- BC Games
Rams back in top spot after routing Rebels
Kyle Albertini was a wrecking machine along the ground.
The Langley Rams running back churned out 215 yards on 22 carries — nearly a first down per carry — and two touchdowns in his team’s 49-17 victory over the visiting Westshore Rebels on Saturday afternoon at McLeod Park.
The win improved the Rams to 5-1 and top spot in the B.C. Junior Football Conference.
“I am going to have to give a lot of (credit) to the offensive line,” Albertini said after the game.
“They made it easy for me. They made the holes and it was easy to see (where to run).
“We worked as a unit.”
Albertini was named player of the game.
The Rams got off to a quick start, scoring touchdowns on their opening two drives.
The first began with a 40-yard kickoff return from Ryan MacDonald and that was followed by four straight running plays from Albertini for another 40 yards.
It was capped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren to Dan English.
The second drive ended through the air again, this time Gilbert-Knorren hitting Malcolm Williams from 37 yards out.
The Rebels scored the next 10 points, a field goal and then a 20-yard pass from Hunter Lake to Sean Shepherd. The score was set up by an interception at midfield.
“I love how we started,” said Rams coach Ted Kirby.
“We came out flying around the ball.
“And then I think we almost had a lull there and it took a while to get back to it, but once we did, we started rolling again.”
Part of that can be attributed to the fact the team was coming off a bye week and had a bit of rust to shake off, he said.
Langley scored the only points of the second quarter — a 49-yard run by Nathan Lund, an 85-yard single from Steve Thomas on the ensuing kick-off and then a 20-yard field goal from Thomas — for the 25-10 halftime lead.
The Rams then turned to the running game in the second half, scoring three rushing touchdowns: a one-yard quarterback keeper from Gilbert-Knorren and a pair of Albertini runs.
And the defence held the Rebels to a touchdown and field goal the rest of the way.
A big key to the game was the difference in the teams’ rushing attacks.
“We wanted to come out and stop the run, which I think we established,” said defensive lineman Evan Foster, who finished with 1.5 sacks, three tackles and fumble recovery.
Foster also set a new team record for career sacks and he sits third in league history with 18.5.
Jeff Paras (interception) and Jacob Patko (fumble recovery) also came up with turnovers for the defence.
“And we wanted to get after the passer and script the game plan,” Foster added.
The Rams allowed just eight yards rushing in the first half and were even better in the second, holding Westshore to negative five yards. Altogether, the Rebels had three yards rushing on 13 carries.
By comparison, Albertini, Lund (12 carries, 122 yards) and Gilbert-Knorren (five carries, 15 yards) combined for 352 yards rushing.
The strong defensive effort also allowed the Rams to overcome four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble).
The Rams travel to Nanaimo on Saturday to face the 4-2 Vancouver Island (VI) Raiders.