The Langley Rams aimed for a bounce-back effort.
They got just that Saturday at McLeod Stadium.
Looking to rebound from their 41-27 loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders the previous week, the Rams ran over the visiting Valley Huskers by a 54-7 count.
The win improves the Rams’ record to 6-2 with two games remaining in their B.C. Football Conference season. Langley sits in a three-way tie with the Raiders and Okanagan Sun (both with 6-2 records) at the top of the six-team BCFC.
“It’s a good monkey to get off your back, to come back from a loss and get a win,” Rams coach Ted Kirby said.
Kirby’s emotions were tempered by the fact that the Huskers from Chilliwack came to Langley with small numbers. He said the visitors’ skeleton crew played their hearts out in difficult circumstances.
“Guys were playing out of position,” he said, regarding the Huskers. “I’m real proud of the other team, just as much as I am of our team.”
But for one small hiccup in the second quarter, when the Huskers blocked a punt and returned the ball all the way back for the touchdown, it was all Rams.
Langley’s defence dominated, holding the Huskers to just four first downs overall.
By contrast, Langley racked up 24 first downs in the first half alone.
Rams quarterback Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren ran for two touchdowns and connected in the air with receivers Dan English (on a pretty pass-and-catch during the second quarter), Jordan Traversy, and Spensor Farbatuk for three more major scores.
Running back Kyle Albertini bulled into the end zone for the Rams’ other rushing touchdown.
Albertini led the ground attack, carrying the ball 13 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Gilbert-Knorren chewed up 61 yards on seven carries, including a 23-yard romp.
English was a favourite target with five catches for 62 yards. In all, six different Rams receivers had catches.
Kicker Steve Thomas had an efficient game, going two-for-two on field goal attempts.
Langley punter Matt Riley booted the ball twice for 76 total yards.
Linebacker Jacob Patko had a monster game, with a couple of interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown, two tackles, and two special teams tackles.
The game was a mismatch on paper, especially with the Huskers being terribly outmanned, and the Rams cruised to an insurmountable 37-7 lead at halftime.
Kirby said the game was an opportunity for the Rams to work on a few aspects of their game in preparation for their big rematch with the Raiders this Saturday at McLeod Stadium.
Again, Kirby gave huge props to the Huskers.
“I can’t give them enough credit,” he said. “I have all the respect for the Huskers, I’ll tell you that.”
This Saturday marks arguably the Rams’ biggest game of the year, when they look to avenge their Sept. 14 loss to the Raiders.
“You never want to look past a team [the Huskers], but it would be a complete lie if I didn’t say all of us weren’t thinking about the Raiders the second after we lost to them,” Kirby said.
The Rams/Raiders game kicks off at 4 p.m, on Sept. 28.
@ Copyright 2013