Okanagan Sun scored 27 unanswered second half point to upend tough Kamloops Broncos 37-12

Sun survive Bronco scare

The Okanagan Sun needed something to snap out of a first half funk against the visiting Kamloops Broncos Saturday night at the Apple Bowl.

They got from a ball hawking defence and two clutch interceptions from Michael Jourdan.

The second year defensive back picked off Kamloops quarterback Clark Snider on back-to-back possessions midway through the third quarter.

His second interception led to the go-ahead touchdown en route to a 37-12 win over the Broncos (0-2).

The Sun looked like they might blow the Broncos out of the stadium in the first quarter. They held the Broncos to nothing on their first two possessions and on offence, starter Adam Rocha moved the team down the field almost at will.

But mistakes inside Kamloops territory led to just three points, a wide 31-yard field goal and a conceded safety.

Twenty five yards in penalties to start the next Kamloops drive gave the Broncos some life, culminating in an eight-yard touchdown strike from Snider.

Snider connected again on a one-yard major later in the quarter to put the visitors up 12-10 at the half. The lone bright spot for the Sun was a one-yard plunge from Liam Kroeger who replaced Rocha in the second quarter.

That touchdown was set up by a Sun punt return to the Broncos 24.

"I think we overlooked the Kamloops Broncos two years in a row. It was the same thing when we went to Kamloops last year and we did it again tonight," said head coach Travis Miller.

"Mental mistakes, bad throws, bad runs, bad reads, missed opportunities on defence to stop them. We went in at half time and talked about the missed opportunities and how to fix them."

The defence which looked vulnerable at times in the first half tightened up in the third quarter, forcing turnovers on the Broncos first four possessions coming out of halftime.

But, it was the second interception by Jourdan, setting the offence up at the Kamloops 46 that got them started.

A 31-yard run from workhorse back Aiden Wiberg pushed the ball down to the 15 where Kroeger found a diving Ethan Marshall for the go-ahead touchdown. The Sun never looked back from there.

A turnover on downs on the next possession led to Liam Attwood's 16-yard field goal to push the margin to 20-12.

The Sun put it away in the fourth. A Wiberg 10-yard run and an eight-yard scamper from Kroeger sandwiched between Attwood's 18-yard field goal sealed the 37-12 victory.

Kroeger, who played the final three quarters completed 18 of 26 passes for 192 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 35 yards and two more scores.

"We came in the locker room (at halftime) and knew what we had to do. We knew what we were doing wrong," said Kroeger.

"We started out slow again in the second half but we got our bearings and got it going."

Kroeger, who played just a half during the first two games said playing an extra quarter allowed him to stay more calm because he was able to get into it more.

Miller cautioned anyone from looking too much into the fact the second year signal caller played three quarters Saturday.

"Adam had a great week of practice and he was just a little off this week. I have all the faith in the world in both of our quarterbacks. I wouldn't be able to suggest anything right now."

Wiberg did much of the damage on offence barreling his way to 143 tough yards on 16 carries, most coming on runs up the middle.

The Sun amassed 421 yards of total offence, including 201 on the ground.

The Broncos, who had much more success in the first half, finished the night with 260 yards of offence but just 61 on the ground.

Miller chalked up the first half to once again overlooking a Kamloops team that has now lost all 29 games it has played against the Sun since entering the league in 2007.

"I think we overlooked the Kamloops Broncos two years in a row. It was the same thing when we went to Kamloops last year and we did it again tonight.

"It's the game we needed, not the game we wanted. We needed something to wake us up as a group and I think that crystallized exactly what we needed as a group to move forward."

The Sun, 3-0 take on the Langley Rams next Saturday to complete a stretch of three straight at home.

Then it's off to Victoria for a date with the 3-0 Westshore Rebels who dumped the Prince George Kodiaks 49-10 Saturday.

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