– Story by Langley Rams media
The Langley Rams stumbled to start their B.C. Football Conference season, losing 42-34 to the Westshore Rebels Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Victoria.
It took the Langley Rams three quarters to get their land legs back after sailing to the Island on Sunday afternoon and found themselves trailing the Westshore Rebels 41-17 with 12 minutes remaining in the game.
But Khari Joseph’s young squad took control of the game and fought their way back to make the score 42-34 and found themselves down by eight with the ball on the Rebels 10 yard line with one play remaining in the game.
Unfortunately for the Rams, quarterback Stephen Legare’s potential game tying touchdown pass fell incomplete in the Rebels end zone on the final whistle, ending what may well have been one of the greatest comebacks in BCFC history.
Rams fans and coaches pleaded for what appeared to be pass interference call on the final play but the officials saw it differently.
The Rebels went up 27-10 with seven minutes to go the third and capitalized on a Rams turnover deep in Langley territory to go up 34-10 just two minutes later.
The Rams fought back and Legare hit Khalik Johnson with a 25 yard touchdown strike to make the score 34-17, and a huge blocked punt by Rams Shaiheem Charles-Brown put the ball back in the Rams hands at midfield heading into the final frame.
The TSN turning point may have been on the Rams’ first possession of the fourth stanza.
Legare once again moved the Rams into the red zone, where Tiernan Docherty set up for a chip shot 20 yard field goal.
A bad exchange resulted in a turnover that was taken by the Rebels out to their own 40 yard line. Then, a 70 yard run on the next play put the Rebels on the Rams one yard line and they punched it in from there,
In a matter of moments what could have been a 34-20 score turned into 41-17 lead for the Rebels with 12:20 to go in the game.
The Rams kept fighting and a big kickoff return by Ryan MacDonald set them up on the Rebels 34 yard line, it took one play from there for Legare to find Khalik Johnson with a 34 yard scoring strike to make the score 41-24 with 12 minutes to go.
A big catch by Johnson at the Rebels two yard line set up quarterback Jordan Fox’s plunge to make the score 41-31 with 6:37 remaining.
The Rams roll continued on the ensuing kickoff when Jesse Cervas jumped on a Rebels fumble at the Westshore 35 yard line.
Then, Docherty’s 27 yard field goal made the score 41-34 and the Rams had fought their way back to within a touchdown with five minutes on the clock.
The Rams defensive unit forced Westshore into a two and out on the next possession and gave the ball to the Langley offense at mid field, with two minutes to go the Rams opted to punt from mid field but the snap sailed over Docherty’s head and the ball was turned over to the Rebels deep in Rams territory.
The Rams were still alive when a Rebels field goal attempt went wide for a single point to make the spread eight points with under a minute to play.
A huge run by Ryan MacDonald brought the raucous Rams fans in attendance to their feet and gave them one last shot at tying the game from the 10 yard line.
Legare had his target open in the end zone but the pass fell just short of the outstretched hands of Johnson at the final whistle.
Stephen Legare, starting his first ever junior football game, had some ups and downs but hung in there and battled with a heroic effort.
The Langley Secondary grad completed 20 of 34 passes for 265 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
His favourite target was Khalik Johnson, who finished with 10 catches for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Cowichan native Ryan MacDonald had a solid day with 180 multi purpose yards for the Rams.
Shaiheem Charles-Brown led the way defensively for the Rams with five tackles a quarterback sack and a blocked kick, while Brendan Desjardine had five tackles and a fumble recovery touchdown.
Nick Westad had six tackles and a batted ball and Bashiru Sise Odaa had a solid outing with a pair of tackles and an interception.
The 0-1 Rams will look for their first win of the campaign this Saturday when they travel to Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium to take on the Huskers.
Langley’s junior football team’s home opener is Saturday, Aug. 6, when the Rams host the Kamloops Broncos at McLeod Stadium.
Opening kickoff is 7 p.m.