Langley Rams feast on Valley Huskers, now gearing up for BCFC semifinali

Junior football fans will have another opportunity to see the Langley Rams play on their home turf.

This, after the Rams secured second place in the B.C. Football Conference by doing the expected: beating the hapless Valley Huskers in their final game of the regular season.

With a 48-17 win over the Huskers on Saturday at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium, the Rams finished with a 7-3 mark, four points back of the frontrunning Okanagan Sun, who ended up 9-1.

The Huskers finished with a conference-worst 1-9 record.

The Kamloops Broncos, who the Rams battled for second place for what seemed to be all season, lost 38-19 to the Sun on Sunday and settled for third place at 6-4.

The weekend results set up a pair of BCFC semifinals, with the Rams hosting the Broncos next Saturday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. at McLeod Stadium.

The Sun will host the defending B.C. champion and fourth place VI Raiders (5-5) in the other semifinal. That game is being played at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna on Sunday, Oct. 19.

Against the Huskers, the Rams did what needed to be done to secure the win, and second place.

And while the Rams led 10-3 after the first quarter and 24-10 at halftime, Langley head coach Jeff Alamolhoda didn’t feel his players were at the top of their game, early on.

“I felt we came out slow,” Alamolhoda said. “We didn’t really come out playing Ram football.”

Given the teams’ records, a loss to the Huskers would’ve been nothing short of a catastrophe, and second place seemed to be well in hand. Alamolhoda believed complacency set in during the early going.

“As a young team, they took that as a time where they [could take] a step back,” Alamolhoda said, regarding his players. “As a coaching staff we realized that on the sidelines and they [the players] responded immediately and responded appropriately.”

Alamolhoda was referring to a third quarter in which the Rams scored 21 unanswered points to take full control of the game.

The contest had an odd start. Rams kicker Steve Thomas was sent off for not being equipped with the proper padding, so receiver Malcolm Williams took over kicking duties and filled in admirably.

Thomas returned in the second half.

Williams booted a 28-yard field goal while Thomas went 1-2 in field goal tries, missing from 56 yards away and connecting on a 31-yard attempt.

Williams and Thomas combined for six convert kicks, with three each.

They also shared punting duties (each with 41 yard boots), and kickoffs, with Williams kicking the ball four times for 193 total yards and Thomas kicking off three times for 172 accumulative yards.

Most of the Rams’ damage was done on the ground, with 396 total yards rushing including 100-plus yard games from Jordan Traversy (14 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown) and Nathan Lund (five carries for 112 yards, including a 52-yard gallop, and a touchdown).

Jacob Patko, who ran the ball eight times for 69 yards, had the other rushing touchdown for the Rams.

Quarterback Jordan McCarty completed 11 of his 20 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns.

His favourite target was Daniel English, who finished with six catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.

Tore Corrado caught two passes for 55 yards and a major.

The Rams led 45-10 going into the final quarter of their regular season.

In the fourth quarter, the Huskers had a 7-3 edge in points.

Defensively, Rams’ corner Denis Olivera registered six solo tackles and knocked down an attempted pass.

The Huskers played for pride and didn’t make things easy for the visitors, especially in the first and fourth quarters.

“Being down the road adds to the rivalry between the teams and the players, and lot of those guys played for the Langley Rams, so they had a bit of a vengeance out,” Alamolhoda said. “They played emotionally high and came out flying, that for sure.”

Looking ahead to the playoff game against the Broncos, Alamolhoda said the Rams know they’ll be in for a stern test.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” Alamolhoda said. “We have a challenge ahead of us, and we have to make sure that we execute every single play, every single inch, and not take for granted that we’re going to roll in there and beat them with our talent.”

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