Last time these teams met, Langley Rams running back Andrew Pocrnic admitted they were caught off guard by the Okanagan Sun.
He pledged the Rams would be ready for the Okanagan the next time they played.
Well, here we are.
The Sun are in Langley this afternoon for a 5 p.m. kickoff against the B.C. Football Conference’s top team. Langley (7-0) came back to edge the Sun 14-10 on Sept. 8.
Pocrnic not only leads the BCFC with 800 yards rushing on 111 carries, he’s also the conference’s leading scorer with 13 touchdowns.
He’s not someone who appears to need extra motivation, but he also seemed like he wanted another chance at the Sun after that Week 5 win.
“We’re definitely going to bring a lot more intensity,” Pocrnic said. “They definitely earned our respect, and we’ll treat them accordingly.”
Sun coach Jamie Boreham said he’s not concerned about how intense or motivated an opponent might be.
Instead, he’s simply marching forward.
“We’re not the same team when we played them three weeks ago,” he said. “We’re a better team than that and fully expect to come out with a better effort and better execution.”
Especially in the fourth quarter.
The Sun led 10-8 with about three minutes to play against Langley in their previous meeting. The Rams converted a third-and-18 pass over the middle to stay alive, and then the Sun committed a dead-ball foul to put Langley on the 1-yard line with seconds to play.
It almost feels like this Langley team — ranked second in the Canadian Junior Football League — is destined to remain unbeaten.
Boreham sees it otherwise, although the keys to success are many. Imagine a high-school janitor jangling down a hallway. Now imagine the ring of keys he’s carrying.
In no particular order, Boreham said to beat the Rams, the Sun must play: “Sound football, good fundamentals, know your assignments.
“We aim to be perfect,” he continued. “Perfect execution. Give ourselves a chance to win. Don’t turn the ball over. We’ve got to stop the run and eliminate their vertical passes and get first downs on offence and put it in the end zone a couple of times.”
Simple, really, when you think about it.
The Sun (4-3) will arrive in Langley have won two straight games. They’ve outscored their opponents 78-9. Sure, those opponents were the Valley Huskers (1-6) and Kamloops Broncos (0-7). But the Sun were in need of positives as they head into a vicious stretch drive.
After Langley, the Vancouver Island Raiders (4-3) visit the Okanagan. The Sun close out the regular season with a trip to meet the Westshore Rebels (5-2).
The Sun have clinched at least fourth place in the BCFC, and while finishing first seems unlikely, they could still catch Westshore for second and host a playoff game.