Photo courtesy of Shoot the Breeze Photography
The 2022 CJFL season opens in the BC Conference on Saturday with six of the seven teams in action in a tripleheader.
Westshore Rebels @ Langley Rams – Saturday July 23, 4:00pm | McLeod Stadium
FINAL SCORE - Westshore Rebels 36 - Langley Rams 20
The defending Canadian Bowl champion Rams open their title defence against the new look Rebels in game 1 of the season on Saturday.
Last year the Rams finished 7-1 during the regular season and went undefeated in the playoffs winning their first national title in London. The Rams defence was incredible last season averaging four points allowed during the regular campaign and pitched a shutout in the Canadian Bowl, 37-0.
This season they will a look little different without All-Canadian Kyle Clarot in the secondary but will still be fast and athletic led by Tyler Eckert on the defensive line. All-Canadian linebacker Colten Dejong also returns and will no doubt play a major factor.
The Rebels managed only one victory last season and have high hopes for 2022 with a new look team. They will have plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball, but their defence should stand out. Linebacker Austin Morgan returns as does Cordell Holder to lead their group. Defensive tackle Tarick Polius played only five games in 2021 and has returned to the Rebels at 6’7 and 310 pounds.
Records: Rebels 1-7 – Rams 7-1
Points For: Rebels 133 – Rams 182
Points Against: Rebels 258 – Rams 32
FINAL SCORE - Okanagan Sun 50 - VI Raiders 19
On the island Saturday afternoon, the Sun and Raiders lock horns after a lopsided seasonal series in 2021. The Sun won all three games last year including their playoff semi-final. The Sun were just one win away from the national semi-final in 2021 and are looking to rebound this season. Quarterback Dominic Britton returns to the club after a solid first season and still has Mike O’Shea to throw to. However, the run game will look different after the graduation of the CJFL Offensive Player of the Year in Malcolm Miller.
The Sun defence is laced with veteran leadership including All-Stars Tyler Going, Garrett Cape and Kelon Thomas. This side of the ball should be their strength; however they will be relatively balanced.
The Raiders offence will need some time to find their stride after the graduation of veteran quarterback Jake Lebarge following last season. Running back Jason Henderson does return and should take the pressure off the new quarterback.
Defensively the Raiders return a couple of solid weapons including Sean Adams.
Records: Sun 7-1 – Raiders 5-3
Points For: Sun 360 – Raiders 207
Points Allowed: Sun 73 – Raiders 221
Prince George Kodiaks @ Valley Huskers – Saturday July 23, 7:00pm | Exhibition Stadium | WATCH HERE
FINAL SCORE - Valley Huskers 31 - PG Kodiaks 5
Saturday’s nightcap could be the most intriguing match-up of the day as the brand-new Kodiaks hit the field for the first time. Little is known about the expansion franchise, but they have recruited well and are looking to make an immediate impact.
The Huskers have several players back including quarterback Josh Janssen for his second campaign. He does have some healthy competition as the Huskers have brought in a decorated back-up. Their run game will need to prove themselves after the graduation of Brandon O’Connor following last year.
It is the defensive side of the ball that will be their strength, at least early on. James Moar returns as does Rookie of the Year candidate Andy Ofosuhene and defensive back Chavis Spencer.
These two teams will be become very familiar with each other as they match-up three times in the first five weeks of the season.
This game is the first BC Conference Game of the Week on Telus Optik TV, a new agreement between the Conference and the provider.
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