The Valley Huskers turned in a thoroughly dominant road performance last weekend, improving to 5-2 with a 62-41 road win at Nanaimo.
The junior football club built up a 41-7 halftime lead against the Vancouver Island Raiders and led 55-14 through three quarters.
Nanaimo put up 27 fourth quarter points against Husker backups, making the final score a little less horrifying for the home team. But it was still arguably the most one-sided win in Chilliwack franchise history, and sweet payback for all the beatings the once-mighty Raiders (1-6) used to give the Huskers.
“It was a great day for our group,” said Chilliwack head coach Bob Reist.
This was easily the best day of Josh Janssen’s junior football career. The second-year quarterback sliced up the Nanaimo secondary, completing 25 of 32 passes for 407 yards and seven touchdowns.
Janssen connected with Luc Rodrigues for three scoring strikes, adding TD tosses to Ethan Porter, Dylan Manocha, Reece Wyke and Dhag Mora. He didn’t throw an interception, marking his second straight turnover-free game.
Manocha was the big target yardage wise, with six grabs for 136 yards.
Wyke continued his breakthrough season. The running back carried 20 times for 166 yards (8.3 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He’s gone over 100 yards three games in a row, and leads the BC Football Conference in rushing yards with 785. That’s 271 more than the next guy, Westshore Rebel Gerren Hardisty.
Aidan Saunders added eight convert kicks on eight TDs.
“The offence fired on all cylinders,” Reist said. “Josh (Janssen) had outstanding day. Our receivers caught the ball with confidence and Reece and the OL pounded the rock.”
On the other side of the football, Chilliwack’s starting defence limited the Raiders to 63 net yards in the first half. Nanaimo rolled up 343 in the second half, much of that against Husker reserves. Twenty-four Chilliwack players saw snaps on D as Reist gave his backups plenty of playing time.
“It’s good to get the young guys live reps,” Reist said. “They are the future of the program and there was a lot to learn from in the fourth quarter.”
Jackson Saunders produced a turnover when he intercepted a pass from Nanaimo QB Ben Chomolok.
The Huskers got to Chomolok for four quarterback sacks. Andy Ofusuhene, Nicolas Calder-Johnston and Chase Lewans had one apiece, with half sacks from James Moar and Tyson Hulgan.
So now things get real.
Chilliwack remains on the road this weekend for a game in Kelowna against the undefeated Okanagan Sun (6-0).
The Sun have been really good this season, leading the BCFC in points per game (43.6) and points against per game (14.5). Their most recent game was a 34-31 road win at Victoria. If the Rebels can hang with the Sun, the Huskers should be able to keep it competitive when they visit the Apple Bowl for a 4 p.m. kickoff Saturday (Sept. 17).