Langley Rams’ Nick Downey (above with ball) took a missed field goal 120 yards for the touchdown to break open a tight semifinal playoff game against the Westshore Rebels.

Langley Rams’ Nick Downey (above with ball) took a missed field goal 120 yards for the touchdown to break open a tight semifinal playoff game against the Westshore Rebels.

Langley defence throttles Rebels in shutout win

Langley Rams advances to championship with 33-0 victory

Standing on the sidelines of a tight game, watching the offence not able to muster much of an attack, Langley Rams ace kick returner Nick Downey knew his team needed a big play.

Twice earlier in the first half, he had managed good returns on a pair of long missed field goal attempts from Westshore Rebels kicker Quinn Van Glyswyk.

And like the old cliche goes, the third time was the charm for Downey.

“When we were on the sideline, I was like ‘we need a big play,’” he said.

“‘I was like, I am going to take one of these missed kicks back.’”

Downey delivered a 120-yard missed field goal all the way from the Rams end zone for the game’s first touchdown a few minutes before half-time.

It turned a 4-0 game into an 11-0 lead as the Rams coasted to a 33-0 victory over the the Rebels at McLeod Park on Saturday in B.C. Junior Football Conference semifinal action.

The victory advanced Langley to the league finals and they will travel to Nanaimo to face the Vancouver Island Raiders in the Cullen Cup on Saturday (Oct. 27).

“When the field goals (attempts) are that long, it gives time for blocks to set up,” Downey explained.

He finished with 181 yards on those three kicks, and that was more than enough for a stout Rams defence.

The Langley D was masterful, holding the Rebels to 110 yards of net offence.

Included in that was just 28 yards on 14 rushing attempts for Westshore’s Greg Morris, the league’s leading rusher with 1,527 yards in 10 games.

“We wrapped up, we didn’t let them out of the box,” said Langley linebacker Joe Patko, the reigning league defensive player of the week.

“We didn’t let them to get any momentum.”

Patko finished with a team-high six tackles, plus an assist. He also recovered a fumble, one of three turnovers for the Rams defence.

The others were a Tanner Hamade interception and a Daniel Sharpe fumble recovery.

Sharpe also had one of the three quarterback sacks registered by the Rams defence with Curtis Schindel and Brandon Klein having the others.

With the Rebels unable to get any traction in the ground game— 59 yards on 22 carries — the passing game wasn’t working either.

Quarterbacks Cat Todorvich and Mark Black combined to complete seven of their 25 passes for 75 yards.

“Our defence has stepped up every week,” Patko said.

“We know we are the number one defence in the league.

“We made some mistakes, but we fixed them and we pitched a shutout.

“You can’t ask for anything more.”

Offensively, Langley had a slow start to the game.

They opened the scoring with a single point when Nick Naylor missed a 50-yard field goal.

It was Naylor’s only miss as he was good on his other three attempts.

The last of the Langley points were a touchdown pass from Greg Bowcott to Michael Patko and a short rushing touchdown from Daniel Xavier.

Patko led the receivers with three catches for 101 yards while Malcolm Williams hauled in four passes for 86 yards.

Bowcott finished 10-for-23 for 200 yards.

Xavier had 62 yards to lead the rushing attack.

While Langley got away with the slow start against Westshore, coach Jeff Alamolhoda knows the team can’t afford that against the Raiders.

“We have to work on coming out stronger; I thought we were flat at the beginning,” he said.

“We can’t do that in a playoff game.

“We have to come out and be prepared right at the first whistle.

“It took us a little while to get rolling, but when we did, the offence started clicking.”

Alamolhoda said a big turning point was Downey’s touchdown and from that spurred the team on.