On the Langley Rams’ second offensive series, Kamloops Broncos’ Connor Thornewell picked off quarterback Colby Peters and raced 30-yards for the pick-6 and early 7-0 lead.
And with the Rams already riding a two-game losing streak, it could have been very easy for the game to spiral out of control.
“Football is like life, things aren’t always going to go your way and it is how you respond,” said Rams coach Khari Joseph. “That’s football — you have to respond when bad things happen and I felt we did that.”
The Rams were at Kamloops’ Hillside Stadium on Saturday in a crucial week five BC Football Conference game between the two teams chasing down the fourth and final playoff spot.
Langley now holds the position at 2-3 while the Broncos are 1-4 after the Rams’ 31-19 win.
The Rams trailed 7-6 after one quarter but scored the only major of the second quarter to lead 14-7 at the half. They extended the lead to 24-14 after three quarters and tacked on one more score for the 31-19 final.
Defensively, Langley held the Broncos to 220 yards of net offence and just a dozen first downs.
“If we want to get into the playoffs, I felt like we had to win this game,” Joseph said, admitting his team’s morale would have taken a big hit with a loss heading into the league’s bye weekend.
Langley’s defence help Kamloops to a dozen first downs and 220 yards of net offence while the Rams offence churned out nearly 400 yards of offence.
Rylan Matters was 11-for-17 for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns with Zach Lubin and Nathan Lund each catching a touchdown pass.
Lund had a huge game, catching six passes for 109 yards while rushing eight times for 82 yards to finish with 191 yards of total offence.
Khalik Johnson caught five passes for 66 yards and Langley’s other touchdown was a rushing score from Stephen Legare.
The Rams are continuing their quarterback platoon between Peters and Matters, as neither has seized a firm grasp on the starting job.
“They both have strengths and weaknesses and I think (offensive co-ordinator) Shawn Olson was putting in whomever we needed at that time,” Joseph said.
Nick Westad led the defence with six solo tackles and one assist, as well as a quarterback sack. Demarius Henderson (three solo tackles, one quarterback sack) and Cameron Cross (two solo, three assisted tackles, one sack) also had big games while Jordan Lund came up with a pair of knockdowns on pass attempts.
The defence only allowed 10 points, with the rest coming from the interception return for a touchdown and then the offence surrendering a safety after getting pinned deep in its own end.
And while Joseph was encouraged that his defence was able to get to the quarterback — they finished with three sacks while also holding the Broncos to less than 200 yards passing — he was discouraged by too many missed tackles.
“But all in all, they played a pretty good game,” he added.
The Rams are off this weekend before they return to action on Sept. 9 when they host the Valley Huskers (0-5) at McLeod Athletic Park. Game time is 5 p.m. This marks the first of three straight home games for Langley, although they are 0-2 at MAP so far in 2017.