The defence was in fine form but the offence came up short in the season opener for the Langley Rams.
Led by Brock Gowanlock — who finished with four quarterback sacks, three tackles and one assist — the Rams sacked Vancouver Island Raiders quarterback Liam O’Brien seven times. And normally, spending that much time in the opposition’s back-field would likely result in a victory. But the Raiders scored the game’s 15 final points to upend Langley 22-14 on Saturday afternoon in Nanaimo as the B.C. Football Conference season kicked off.
“Unfortunately, without an exhibition game, it always takes longer for your offence to get on the same page,” said Rams coach Jeff Alamolhoda.
“It is going to be a work in progress.”
Langley scored a pair of second quarter touchdowns as quarterback Devoun Hallums connected with Nathan Lund and Jordon Traversy.
But that would be the only time all game the Rams found the end zone.
Statistically, the game was fairly even with Langley out-gaining the Raiders 356 yards to 351 and both teams finding the end zone twice. But V.I. hit a pair of field goals — the Rams missed a 25-yarder — as well as forcing Langley to concede a safety.
The Raiders also won the turnover battle, picking off a pair of passes, forcing a fumble to set up another score, and getting a turnover on downs, while Langley was unable to generate any turnovers. Another discrepancy was penalties, as Langley was flagged 14 times for 120 yards while the Raiders committed half the infractions for 55 yards.
Despite the loss, Alamolhoda saw positive signs.
“We continued to fight,” he said.
“And we (the coaching staff and the players) we just have to get back to work.
“If we do that, we know we are going to be OK.”
The Rams will look for their first win as they visit the Kamloops Broncos on Aug. 2 at Hillside Stadium.