Josh Wice (right) and his Chilliwack Huskers fell 56-14 to Foster Martens (left) and the defending BC Football Conference champion Okanagan Sun in their season opener Saturday night at Exhibition Stadium.

Josh Wice (right) and his Chilliwack Huskers fell 56-14 to Foster Martens (left) and the defending BC Football Conference champion Okanagan Sun in their season opener Saturday night at Exhibition Stadium.

Hopeful Huskers try to stop Langley Rams

BC Football Conference action finds two winless teams going head to head at Chilliwack's Exhibition Stadium.

The Valley Huskers will try to get their first win of 2016 Saturday night as they host a grumpy Langley Rams squad.

The Rams lost their opener on the road last weekend, falling 42-34 to Victoria’s Westshore Rebels.

The Rebels gashed Langley with a rushing attack that ground out 296 yards — two players, running back Trey Campbell and quarterback Ashton McKinnon, topped the 100 yard mark.

The Huskers are also 0-1 after falling 56-14 to the defending BC Football Conference champion Okanagan Sun last Saturday.

Don’t let the final score fool you.

The Huskers actually showed some good things, especially on the defensive side.

The feisty Chilliwack D limited the Sun to 300 yards of total offence, without surrendering any of the video-game totals that marred last year’s score-sheets.

The top Okanagan rusher was Brendan Hansen, who carried seven times for 35 yards.

Hansen was also the top Okanagan pass catcher, but all of his 74 yards came on one play.

Three of the eight Sun majors were of the pick-six variety as Husker quarterback Noah Falconer served up interceptions to Beck Fullerton, Jamie Turek and Elias Rodriguez.

The Rodriguez score was pure bad luck and came at a pivotal point in the game. The Huskers had just scored their first TD to make the score 28-7 and had the ball in field-goal range with a chance to further cut into the lead before half-time.

But a Falconer pass was batted into the air and caught by Rodriguez.

The  BIG defensive lineman rumbled 70 yards the other way.

Momentum squashed.

The Sun added another major moments later, led 42-7 at the break and that was that.

After a rough first quarter, Falconer looked like he might provide capable QB play.

He hit RJ Begg and Blake Draper with touchdown tosses and showed the arm strength to hit deep throws and sideline outs. He finished the day 14 of 32 for 169 yards and may have found a new favourite target.

Keenan Godden caught five Falconer passes for 85 yards.

Godden and Draper together could be good and if the Huskers find a rushing attack they might be in business.

But they managed just 38 yards on 13 carries against the Sun, with Edwin Perrin’s 23 yards leading the way. They’ll have to generate more than that against a stout Langley D whose only glaring weakness seems to be their defensive line.

It may fall to the Husker D to keep them in the game, and there’s hope there. Chilliwack played fast and aggressive against the Sun, dialing up some solid pressure.

They got unlucky on one Sun major when QB Foster Martens side-stepped a blitz and scrambled 26 yards for a score.

Should have been a sack.

On a 30 yard touchdown catch by Shamar Donelson, the Husker defensive back looked back for the ball and lost his man.

Should have been a  knock-down, maybe an interception.

That’s two moments where the Huskers were in position to make a play and didn’t.

Chilliwack will also want to clean up the penalties, which handed the Sun 140 yards.

Both teams were flagged for numerous personal fouls. Difference is, when you’re the Sun and you’re up by 35 you can afford to take those.

When you’re the Huskers and you’re trying to stay in the game, those 15 yarders kill.

On the bright side, Calgary import Chris Thelasco produced his first quarterback sack and another Calgarian, Josh Wice, blocked a Sun kick.

 

l Kickoff Saturday night is 7 p.m. at Exhibition Stadium. See valleyhuskers.org or bcfootballconference.com for more.

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