Sun dismantle Broncos in season opener
The Okanagan Sun kicked off 2018 with a bang, defeating the Kamloops Broncos 56-6 at Hillside Stadium on Sunday.
Both offences engaged in an early battle for field position, as the game remained scoreless midway through the first quarter.
It was the Sun defence that opened up the scoring, as Broncos quarterback Reid Vankoughnett and his receiver got crossed up. His pass sailed right into the arms of all-star cornerback Tye Kitzman, who ran it all the way in for a pick-six.
That gave Okanagan a 7-0 lead with 2:33 left in the first.
In the second quarter, the Sun offence settled in and began to march up the field.
Veteran running back Kelton Kouri made it 14-0, on a 19-yard reception from quarterback Jakob Loucks.
After a botched Broncos punt lead to a fumble right in front of the goal line, Loucks punched in his first rushing touchdown from one yard out, to extend the lead to 21-0.
Minutes later, Jesse Amankwaa ran it into the endzone from 12 yards out, which quickly built up a 28-0 lead.
Before the half came to an end, Kouri added his second touchdown of the day, this one coming on the ground, from 6 yards out.
Leading 35-0, Sun kicker Isaac Wegner connected on a 42-yard field goal, which gave Okanagan a 38-0 lead at the half.
With a lopsided score, the Sun took the opportunity to get some backups into the game over the course of the second half.
A 29-yard field goal from Isaac Wegner pushed the lead to 41-0, before Kamloops got on the board.
With Sun quarterback Matthew Mahler under pressure, the ball was knocked loose as he was hit by lineman Damian Person. Fifth-year teammate Kurtis Mutschmann grabbed the ball, and rumbled in for a touchdown. After missing a two-point convert, the score was cut to 41-6.
But on the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Conor Richard turned on the jets, and returned the kick 96 yards for another Sun score, giving his team a 48-6 lead.
Richard also picked up a forced fumble prior to the Loucks TD, and was named Special Teams Player of the Week in the BCFC.
Things settled down in the fourth quarter, until Wegner attempted a 41-yard field goal. His kick missed the uprights, but went out the back of the endzone, which extended the Sun lead to 49-6.
The offence finished off the scoring a couple minutes later, when Mahler connected with rookie receiver Cole Stroud, for his first reception and touchdown catch in a Sun jersey.
Wegner connected on his seventh convert of the afternoon, giving the Sun a 56-6 victory.
Up next, the Sun continue a four-game season-opening road trip on the Island, against the Westshore Rebels.
Kickoff is set for next Saturday (Aug. 11) at 4 pm.
A PPV video stream of the game is available at bcfctv.com, along with a radio broadcast live on AM 1150, beginning at 3:30 pm.