With one week to go in the BC Football Conference regular season, the Valley Huskers have locked down a playoff spot.
And while their dream of a home playoff game is officially out of reach, the junior football squad can feel good about their first round playoff matchup. They’ll be facing Victoria’s Westshore Rebels, a team they soundly beat Saturday (Oct. 1).
The Huskers took a convincing 28-10 decision over their BCFC rivals at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Stadium, improving to 6-3 on the season.
Quarterback Josh Janssen led the way, continuing a breakout season that has catapulted him into the top tier of BCFC pivots. The Sardis Secondary grad completed 19 of 31 passes, throwing touchdown tosses to Luc Rodrigues, David Coronado and running back Reece Wyke.
Eight different receivers caught Janssen passes as the Huskers spread the ball around.
After being held to just 48 yards by the Okanagan Sun the week before, Wyke got 102 against the Rebels. With one week to go in the regular season, Wyke is within striking distance of the 1,000 yard mark. He has a league-best 926 yards, 94 more than Sun tailback Jevan Garwood.
“Our offence was consistent and we were able to churn out yards in the second half,” said Huskers head coach Bob Reist. “We had long drives that we finished with major scores.”
The Husker defence had a nice day.
James Moar provided a touchdown when he scooped up a Westshore fumble and ran it back 30 yards, and Shane Claridge and Samuel Henneberry each had interceptions. Jaiden Claassen, Andy Ofusuhene and Tyson Hulgan had quarterback sacks and Christopher Rolack was a tackling machine with nine solo stops.
“Our defence was outstanding,” Reist said. “We were able to eliminate the deep threat and tackled well underneath. Our guys up front were able to control the line of scrimmage and we created turnovers.”
Chilliwack will play once more at home to end the regular season, hosting the Kamloops Broncos (4-5) Saturday, with a 2 p.m. kickoff at Exhibition Stadium.
Then it’s on to the postseason Oct. 15.
While the Sun (9-0) host the Langley Rams (5-5), the Huskers will travel to Victoria.
In order to host the game, they would have needed to have a higher point differential through their two head-to-head games against Westshore. A 38-17 loss to the Rebels in week two meant Chilliwack needed to beat Westshore by 21 in the rematch.
If they’d been able to keep the Rebels out of the endzone on a fourth quarter drive that ended with a Tim Jessie to Mike Oliva touchdown toss, they would have had it.
“We had a chance to end that last drive twice and we must learn that every drive and every score matters,” Reist noted. “That being said, it was a fantastic win for our program and our season.”