For three quarters, the Langley Rams defence had their way with the VI Raiders.
The Raiders were held to just three points in the first 45 minutes as the host Rams led 25-3 on Saturday afternoon at McLeod Athletic Park.
VI made things interesting with a pair of touchdown passes to make the BC Junior Football League game score 25-17. And after the Raiders got the ball back trailing by just one score with five minutes to go, the Rams defence stiffened, forced a turnover on downs and the offence sealed the victory with Tyrel Ogloff scoring from 17 yards out in the final minute for the 32-17 final score.
The win improves Langley to 5-2 while the Raiders fell to 3-4.
“We were letting the quarterback run around too much,” admitted Langley defensive lineman Nick Westad.
“We needed to contain (Jake Laberge) because he is a dual-threat quarterback. He loves to throw and he loves to run, we needed to key on that.”
The two late scores aside, the Rams came up with another dominant defensive outing.
“I don’t think it was anything that they did, they threw us off a little bit with their hurry up offence. I just think that is just a young team, they got up on a team, they took the pedal off the metal and they gave the team life,” said Rams coach Khari Joseph.
“But we were able to buckle down and finish the game.”
The team allowed just 18 yards of net offence in the first half and finished the game with nine quarterback sacks.
The Raiders would add 234 yards in the second to finish with 252 yards of offence.
“Pretty much everyone was just doing their job. It wasn’t just one player, it was every player,” Westad said.
“We were reading the keys perfectly just like we were all week in practice.”
Adam Marchetti led the defensive onslaught with three quarterback sacks while Shaiheem Charles-Brown had a pair, Westad had 1.5 — sharing a sack with Jacob Dodd — and Isaiah Stewart and Nathan Avantini each had one.
“(Our depth) helps us a lot because when we get the double team, it allows our linebackers to come free and make plays,” Westad said.
Avantini also recovered a blocked punt — Brett Westad busted through the Raiders line to get a hand on the ball — which Avantani returned 32 yards.
This came with less than 30 seconds to play in the first half and the Rams capitalized as Colby Peters connected on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ryan MacDonald and that made the score 18-0 at the half.
That was the lone pass Peters threw as Tommy Robertson made his first start at quarterback, going 17-for-27 for 242 yards and one touchdown — an opening drive score to Seye Akinsanmi. Peters did throw two interceptions.
Nick Agnoletto added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter and then Ogloff capped things off in the final minute.
“I think that is the first time this year we have scored on our first drive. Anytime you can put that pressure on the opposing team, it is always good,” Joseph said. “I like that we came out fast. We put VI in a situation where they are playing catchup for the rest of the game.”
The Rams are in Kamloops on Saturday to face the 1-6 Broncos.
Gary Ahuja Langley Times
Langley Rams receiver Seye Akinsanmi fends off Raiders defensive back Gevhahn McNally Hardisty. Akinsanmi had five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown in his team’s 32-17 victory.