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Raider revenge as V.I. reclaims Cullen Cup
They ran the ball, they threw the ball, but they did not protect the ball, and they also played catch-up the entire game.
That was the story from the 2013 Cullen Cup championship game as the Langley Rams fell 48-37 to the V.I. Raiders at Nanaimo’s Caledonia Park on Saturday afternoon.
The junior football championship was the seventh in the past eight years for the Raiders, who had their consecutive string of BCFC titles snapped at six last season by the Rams.
“It stings,” said Langley coach Ted Kirby.
“If you put our roster next to their roster and compared the two, we should have won the game.
“Some of this comes down on us (coaches). We just got out-coached.”
Langley trailed from the opening drive and could never right the ship as they tried a desperate second-half comeback which came up short.
The Rams had trailed 24-8 at the half, but the closest they could get was within nine points.
In the end, four interceptions and a turnover on downs — combined with the deficit — was too much to overcome for the squad.
The first interception was early in the game, with the Raiders up 3-0, when the Rams were picked off at their own five-yard line. That led to a quick seven points and a 10-0 deficit within the first few minutes.
The turnover on downs came in the second half after defensive back Ryan Reid had given Langley great field position on the V.I. 10-yard line with an interception.
But the Rams — trailing 24-6 — could not punch the ball into the end zone.
Another costly pick came in the Raiders red zone early in the fourth quarter and with the Rams down 38-29.
And the last of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown as the pick-6 made it 48-29.
“We came back and fought hard, just a couple of untimely penalties and bad turnovers,” Kirby said.
“I thought in the fourth quarter, we were about to come back. Next thing you know, there is an interception and it goes back the other way for six (points).”
Kirby said the players were devastated by the defeat, especially those who are done at the junior level.
“It is hard to look at the graduating players in the eyes,” he said.
“We can’t tell them we will be back next year for another shot.”
Statistically, Langley dominated, but the bulk of their yards came in the second half with the Raiders nursing a big lead.
After a first half which saw them generate just 54 yards rushing and 73 yards passing with three turnovers, Langley was able to move the ball up and down the field in the second half while also scoring four touchdowns.
Kyle Albertini and Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren both ran for touchdowns while Gilbert-Knorren threw a touchdown pass apiece to Dan English and Jacob Carvery.
English set a new BCFC playoff record with 11 catches, finishing with 111 yards receiving.
Kyle Pich also had a big game, catching six passes for 169 yards while Carvery caught six balls for 90 yards.
Gilbert-Knorren’s 30 completions and 49 attempts were both records for a BCFC final. He finished with 413 yards passing.“I thought in the fourth quarter, we were about to come back.
“Next thing you know, there is an interception and it goes back the other way for six.”
“We came back and fought hard, just a couple of untimely penalties and bad turnovers.
“We got behind the eight-ball.”