Langley Rams coach Jeff Alamolhoda knows balance is the key as his team prepares for a huge first-place showdown with perennial league powerhouse Vancouver Island Raiders.
“Football is such a mental game we have to be able to balance that fine line of playing intensely and with a lot of emotion and energy and passion but also being able to keep our cool and think and process information during the game,” he said.
The Rams and the Raiders both sit atop the six-team B.C. Junior Football Conference standings with 5-0-1 records. The teams met in week two and played to a 31-31 draw at Nanaimo’s Caledonia Park, a place where the Raiders have not lost during the regular season since 2005.
That was also the last year Vancouver Island did not win the BCFC title.
The Rams and Raiders will play twice in the final four weeks of the regular season, with both games at Langley’s McLeod Park. The first game is this Saturday (Sept. 22) at 4 p.m.
And Alamolhoda knows his team has its work cut out for it.
“We have to elevate our game, raise our level of intensity and game play,” he said.
“We really are going to work on that this week, but we are also going to talk and preach a little bit about being able to straddle that fine line of playing really intense at a high level of energy without losing our minds and our focus on our actual outcome goals.”
The teams enter ranked one-two both offensively and defensively. Langley is second in the league with 46 points per game and their defence has been rock solid, allowing a measly 12.2 points per game. The Rams defence is the only unit in the league to allow less than 100 points (73) so far.
Langley is coming off a road 45-7 win over the Chilliwack Huskers on Sept. 15.
The defence was dominant against the winless Huskers, holding Chilliwack to 104 yards of net offence, including minus 1 in the second half.