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Okanagan Sun scored 16 unanswered points to beat VI Raiders

Strong 2nd half paces Sun

The Okanagan Sun overcame a dismal first half and an 11-point deficit to upend the VI Raiders 19-14 in their final home game of the BCFC season Sunday.

Alex Douglas capped the comeback with a 30-yard strike to rookie receiver Chan Lual with 2:06 left on the clock.

The two-point attempt failed, but interceptions by Cole Stregger and Mitch Walz on the final two Raiders possessions sealed the victory.

The winning touchdown was set up by a botched snap on a third down punt. Stregger fell on the ball, giving the Sun the ball on the Raiders 45.

Five plays later, after successfully converting on third and one, Douglas connected with Lual in the end zone.

The win was payback for a Raiders team that stung the Sun 37-13 in Nanaimo earlier in the season.

"It was entertaining. You get to learn a little bit more about yourself in tight games more than other ones," said head coach Jamie Boreham.

"I think we learned a little bit more about ourselves and took a step closer to the team we want to be."

This one looked like it might be an other blowout in the early going.

Trailing 3-0 after Isaac Wegner booted a 30-yard field goal, the Raiders took the ensuing kickoff and marched 89 yards on just seven plays. The drive was set up by a 40-yard strike from quarterback Keagen Henderson Mike West.

Henderson capped off the drive with a 16-year TD pass to North Rainey.

The Raiders marched deep into Sun territory on three second quarter possessions, but walked away with just seven points on a pair of Nickolas Hunchak field goals from 29 and 21 yards out, and a single off a missed 23 yard attempt.

The Sun were unable to do much offensively in the opening half, unofficially amassing just 97 yards in total offence.

Douglas completed just two of six passes for 12 yards but, in his defence, he was under pressure fore much of the half and when he did have time, his receivers were unable to hang on to the football.

They managed just four first downs and, the points they did get were set up when Wegner recovered his own punt at the Raiders 21. They fumbled once and Douglas was sacked twice.

The Sun showed some life in the second half.

On their first possession of the second half, facing a second-and-10 at the 30, Douglas heaved a pass down the right seam. The defender stumbled as Conor Richard ran under the ball just past mid-field.

He sprinted the rest of the way untouched into the end zone.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Sun again took advantage of an opportunity on special teams, when Garret Cape recovered a fumble on a Raiders punt return.

The Sun took the ball on the 34. They converted a third and inches to get the ball to the 22, setting up Wegner's second 30-yard field goal of the afternoon.

That all served to set up the winning score late in the game.

Boreham says a win like this can do nothing but build up the confidence of a young football team.

"They're believing. The more time they have successes, and believing in themselves, it could be interesting as we go."

The Sun finished with just 288 yards of total offence. Douglas bounced back in the second half, converting on nine of 19 for the day for 164 yards and the two touchdowns. He was not intercepted on the afternoon.

Henderson finished the day 10-23 for 212 yards and a touchdown. But, he was intercepted three times.

Former Sun running back Andre Goulbourne was a workhorse for the Raiders out of the backfield. He carried the ball 32 times for 161 yards.

Sunday's win, the first for the Sun against a team higher in the standings, moves them temporarily into third place with a record of 5-4.

They can clinch third and avoid a meeting with the powerhouse Langley Rams with a win in the season finale in two weeks in Victoria, or if the Raiders fall to the 2-7 Valley Huskers.



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