Coach Jamie Boreham takes his Okanagan Sun into hostile territory tonight in Week 2 of B.C. Football Conference play.
The Sun (1-0) will face the Valley Huskers (0-1) in Chilliwack tonight at 7 p.m. inside Exhibition Stadium.
“Any road game is an important game,” Boreham said. “If you win a couple of road games, that just makes our opportunity for playoffs better.”
Valley is coming off a 21-20 loss to the Westshore Rebels while the Sun overcame the Kamloops Broncos 26-3 last Saturday.
Boreham wants to see that his team has progressed after a disappointing — albeit lopsided — victory to start his first season as head coach.
“Overall for game 1, ugly is a great word for it,” he said.
Besides the much-publicized refereeing — saddling the Sun with 185 penalty yards — Boreham said his club must clean up the technical aspects of their game.
He outlined mistakes at almost every position against Kamloops, and is asking both his defensive backs and receivers to catch the
football; the defensive line to better isolate match-ups and assignments; and linebackers to play up to their potential.
“Our special teams has to be way better, too.”
What he was satisfied with, at least, were the intangibles on display against the Broncos.
“We saw effort, and it’s a good thing because if we’ve got to talk about effort, we’re not really talking, we’re doing a lot of running,” he said.
“Effort was there, but lots of ugly: assignment errors and execution errors. But we were happy with the speed guys were trying to play at. We’ll deal with that for Game 1, and we’ve done a good job this week so far in terms of making those corrections.”
Boreham also isolated DB Cole Stregger’s effort.
“He was being physical and he did a real good job helping stopping the run. . . . We were real happy with that.”
What’s next is the fun part.
The Sun will face a Huskers team that led the Rebels 21-7 with less than six minutes remaining last week.
After Rebels’ running back Zachary Lubin scored his second touchdown, Westshore’s defence stuffed the Huskers deep in their own zone.
A mishandled snap — putting the ball into an up-field blocker’s hands, not the punter’s — meant Westshore got the ball back on Valley’s four-yard line.
The Rebels scored almost immediately after that, escaping with the narrow victory.
Many expected a renewed Huskers team this season. Valley made the playoffs thanks to a 6-4 record after going 0-30 the three seasons prior to that.
Now, it’s anyone’s guess as to which Huskers team we’ll get this season.
Turnovers could play a large factor tonight. Valley was plus-3 during that wild loss, but that’s not an honest reflection of the high-wire act that was the Huskers.
Their defence picked off the Rebels three times, including one returned for a score. They also forced a fumble and stopped Westshore on downs three times.
However, Valley QB Reid Vankoughnett also threw one interception and turned over the ball on downs three times.
SUN SPOTS — Boreham said his team is as healthy as can be expected. “It’s just your Game 1 bumps and bruises. If anyone is healthy going forward, fully healthy, you’re not really playing football. Put a bag of ice on it, we’ll get you better and get you back on the field.” . . . Sun running back Kelton Kouri leads the league in rushing with 99 yards on eight carries. . . . Sun QBs Alex Douglas (116.1%) and Ethan Newman (112.5%) are 1-2 in efficiency ratings. . . . Brandon Poulin is Valley’s No. 1 weapon. He caught 10 passes for 115 yards and a TD. On defence, Valley’s Desmond Jeanson had four tackles, two interceptions and a batted ball. Marcel Arruda-Welch had five tackles and an 85-yard INT
return for a TD. . . . You can watch tonight’s game online at bcfctv.com for $15. You can subscribe to three games for $30.