The Langley Rams finally got the monkey off their back, claiming their first win of the season 28-10 to the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday.
“We just tried to focus on us and being the best that we can be,” said Ram’s coach Jeff Alamolhoda.
“We didn’t focus on who our opponent was or what kind of challenges we could face. We went out and executed our game plan and the guys did that well. We came out with what our purpose was going up there.”
The game was cleanly played, but had an unusual number of penalties — 41 in total, with 26 of them to the Rams.
“We did some things to put ourselves in positions to get penalties called,” Alamolhoda said.
“Moving forward, we have to learn from some of those mistakes we made.
“We need to get together and keep focusing on us as opposed to the negatives some teams buy into.”
Despite the setbacks, many players upped their game, making this the best match the Rams have played so far.
Brandon Leyh showed off his skills completing 11 of 16 passes for 295 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Nate White also did the Rams well, completing 7 of 10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Nick Downey caught 6 passes for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Jerod Zaleski had his best outing of the year with 5 receptions for 102 yards.
Daniel English had 3 catches for 35 yards.
Malcolm Freeman also had one of his strongest outings of the year with 60 yards on 8 carries.
Rams linebacker Arie Nakagawa was the defensive star, helping the Rams defense keep the Broncos running game in check with 7 tackles.
Buddy Hutchinson and Jas Dhillon each had a sack, Jeff Paras had a pair of interceptions and Chris Malangu had two tackles and an interception.
“They’re starting to get to know each other now as people,” Alamolhoda said.
“They’re getting along, talking more, hanging out outside of football, and starting to gel that way. And that’s very important for a team.”
For now, Alamolhoda says the team needs to focus on maintaining their composure.
“We need to understand we are a very good football team, we can do well if we continue to work hard and not take steps backwards,” he said.
“I think what we did well on the weekend and we can take and build off that and those successes. And of course, we can take that win and build off it, and take the motivation from that.”
Up next, the Rams face the Chilliwack Huskers at McLeod Athletic Park on Saturday (Aug. 27) at 7 p.m.
Nate White wore number 89 in honour of his long time friend, and veteran Rams receiver, Zach Middleton, who had his season cut short by a sudden illness.
Middleton joined the Rams out of the White Rock Titans Midget program and has been a steady and reliable receiver for the Rams over the past four seasons. This would be the final season of eligibility for the 22-year-old.
“It was pretty exciting for us to get that win for Zach, who’s still ill,” Alamolhoda said.
“He’s real proud of us. We’re continuing to work for him and we still have him in our hearts.”
Middleton is in stable condition and undergoing treatment at Royal Columbian Hospital.