punts and a field goal try.

The Sun are now 3-0 on the young season. The Rams fall to 1-2, losing both games at home.

Kelowna return to the Apple Bowl next Saturday as the Valley Huskers come to town.

The Huskers fell to 0-3 Saturday, losing 40-0 to the VI Raiders, the second game in a row in which they have been shut out.

The Huskers have scored just eight points on the season, while the Sun defence has given up a stingy 32.

Sun ready for road debut

The Okanagan Sun hope their game travels as well as it plays out within the cozy confines of the Apple Bowl.

The Sun take their perfect 2-0 record on the road for the first time this season when they face off against the highly touted Langley Rams.

The Rams were consensus pre-season favourites to win the BC Football Conference title this season.

After a 20-13 home field defeat at the hands of the VI Raiders to open the season, the Rams got the ship turned around, blowing out the winless Valley Huskers last weekend.

The Sun will once again ask backup quarterback Nick Wenman to lead the offence, in search of a third straight win.

Wenman was outstanding last week in a 36-0 drubbing of Kamloops. In his first BCFC start, Wenman completed 20 of 30 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns.

Just as important, he didn't turn the ball over once.

Starter Keith Zyla sat out last week with a lower body injury. Head coach Ben Macauley says he's close to coming back, but adds while the win is important, it's just as important to be healthy in October and November.

"Nick made us feel more comfortable with the timeline to let Keith recover.," said Macauley.

It was a tough week in practice as the Sun worked on tightening up their discipline after having three second quarter touchdowns called back last week because of penalties.

"Some of the penalties we have to take ownership of and fix up the laziness. We addressed that this week," said Macauley.

"Some of the other stuff was questionable, but we have the luxury of going back and watching on film in slo-motion over-and-over again with two different angles. They don't have that luxury on the field so we're not going to hammer the refs on that."

Macauley says if the team does everything else right, they'll be in a good position at the end of the game.

The Sun come into the game with a defence that has allowed just one point over a span of 51 seconds shy of seven straight quarters.

Macauley says the defence will have to be alert Saturday as the Rams feature good talent on the outside and will likely look to establish thee line of scrimmage with their running game.

Kickoff Saturday is 5 p.m. in Langley.

The Sun return home the following weekend when they entertain the Valley Huskers, Aug. 19.

Sun duo honoured

Two members of the Okanagan Sun were named BC Football Conference Players of the Week Wednesday.

Quarterback Nick Wenman, who started in place of injured Keith Zyla under centre, was named the Offensive Player of the Week.

Wenman, making his first BCFC start, completed 20 of 30 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Sun to a 36-0 drubbing of the Kamloops Broncos Saturday night at the Apple Bowl.

Kick returner-wide receiver Nathanael Anderson was named the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Anderson returned five punts for 95 yards, including a long of 28 yards.

That was on top of his seven receptions, one of which went for a 52 yard touchdown.

Both Wenman and Anderson are now in the running for CJFL Player of the Week, along with defensive back Kyle Clarot from Langley.

Sun DB Tye Kitzman won that distinction after Week 1, which is voted on by fans through a poll on the CJFL's website.

The Rams and the Sun will battle in Langley this weekend, with kickoff set for 5 pm on Saturday.


Sun backup takes charge

A quarterback controversy? Probably not.

But, with starter Keith Zyla on the bench with a lower body injury, backup Nick Wenman made the most of his first start in junior football.

Unofficially, the Cold Lake, AB product threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Sun to a 36-0 pasting of the visiting Kamloops Broncos Saturday night.

"Honestly, I thought I would be, but I really didn't have many nerves," he said.

"I just woke up ready to go. It was kind of weird."

Wenman got the Sun on the board early, moving the team 69 yards on three plays on the team's second possession of the night. The drive was capped off by a pretty 36 yard strike to Kyler Mosley.

Wenman pump-faked, then hit Mosley, who was wide open down the right sideline, in stride.

He credited his offensive line with giving him the time and Mosley for getting as open as he was on the play.

The Sun led just 10-0 at the half despite dominating the Broncos on both sides of the ball. Penalties at the wrong time took 21 points off the board in the second quarter alone.

Touchdown passes to Tyson Mastrodimos (holding) and Liam Crane (illegal block), and a pick-six by defensive back Ty Kitzman (illegal block), were all called back.


"A little bit, but it's just mental errors we're got to eliminate," said Wenman."

"But, it is what it is. We're going to move on to next week."

Head coach Ben Macauley was a little less forgiving.

"It's something we can blame the refs for, but a lot of the cases we were just being lazy. It's not so much a discipline thing, it's more of an effort thing," said Macauley.

"If you get away with things in practice, you get away with things in games. It shows we didn't crack down hard enough this week on that, so we expect that to change big time, especially on special teams."

Wenman connected with Liam Crane on a 20 yard strike on second-and-20 to put the Sun up 17-0 in the third.

In the fourth, Mosley found the end one a second time, this on a two yard run, before Wenman hit Nathanael Anderson with a 52 yard bomb for his third touchdown pass of the night.

Isaac Wegner converted three of those touchdowns and also hit on three of four field goal attempts.

The Sun defence was again stellar, allowing now just one point over six quarters and 14 minutes.

The defence held Colby Henkle to just 126 yards through the air. That included two completions of 79 yards, including a spectacular one-handed grab by Thijs Duineveld. Take those away, he was 9 of 25 for 47 yards.

The Broncos managed just 32 yards on the ground.

So, is there a quarterback controversy?

Not according to the head coach, who says it's not really fair to compare the performance of each quarterback over the first two games.

"We were playing against a different team. Nick did some things really well, he did what we asked. Keith could have done the same thing if he was in there.

"We have two guys that are really working well. The first guy to congratulate Nick coming off the field is Keith. It's a huge bonus to us to have a guy who can come in there and, depending how long Keith is out, we don't take a step back."

Macauley says Zyla will be back under centre when he's ready to go.

But, Saturday's performance should give them the luxury of not having to rush their number one back before he's ready.

The Sun travel to Langley to face the 1-1 Rams next weekend.

Their next home game is Saturday, Aug. 19, when they host the Valley Huskers.

Sun defender POW

A member of the Okanagan Sun secondary has been named the Canadian Junior Football League's defensive player of the week.

Tye Kitzman was a standout on a defence that allowed just one point over the final 44 minutes of a 19-15 win over the reigning BCFC champion Westshore Rebels Saturday night.

Kitzman had five tackles, one assist, knocked down one pass and intercepted one.

That interception, on the final play of the game, sealed the victory for the Sun.

Rebels receiver D’Saun Greenaway was named offensive player of the week. Greenaway caught seven passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's losing effort to the Sun.

Bryce Mayoh of the VI Raiders was named special teams player of the week after returning two kickoff for 146 yards in the Raiders 20-13 upset of the Langley Rams.

All three have been nominated for CJFL Player of the Week, which is being determined by a fan's poll, which closes on Tuesday at 5 pm.

Click here to vote.

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