The Langley Rams did the expected: they beat the host Kamloops Broncos 34-10 on Saturday to improve to 6-2 on the season.
But it wasn’t easy.
“At this time of the year, when you’re playing a team for the second time, it’s going to be tougher,” Rams head coach Khari Joseph said. “I liked that we came out and for the second week in a row, scored right away on our first drive.”
The 1-7 Broncos put up a fight at Hillside Stadium, but the Rams stayed with it to move into a tie for second place in the B.C. Football Conference with the Okanagan Sun, losers of two straight games.
The Westshore Rebels sit alone atop the junior football standings, with a 6-1-1 mark.
“I felt we played hard and in the end, found a way to win and finish the game,” Joseph said. “I’m happy with that. Kamloops has improved, but we left a lot of points on the board in the red zone and that’s something we have to shore up. But I’m happy with the effort of the guys, and at this point in time, it’s about finding ways to win games.”
The Rams’ league-best defence bent, but never broke – the Broncos manufactured 22 first downs to the Rams’ 19 and their quarterback, Colby Henkel, threw for 254 yards and a touchdown.
But the Rams made the most of their opportunities, with pivot Tommy Robertson connecting on 16 of 27 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns, to Seye Akinsamni, Jay Jay Jackson, and Nick Agnoletto.
Running back Tyrel Ogloff chewed up 122 yards on 13 carries, while Jordan Lund returned a missed field goal 111 yards to pay dirt.
Langley kicker Tiernan Docherty was good on two of three field attempts, his longest from 48 yards away. He also made all four of his converts.
The Rams led 14-7 after the first quarter, took a 20-7 advantage into halftime, and, after a scoreless third quarter, tacked on 14 more points to the Broncos’ three in the final stanza to close out the day’s scoring.
The Rams hope to make their final regular season home game a memorable one, with Fanfest at McLeod Stadium this Saturday (Sept. 24).
There’s lots in store for fans, with the Rams hosting Westshore starting at 4 p.m.
Staff from the radio station 93.7JRFM will be on site with their street team, Sporty from SportClips will be handing out free haircuts and tattoos, and one fan will win a private box for 10 at the Langley Events Centre for a Vancouver Giants game.
As well, Fanfest wraps up with a special post game concert by the The Hip Show, a Tragically Hip Tribute Band, at 7 p.m.
It’s all taking place to help raise funds and goods for the 93.7JRFM Basics for Babies, a program that helps moms and their babies.
Joseph said the Rebels will be a great test for his troops.
“They are a good team and have a good running attack – the best in the league. It will be a challenge for us to slow down their running game. They have [good] athletes on both sides of the ball. That’s what we play the game for, to win this game and get into first place. That’s the goal. We’re looking forward to it. We’re really jacked up for this one.”
Stingiest ‘D’ in BCFC
The Rams have allowed just 121 points, tops in the BCFC in that category.
“The key for me is that everyone is understanding their job and doing their job,” Joseph said, regarding the Rams’ ‘D.’
“And when you have 12 guys on the field working together, it’s tough to stop them. The guys fly around and hit everything, and they buy into what we’re doing, and that’s being aggressive and taking it to [opposing] offences. We’ve been able to do that all year.”