Like any head coach’s critique of his team two weeks into a new football season, Ben Macauley sees plenty of room for improvement in his Okanagan Sun.
Still, with two wins in as many starts and a view from the top of the B.C. Football Conference standings, 2017 is unfolding pretty much as the Sun staff had envisioned.
After a tight 19-15 season-opening win over the Westshore Rebels, the Sun followed it up Saturday night at the Apple Bowl with a 36-0 drubbing of the Kamloops Broncos.
With the exception of a handful of untimely and costly penalties, Macauley was generally pleased with his club’s effort against Kamloops.
“I thought we executed the game plan pretty well, our offense stepped up and played better than last week, and our defense played very well again and was tackling well,” said Macauley. “We did take some penalties at crucial times. They were more laziness than discipline issues, so those we should be able to clean up with more effort.”
If not for penalties taking three major scores off the board in the second quarter, the score could have leaned even heavier in the Sun’s favour.
Okangan only led 10-0 at the half, but with fewer penalties to contend with, broke the game wide open in the second half.
With No. 1 man Keith Zyla on the sidelines with a lower body injury, Nick Wenman drew his first BCFC start at quarterback and, after a tentative start, put together a solid body of work.
Wenman completed 20 of 30 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns.
“We were truly impressed with the way Nick shook off some nerves in the first quarter and really took charge,” Macauley said. “Nick executed well and did a good job. Without Keith in there, we’re comfortable with him in there.”
Wenman connected with Kyler Mosley, Liam Crane and Nate Anderson—53 yards—for touchdown throws, while Mosley scored his second major of the game on a two-yard run. The remaining points all came from kicker Isaag Wegner.
On defense, the Sun was in control throughout, holding the Broncos to just 114 yards total offense. Tye Kitzman picked off a pass for the second game in a row, while the Sun sacked Kamloops QB Colby Henkel four times.
“We had a a lot of key injuries coming in, but in spite of those I thought, for the most part, our guys stepped up and accomplished what we wanted,” Macauley said. “Being 2-0 is where we want to be.”
The Sun head on the road for the first time this weekend when they visit the Rams Saturday in Langley.
The Rams are 1-1 after losing to Vancouver Island and taking down the Valley Huskers 39-0 on Saturday.
“Langley is a tough park to play in,” Macauley said. “We went there last year and slipped out with a win.
“I’m sure they didn’t perform they way they hoped against VI and will want to show us something, maybe get some revenge. Any time you’re on top, teams are coming for you.”
The Sun’s next home action is Saturday, Aug. 19 against the Valley Huskers.