Langley Rams running back Kyle Albertini (with ball) is brought down by Vancouver Island Raiders defender Evan Foster during Saturday night’s B.C. Junior Football Conference season opener.

Langley Rams running back Kyle Albertini (with ball) is brought down by Vancouver Island Raiders defender Evan Foster during Saturday night’s B.C. Junior Football Conference season opener.

Raiders rock Rams in opener

Langley hangs around for first three quarters, but fall to five-time defending league champions

Through three quarters, the Langley Rams played the Vancouver Island Raiders — the five-time defending league champs — tough.

But in the end, the Raiders pulled away with a couple of late touchdowns to down the Rams 39-13 on Saturday night at McLeod Park in the B.C. Junior Football Conference season opener.

“We just ran out of gas in the fourth,” said Rams coach Jeff Alamalhoda.

“The game itself actually ended up being a lot closer than what showed on the scoreboard.

In the end, the Raiders proved too much for the Rams, gaining 464 yards of net offence compared to Langley’s 130.

The score was 22-13 late in the third quarter but the Raiders tacked on a field goal and then two touchdown passes from Jordan Yantz to Andrew Smith in the fourth.

One bright spot for the Rams was Nick Downey, who returned a second quarter kickoff for 107 yards, the second-longest touchdown return in league history.

Langley’s other points came from kicker Nick Naylor, who booted a field goal and a punt single.

The Rams also scored a safety when a snap went over the Raiders’ punter’s head and he was forced to kick the ball out of the end zone.

The Rams are in Kelowna on Saturday to face the Okanagan Sun, with the teams completing the home-and-home series on Aug. 13 at McLeod Park.