Langley Rams lose on last-second kick
A lot can be learned from looking across the field at the Vancouver Island Raiders says Langley Rams coach Jeff Alamalhoda.
“They are an experienced group of guys,” the coach said about the Raiders, the six-time B.C. Football Conference league champs.
“With that crew, they find a way to win, they have faith that they are going to make the play.
“We have to build that with our club.”
On Saturday afternoon at McLeod Park, the Raiders kicked a 41-yard field goal on the last play of the game to win 34-32. The victory gives Vancouver Island (8-0-1) first place in the league while Langley (6-2-1) needs a win this weekend in Kelowna against the Okanagan Sun (3-6) and a Westshore Rebels (7-2) loss to the Raiders to secure home-field advantage in the semifinal round of the playoffs.
If the Rams finish second they would host the Rebels in semifinal action, or else Langley travels to Victoria for the game on Oct. 20.
In Saturday’s defeat, Alamolhoda said two instances before the half really came back to haunt his junior football club.
On two separate occasions, Langley had the ball on the Raiders one and three-yard lines, respectively, and the team got just three points.
“We couldn’t punch it in,” he said.
“You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get.
“We need to understand that every second matters, every play matters.”
The Rams led 18-13 at the half but the Raiders forged ahead with the only points of the third, leading 21-18 and setting up a wild fourth period which saw a combined 27 points, 17 of which came in the final minutes.
Vancouver Island was ahead 31-18 but Langley scored two touchdowns in just over a minute to pull ahead by a single point. But quarterback Jordan Yantz, who threw for 406 yards and two scores, and also ran one in himself, got his team into field goal range and Mark Mueller kicked his fourth three-pointer of the game.
Langley’s offence put up 395 yards of offence as quarterback Greg Bowcott threw for 294 yards and a touchdown to Nick Downey. Downey caught six passes for 86 yards while Malcolm Williams hauled in four passes for 122 yards.
Kyle Albertini ran for 57 yards and both he and Joe Patko had rushing touchdowns.
Nick Naylor nailed all three of his field goals attempts.
The Langley defence made things difficult for Yantz as they sacked him seven times. Evan Foster led the way with a pair, while Daniel Sharpe had a sack and a half and Adam Konar, Brandon Klein and Kyle Griffioen all had solo sacks. Spencer Farbatuk and Klein also recovered fumbles.
Despite the loss, Alamolhoda was happy with his team’s effort.
“We are extremely proud of the way our guys played and fought hard,” he said.
“We are growing; we are getting better and better.”