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Okanagan Sun score 38 unanswered points in the second half in lopsided win over visiting Valley Huskers

Sun rise, set on Huskers

The night started with the unveiling of three championship banners and ended with the Okanagan Sun showing their latest challenger why they are reigning Canadian Bowl champions.

The Sun took advantage of a pair of blocked punts to stake themselves to a 24-0 lead then put up 38 unanswered in the second half, all while emptying the bench in a 62-6 shellacking of the visiting Valley Huskers, a team touted as an emerging contender in the BCFC.

Not on this night.

First year quarterback Adam Rocha took advantage of his first start in a Sun uniform, took the opening kickoff and marched the team down the field with a series of short dump offs and powerful inside running from Aiden Wieberg. The drive eventually stalled leading to a 21-year Liam Attwood field goal, but the Sun ate up more than six minutes of the clock and showed they could move the ball on the physical Huskers defence.

But it was the Sun special teams that got the ball rolling. Rookie defensive back Gamaliel Kazadi burst through the line untouched to block a punt following the first Huskers possession.

Rocha capped off the two-play six-yard drive with a three yard run, his first of two during his one half of work.

Early in the second quarter after another two-and-out it was veteran Romerio Reid's turn.

"The play was there to be made," said Reid of his blocked punt and scoop for a touchdown.

"The team did their job which allowed me to do my job and I guess I did it a little too well."

The punter bobbled the snap giving Reid an extra split second to beat his man and get his hands on the kick.

"I don't think you can game plan for punt blocks. Every time somebody punts the ball you are trying to block it," said head coach Travis Miller.

"In these situations it just so happens we had a guy come free and twice the guys were able to beat their blockers and make the plays. Romerio Reid made a phenomenal block, scoop and score and again those are just big plays that happen."

Later in the half Rocha engineered another long drive, this one a 10-play, 70-yard drive capped off with his second rushing touchdown of the game.

"They were very, very efficient with everything that happened," said Miller of the execution of the offence during the opening half.

"You can't ask for anything else when the guys are moving the ball down the field and picking up first downs on second and long and second, second and short, third and short. It really pays off in the long run when guys are working together as a unit."

It was much the same in the second half when second-year quarterback Liam Kroeger took over the helm.

Following just a four yard punt Kroeger was able to take advantage of excellent field position and march the team 29 yards in just two plays, capped off with a 27-yard touchdown strike to Jaxon Linn.

Tristan Peddle burst in from 10 yards out before Kroeger bullied his way in from a yard out near the midway point of the fourth.

The 48-6 lead afforded Miller the opportunity to empty his bench and get everyone into the game.

Number three quarterback Hunter Norman got in for a couple of series, capping one off with a 43-yard touchdown strike to Josh Guenther.

Number four man Dominic Peterson also saw action in the dying moments of the game.

The Sun were about as balanced as a team could be on offence, unofficially amassing 469 yards in total offence, 234 through the air and 235 on the ground while holding the Huskers to just 240 total, most of that in the opening half.

The lone Huskers touchdown came at the end of the first half when Tyran Duval engineered a 15-play, 90-yard drive. The drive was aided by three penalties, including a hands to the face call that would have left the Huskers third and 10 at the Sun 43 and a pass interference call in the end zone on a ball well out of the receivers reach.

The Sun, who committed numerous mistakes during a season opening with in Prince George a week ago cut down on those Saturday.

They turned the ball over just once on downs while the defence grabbed two interceptions, a fumble recovery, forced the Huskers out on downs two other occasions while also adding the two punt blocks.

The Sun will look to stay perfect next Saturday when they entertain the Kamloopos Broncos.

The Broncos opened their season on a sour note Saturday falling 70-10 to the Westshore Rebels.

Langley won their first of the season, 54-3 over the winless VI Raiders.



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