For the second week in a row, the Valley Huskers gave a BC Football Conference powerhouse a first quarter headache.
For the second week in a row they couldn’t sustain it, falling 41-16 Saturday night in Langley.
The Huskers gave the mighty Rams all they could handle in the opening 15 minutes of the BCFC tilt at McLeod Athletic Park, taking a 2-0 lead into the second quarter.
Last week in Nanaimo, the Huskers turned a scorching start and a 17 point lead into a 55-24 loss.
Given how much the Raiders dominated the last 45 minutes of that game, it was easy to blame it on complacency.
They took winless Chilliwack lightly, and once they flipped the switch it was business as usual.
But this Rams game?
Langley had a dominant second quarter, tagging the Husker D for 23 points.
But the rest of the game was surprisingly square.
A Tiernan Docherty field goal provided the only points by either team in the third quarter, and Langley held a 15-8 advantage in the fourth.
If you want to, you could take this game as a sign of improvement.
After all, Langley bombed the Huskers 39-0 just three weeks ago in a game that was far more lopsided than the final score.
The Huskers looked like a joke then.
They looked like an actual junior football team Saturday.
Quarterback Noah Falconer went the distance at quarterback and for the third game in a row did not throw an interception.
He completed 23 of 48 passes (not great) for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Reigning offensive player of the week Mike West caught one of them.
Elijah Falconer had the other and veteran Blake Draper hauled in a two-point convert.
West led the Huskers with 79 receiving yards on six catches while Draper had 73 yards on nine catches.
Chilliwack’s ground game remained missing in action, generating just 18 yards on nine carries.
Defensively, the Huskers caught a break when star Langley running back Nathan Lund left the game after just one carry. They also benefited from a flag fest that saw the Rams penalized 21 times for 200 yards.
But the Chilliwack D did good things regardless, generating four turnovers.
Brett Boyce, Travis Dietrich and Landon Rayburn had fumble recoveries. Rayburn rumbled 45 yards with his return and rookie defensive back Chris Thelasco came up with his first BCFC interception.
Boyce and Mason Paleck had quarterback sacks.
The Huskers were victimized by a handful of long plays.
Seye Akinsanmi had an 84 yard reception, a big chunk of his game-high 173 receiving yards.
Khalik Johnson reeled in a 73 yarder and tailback back Joe Carter ripped off a 41 yard run.
Langley QBs Stephen Legate and Colby Peters combined to go 13 of 21 for 364 yards and three TDs.
The net result of all this is the Huskers are 0-4, almost halfway to another winless season.
The good news is their first four games, against the Okanagan Sun/Rams/Raiders/Rams, couldn’t have been more difficult.
And, they won’t see Langley again this season.
The bad news is they’ve got back-to-back games against Jamel Lyles and the Westshore Rebels (3-1) coming up.
Lyles has been putting up video game numbers — 697 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 8.5 yards per carry.
He’s the most unstoppable offensive force since Andrew Harris tore up the league with Nanaimo, so life isn’t getting any easier.
The home-and-home starts in Chilliwack Saturday (1 p.m. at Exhibition Stadium). The return match is Aug. 27 in Victoria.
See valleyhuskers.org for more.