The Langley Rams literally ground out a hard-fought 25-17 road win over a possibly over-confident Kamloops Broncos squad on Sunday.
Running backs Nathan Lund (10 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown) and Devin Logan (nine rushes for 82 yards) did most of the damage for the defending B.C. Football Conference champion Rams, who won their first game of the season after opening their campaign with a 22-14 loss to the host V.I. Raiders on July 25.
The insertion of quarterback Dylan Tucker on the final play of the third quarter helped spark the Rams, who compiled 15 fourth quarter points to earn the comeback victory.
Tucker’s lone completion of the game was a 19-yard touchdown toss to receiver Seye Akinsanmi.
Also in the fourth quarter, Langley’s Jacob Patko ran the ball in for a touchdown from about three yards out.
“We put in Dylan Tucker and he had the ability to lead the team and comprised two drives that put in two scores, that put us in a position to win the game,” Rams head coach Jeff Alamolhoda said. “We felt we needed a spark in the offence, while our defence did a pretty good of holding off Kamloops’ offence.”
The Rams defence had something to prove in this game. According to the Rams’ website, after Kamloops thumped the Valley Huskers 72-17 in week one, Broncos’ offensive coordinator Mike Faisthuber told a Kamloops newspaper that “he expected to put up between 40 or 50 points and about 500 passing yards against Langley.”
Leading the Rams defence was defensive back Clovis Lumeka with an interception that he ran back 22 yards to go along with four tackles and a knockdown.
Also having strong games were defensive tackle Alex Agnoletto with eight tackles and linebacker Jacob Dodd with seven tackles.
Defensive lineman Saeed Hosain Ali sacked Broncos quarterback Stephen Schuweiler twice while recording four tackles.
“The defence played outstanding,” Alamolhoda said. “They were a little bit motivated by the comments of the offensive coordinator of the Kamloops Broncos, and they held [off] an explosive and potent offence that can really score a lot of points. A lot of the guys… left everything out on the field.”
Rams kicker Brian Hope was good on his only field goal attempt of the game, from 27 yards out. He also booted three converts and a single.
The Rams trailed 14-10 at halftime.
Then, after a scoreless third quarter by both teams, the visitors took over in the fourth quarter.
For the Broncos, who led 14-3 at one point of the second quarter, touchdowns came from Schuweiler on the ground and Derek Yachison in the air. Robbie Martin kicked a field goal and two converts for Kamloops.
Schuweiler was held to a modest 213 yards passing, as he completed 19 of 33 pass attempts.
The Rams’ home opener is this Saturday, Aug. 8, when they host Chilliwack’s Valley Huskers at McLeod Stadium. Opening kickoff is 7 p.m.