The Valley Huskers continue to be the surprise team of the 2018 BC Football Conference season.
Chilliwack’s junior football team improved to 4-1 Saturday with a 49-25 road win over the Kamloops Broncos.
The Huskers, who failed to win a single game last season, find themselves tied for top spot in the six-team league at the mid-point of the 10 game schedule.
The offence has scored the second most points in the league and finally discovered a ground game in Kamloops. Rookie running back Von Richardson churned out 95 yards on 11 carries in the win over the Broncos, the best statistical performance by a Husker RB this season.
Richardson, Keegan Vicklund and Julian Wytinck scored rushing touchdowns.
“Von had a great day and I think our running game is coming together,” said Husker bench boss Bob Reist. “We added a key piece to our offensive line this week, bringing in Hunter Brown from the University of Manitoba and he had a great game.”
Wytinck, Chilliwack’s star quarterback, had another solid game passing, completing 14 of 22 attempts for 272 yards with two touchdowns.
Brandon Poulin was his favourite target, catching seven balls for 156 yards.
“Earlier in the season he was coming off injury and we had to be careful to limit his reps and not push him too hard,” Reist said. “He seems to be healthy now and he’s feeling more comfortable. He’s a dynamic offensive weapon for us.”
Anthony Dyck had four catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns, with a long of 66.
Wytinck’s day wasn’t spotless though as he served up interceptions by Bronco defenders Kaden Cook, Justin Haverkamp and Mixon Madland. The Huskers coughed up two fumbles as well, but they were lucky that Kamloops was nearly as charitable with the turnovers.
Chilliwack got interceptions from Daniel Mills and Treyvon Walsh, Walsh returning his 50 yards.
The Huskers got fumble recoveries from Tristan Fournier and Sam Henneberry, with Henneberry returning his 20 yards for a touchdown.
Defensive back Josh Robinson led the team with seven tackles while Dawson Davis had five. Fournier and Easton Montour produced quarterback sacks.
“We challenged the D to come out and start making some plays and they responded by creating turnovers,” Reist said. “When they do that, it puts us in a good position to win football games.”
The Huskers take their road show to Langley this weekend as they take on the Rams (2-3) at McLeod Athletic Park.
The Rams handled the Huskers in week two, winning 42-9 at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium behind three touchdowns from receiver Jevon Cottoy.
Langley is coming off a huge 20-18 road win over the Okanagan Sun in Kelowna.
“Going back to that first game, we were not assignment sound,” Reist said. “We were out of position a lot, and they (Langley) have a very talented team. Despite what their record shows they are a top-tier group and we need to prepare for a very tough battle.”
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– After dropping two straight games to the Vancouver Island Raiders and Okanagan Sun, the Langley Rams (2-3) got back into the BCFC win column, topping the Sun 20-18 in Kelowna.
Receiver Jevon Cottoy had a receiving touchdown for Langley and Jake Firlotte had an 82 yard punt-return major. Kicker Jayden Sheilan supplied the rest of the Rams scoring with two field goals.
Meanwhile, the reeling Westshore Rebels fell by a 32-17 count at Nanaimo. It was their second straight loss as they deal with the mid-season resignation of their head coach, Charly Cardilicchia. Running back Rhett Williams had two TDs for the victorious VI Raiders, with Eli Helms-Norton and Mike West catching touchdown passes from QB Jacob Laberge.