The Okanagan Sun/Langley Rams game lived up to its billing as a clash of a pair of defensive heavyweights.
And when the dust had settled — and after a combined 11 turnovers and neither team able to generate more than 300 yards of offence — it was the first-place Sun improving to 6-0 after a hard-fought 15-10 victory on Saturday night at McLeod Athletic Park in BC Junior Football League action.
The Sun trailed 10-7 after three quarters but after a 20-minute delay following the lights going out at the stadium, Okanagan emerged from the locker room and put together the game’s lone offensive touchdown.
Okanagan’s Keith Zyla — who took over quarterbacking in the second half — called his own number and scored from 23 yards out to put his team ahead for good.
And it was Zyla’s legs which caused the most damage to the Rams defence in the second half as the quarterback scrambled for 84 yards on six carries. By comparison, the Okanagan running backs combined for just 68 yards on 20 carries.
Zyla also threw for 94 yards and with helm at the helm of the offence, the Sun had 10 first downs and 211 yards of offence after half-time. By comparison, the team had five first downs and 80 yards of offence in the first half.
The Sun opened the scoring in the first quarter when Rams return man Nick Agnoletto fumbled a punt near the goal-line with Okanagan’s Jamie Turek recovering the ball in the end zone.
Langley put together three scoring drives in the second quarter, each of which was capped by Tiernan Docherty field goals of 47, 34 and 30 yards, respectively.
The Rams extended the lead to 10-7 on a missed 44-yard attempt in the third quarter.
Langley’s final drive ended up one-yard short in the final minute on a third-down gamble at the Sun 38-yard line.
The offence mustered just 14 first downs and 250 yards of offence — 147 along the ground and 119 through the air.
Neither quarterback was able to muster many sustained drives as starter Colby Peters was 3-for-9 for 21 yards while Stephen Legare was 6-for-16 for 98 yards. Legare was also picked off twice.
The defence got fumble recoveries from Nathan Carroll and Jules Kheler while Shaiheem Charles-Brown had a quarterback sack, a pass knockdown and a tackle. Adam Marchetti and Nick Westad shared the Rams other sack while also combining to make five tackles. Jesse Cervas and Brendan Desjardine led the team with eight and six tackles, respectively and John Beckerleg made three tackles and knocked down a pair of passes.
The league is on a break this week and Langley returns to action on Sept. 10 when they host the VI Raiders (3-3) at McLeod Athletic Park. Game time is 4 p.m.
More to follow.