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Okanagan Sun lay 73 on PG at the Apple Bowl

Sun stomp listless Kodiaks

Where do you begin with a game in which the home team puts 73 points on the board against a team it put up 74 against just a week earlier?

You could start with the rationale of the reigning league and national champions playing a second year team three times in the same season while facing a team it would battle for a regular season title just once.

But, the schedule is what it is and travel for teams with a limited budget isn't cheap.

So, what can be gleaned from two games in which the Sun scored 60 unanswered points over the last two-and-a-half quarters in a 73-10 pasting of the Prince George Kodiaks?

For that, Sun head coach Travis Miller.

"We learned the resilience of our team. We didn't play very well in that first quarter and our guys came out in the second and third quarters and played to their potential which is what they want," said Miller.

The Sun led 13-0 after one quarter on a four-yard run from Aiden Wiberg and Adam Rocha's 26-yard dart to Ethan Kiefer. But, a missed extra point on a bad snap (the theme of the first half) left the lead at 13.

The Kodiaks made a game of it, at least for a few moments early in the second. Aided by a pass interference call on second and long, the Kodiaks were able to move into position for a 32-yard field goal.

On their next possession after another bad snap on a third down punt gave the Kodiaks the ball at the Sun 45, they needed just four plays to find the end zone and cut the deficit to 13-10.

After a tense meeting with defensive co-ordinator Eli Haynes and his squad, the Kodiaks didn't get a sniff the rest of the night.

At the same time, the Sun offence took over.

A conceded safety was followed by a bruising six-yard touchdown run for new running back Elelyon Noa, another safety and a nine-yard touchdown strike from third string quarterback Hunter Norman to Sam Melanson.

Eighteen points in a span of 4:17 put the Sun up 31-10 at the half and calmed the crowd.

It was just a precursor to what was to come.

Rocha, who came back for the third quarter, hit Colby Miletto in stride deep down field off play-action on the first play of the half for a 63-yard strike and, if the route wasn't already on, that play left no doubt.

"We knew what we had. We were waiting for it. We called it at the right time and we got it," said Miller of that play.

Rocha hit Kenny Williams and Kiefer again with touchdown strikes in the third before giving way to Norman in the final 15.

He tossed two more touchdown strikes to Kiefer, his third and Jasiah Haliburton.

Noa also had a second rushing touchdown to cap off the scoring.

Unofficially, the Sun amassed 666 yards of total offence in the game including 395 through the air.

Norman was a sparkling 15 of 17 for 213 yards and three touchdowns while Rocha completed a tidy 10 of 12 for 182 yards and four majors.

"Hunter is an absolutely phenomenal kid and so is Adam. I'm so happy with both of them.

"They both play great and they're both great kids. They deserve all that."

Melanson was the busiest of the receiver, catching eight balls for 96 yards and the touchdown while Kiefer, playing just his second game after returning from injury caught five for 125 yards and three scores.

But potentially the jewel of the night was Noa who came to the Sun from Boise State. The man who shattered Reggie Bush's career high school rushing record carried the ball 19 times for 189 yards and two majors.

Noa brought the Apple Bowl crowd to their feet the first time he touched the ball. It looked as if he would be taken down for a loss, but broke that tackle and three or four others including a couple of devastating stiff arms on his way to an electrifying 42-yard run.

Miller believes Noa could be a difference maker before the year is out.

The Sun are now 7-1, and share second with the 7-2 Valley Huskers. They meet next Saturday afternoon in Chilliwack to decide who host the semi-final in two weeks.

The Sun will end up playing just nine games this season because an Aug. 19 game against the Langley Rams, postponed due to wildfires in the Central Okanaagn will not be made up.

The Westshore Rebels will face Langley in the other semi.



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