It was a game for the ages for the Langley Rams and in particular, Nick Downey.
Downey, the local junior football team's ace kick returner and receiver, had yet another dominating performance during the Rams' home opener Saturday at McLeod Stadium.
Downey scored three touchdowns as the Rams crushed the Chilliwack Huskers 66-8.
The Dartmouth, N.S. native recorded his first major score of the night on a 68-yard pass reception, then added punt return touchdowns of 60 and 63 yards, respectively.
The three-time defending Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) special teams player of the year finished with 201 punt return yards and in the process, became the B.C. Football Conference's all-time punt return yardage leader.
His 201 return yards gives him 2,400 for his career, which breaks the old mark of 2,393 held by former Vancouver Island Shark/Victoria Rebel Jason Marsh who played for five seasons from 1997-2001.
The 22-year-old joined the Rams in 2009, and is currently only three games into his fourth and final CJFL season.
Downey has 129 returns for 2,400 yards, an average of 18.6 yards per return. He also has nine touchdown returns - all with seven regular season games still to play before he is done.
Downey chalked up 353 allpurpose yards Saturday, the third 300-plus yards performance of his junior career.
"He's an integral part of our team," Rams' head coach Jeff Alamolhoda said. "Without him, we wouldn't be who we are. He's one of those guys who is the face of our team."
Downey's speed is undeniable, but it's his vision that makes him such a dangerous returner, his head coach said.
Downey had even more motivation Saturday, with his girlfriend and their baby daughter flying in from Dartmouth to take in the game
His first punt return for a touchdown was a momentum shifter. It gave the Rams a 30-7 lead and took the wind out of the sails of the winless Huskers, who had been playing Langley very tough to that point.
"He can change games like that," Alamolhoda said. "He has the ability to deflate teams."
Ahead 38-7 at halftime, the Rams outscored the Huskers 28-1 during the second half.
Downey wasn't the only standout in what turned out to be a dominating performance by the home team.
Quarterback Greg Bowcott completed 10 of 13 passes for 276 yards. He connected on five touchdown throws.
Daniel Xavier rambled for 151 yards on 14 carries.
Malcolm Williams was on the receiving end of three of Bowcott's touchdown tosses. Downey, Steven Martinez, and Michael Patko also caught passes for major scores.
Arie Nakagawa led the Rams' defence with five unassisted tackles.
Alamolhoda said the Rams' recovered nicely after a slow start: "Our guys didn't come out as strong as we would have liked, but kudos to Chilliwack for putting up a good fight and never quitting."
The Rams remain unbeaten with a 2-0-1 record. Next up is a visit by the Okanagan Sun this Saturday, Aug. 25. Kickoff at McLeod Stadium is 7 p.m.