The Langley Rams are riding high off a sparkling defensive effort as they get set for a huge showdown which should determine second place — and a home playoff date — this weekend with the Vancouver Island Raiders.
The Rams improved to 5-3 in B.C. Football Conference action after a 56-7 win over the Valley Huskers on Saturday night at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium. The game was halted in the third quarter after a Huskers player suffered a serious arm injury.
But up until that point, the Rams defensive delivered a stout effort, allowing 58 yards of net offence. The Huskers lone score came off a kick-off return for a touchdown.
And the win was all the more impressive considering the Rams had a less than ideal week to prepare, said head coach Jeff Alamolhoda.
The team was missing coaches throughout the week and on game day, including Alamolhoda, who missed the week with strep throat and then a double root canal. He also was pressed into calling the defensive plays on Saturday night with the team’s co-ordinator away for the game.
“Football players are creatures of habit and this week we weren’t able to prepare the way we prepare each and every week, which could have affected our outcome,” he said.
“The biggest thing was our guys were able to overcome a lot of adversity throughout the week. We had some challenges and we were able to overcome a lot of that adversity and come out, stick together, trust each other and really start believing in each other, allowing us to focus on our own jobs and not have to freelance for other people. I really saw that.”
Quarterback Dylan Tucker tossed three touchdown passes — one apiece to Khalik Johnson, Devoun Hallums and Seye Akinsanmi — while also rushing for one score as the offence racked up 601 yards of offence in less than three quarters of work.
Jacob Patko and Ryan MacDonald also found the end zone along the ground and the rushing attack finished with 325 yards on 24 carries.
Brian Hope was also good on all three of his field goal attempts.
Denis Olivera and Nathan Carrol both came up with interceptions while Kyle Sagmoen had a quarterback sack.
And that sets up a showdown on Saturday at McLeod Athletic Park (4 p.m.) against the Raiders in a battle of 5-3 football teams. The Raiders beat the Rams in week one.
“Their defence is very stout, just like ours, and their quarterback likes to throw the ball. They have a lot of offensive production and we need to come up and rise to that challenge, and I believe we are ready,” Alamolhoda said.