The Valley Huskers dug themselves into a 24-0 first-quarter hole and never recovered, falling 42-3 to the Okanagan Sun Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Stadium.
In a battle between the BC Football Conference’s first and last place teams, the Sun were expected to win and win big.
And they knew it.
The visitors were chirping bigtime on the sideline as the Huskers were introduced and played with the arrogance of a team that sports the league’s only unbeaten record.
Consider their opening series where the Husker defence forced the Sun into a two-and-out. Right away they dipped into their special teams bag of tricks with a fake punt that moved the chains and led, three plays later, to a Keith Zyla to Rashaun Simonise scoring strike.
Chilliwack started their first offensive series at their own 22.
Keegan Vicklund ripped off a nice 10 yard run for a first down, but two plays later a bad snap exchange between Husker QB Noah Falconer and his center led to a fumble recovery by Okanagan defender Mitch Lyons.
Chilliwack’s defence held the Sun to another two-and-out, but Isaac Wegner boomed a 35 yard field goal for a 10-o lead.
Another self-inflicted wound led to the third Okanagan major.
On a run off right-tackle, Vicklund had the ball ripped out of his arms by Sun lineman Hayward Beasley, who rumbled 50 yards the other way for a touchdown.
The Okanagan arrogance came through again on the very next play.
Up by 17, the Sun went with a short pooch kick to the left that was recovered by a player in orange and white. Eight plays later they were in the endzone again as Jesse Falconer snagged a Zyla pass that deflected off the mitts of another Okanagan receiver.
On Chilliwack’s next series, the offensive line collapsed and Vicklund had nowhere to run on a fourth-and-one gamble. The Sun stuffed him and took over with another short field, working from the Husker 39. This drive ended on the first play of the second quarter with another Simonise TD catch.
Having loads of fun, the Sun even tried a fake PAT.
The pass fell incomplete but the visitors got a second chance thanks to a defensive pass interference call.
No fake this time, just a kick through the uprights for a 31-0 lead.
The Chilliwack defence did its best as it constantly played with its back to the wall. Danny Harris created a turnover late in the first half when he pried the ball loose from a Sun receiver and fell on the fumble. Mason Paleck came up with a QB sack and Desmond Jeanson led the D with five solo tackles.
The Chilliwack offence had some bright moments too, generating 258 net yards.
Falconer completed 10 of 24 passes. Two were intercepted but he also had long connections to RJ Begg (59 yards) and Marius Anghel (45 yards). While his pass catchers struggled to separate from the Okanagan defenders, the QB showed nice touch on deep throws.
Harris chucked one ball and it was a good one, a 49 yarder to Nathan Desnoyers.
Harris also counted for the only Husker points, booting a 27 yard field goal.
Chilliwack (0-7) is back on the road this weekend for a date with the defending BCFC champs, facing Victoria’s Westshore Rebels (6-1-0) Saturday.
Westshore is here Sept. 30 and the Huskers finish up the 2017 slate at home vs the Kamloops Broncos Oct. 7.