The Okanagan Sun didn't paint a masterpiece Saturday afternoon, but they did more than enough with their starting quarterback on the bench to toss aside the expansion Prince George Kodiaks 35-0 in a chippy, penalty-filled affair at the Apple Bowl.
Rookie Liam Kroeger earned his first career BC Football Conference win, throwing for 163 yards and a touchdown in his first career start.
Kroeger started in place of Dominic Britton, who dressed, but didn't play after a minor injury in last weekend's win over the VI Raiders.
"He would have been good this week...we dressed him and he was going to play, but Liam looked fine and we've been happy with Liam's play up until this point, so we gave hm a chance to go," said head coach Travis Miller.
Kroeger marched the Sun down the field on their opening drive, running for 14 yards on the opening play and connecting on all three of his passes. An offensive penalty stalled the drive, forcing them to settle for a 35-yard Liam Attwood field goal.
On their next possession, Mike O'Shea gave Kroeger and company excellent field position, returning a punt to the Kodiaks 39.
Seven plays later, Javon Garwood, who returned to the lineup after a minor nick sat him down for much of last week's game, barreled in from a yard out to put the Sun up 10-0.
After the Sun defence again stymied the Prince George offence, O'Shea did what O'Shea does best, electrify the bench and the fans.
With his day, Winnipeg Blue bombers head coach Mike O'Shea Sr. in the crowd, junior fielded a punt near the right hashmark at the Kodiaks 53, found a seam to the left, beat the coverage to the left sideline, and scampered 53 yards for an electrifying touchdown.
It was his third kick return touchdown in as many games.
"Mike is a very, very special player. He's a special person, and he adds a different energy to our whole team from the beginning whether it's special teams or offence," said Miller.
Just the fact he was able to give us a boost when he did really put us in a positive position. He's been doing it all season long."
O'Shea was so effective, on their next change of possession, the Kodiaks ran his over before he was able to field the punt, prompting some pushing and shoving but fortunately, nothing more.
After Attwood opened the second quarter with a 38 yard single, O'Shea was at it again.
A 40-yard punt return set Kroeger up on the Kodiaks 11. Aidan Wiberg found the end zone on the next play to put the Sun up 25.
Just before the half, again working with a short field, Kroeger needed just two plays to move the Sun 43 yards, culminating with a 29 yard strike to Caiden Peterson.
The 32-0 lead was all the Sun needed. The added just a conceded safety and a 41-yard Attwood single in the second half.
Kroeger finished 11-18 for 163 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked four times.
The Sun finished the afternoon with 260 yards of total offence including only 123 on the ground as the Kodiaks front seven did a good job preventing big plays from the backfield.
As the Kodiaks defence played, the Sun were better and then some.
After holding the VI Raiders to just 14 yards on the ground a week ago, they bottled up the Kodiaks run game, allowing a mere 29 yards on the ground.
They also pressured the two PG quarterbacks all game long, cresting seven sacks and forcing them to get rid of the ball on a number of other occasions.
"Romareo Reid, Kwadwo Boahen, one of my favorite players on this team, Kelon Thomas, Aiden Hennessey, those guys just rotate and they roll.
"They are strong, they are fast on the defensive line and all of our linebackers are quality guys. I can't say enough good things about our defence in general.
Reid, who leads the BCFC with 6.5 sacks, added two more to his total Saturday, giving him six over his past two games.
The Sun, 5-0, get the Labour Day long weekend off before starting the second half of the season on the road in Victoria against the 4-1 Westshore Rebels.
They'll close out the home portion of their schedule with games against the Valley Huskers Sept. 17 and the Langley Rams the following week.