Broncos beaten on the Island
Running back Greg Morris of Victoria’s Westshore Rebels ran roughshod over the Kamloops Broncos in B.C. Football Conference play on Vancouver Island on Saturday, Aug. 18.
“You could tell they were trying to get the ball into his hands and we just couldn’t stop him,” Broncos head coach Duncan Olthuis said of Morris, whose Rebels (2-1) won the tilt 34-21.
Morris racked up 131 yards on 13 carries and caught two touchdown passes in Westshore’s second consecutive win.
Kamloops (1-2) will clash with the Vancouver Island Raiders (2-0-1) of Nanaimo at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Hillside Stadium.
The Broncos tried to claw back from a 21-6 deficit in the second half, but the charge fell short.
“This is a team that, once we get down, we kind of give up,” Olthuis said.
“This is the first time we’ve fought back and tried to get back in the game.”
A banged-up Jesse Neufeld had an inspired game at quarterback for the visitors.
He completed 10 of 24 passes for 188 yards and rushed seven times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Kamloops running back Mike McMaster registered the other Broncos’ touchdown and kicker Aaron Smit tacked on two field goals. hitting from 37 and 40 yards out.
Derek Yachison rounded out the scoring with a two-point conversion.
Slotback Brennan Plante had a strong game in a losing cause, racking up 83 receiving yards on three catches.
Defensive backs Chris Rosa and Evan Parr had strong games, with Rosa recovering a fumble and Parr making an interception.
The Broncos’ offensive line had a tough time dealing with the Rebels’ pass rush, giving up six sacks.
But, it was the River City team’s inability to shut Westshore’s offence down that cost them most.
“It was a rough day on D,” Olthuis said.
“But, it’s nothing that’s not fixable.
“Again, I’m tired of saying this, but it’s stupid little mistakes that we’ve got to clean up.”
Kamloops is playing the Chilliwack Huskers and the Rebels three times this season, as opposed to twice in the 2011 campaign.
The Broncos will only once meet the Raiders and the Langley Rams, with two games against the Okanagan Sun of Kelowna rounding out the 10-game season.
The BCFC made the change to level the playing field, dominated yearly by the Raiders, Rams and Sun.
Olthuis knows the Broncos can ill-afford to lose the season series with either Chilliwack or Westshore.
Kamloops will again travel to Vancouver Island to meet the Rebels on Sept. 16.
Westshore’s feature back will be a marked man.
“We’ve got to stop Morris and things will fall into place,” Olthuis said.