PREVIEW: Sun hosts Rams in Cullen Cup Championship

Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm the Okanagan Sun and Langley Rams will battle for the fourth time this season, in the 2014 Cullen Cup BCFC Championship game presented by Jostens.

The Sun will host the Cullen Cup for the 18th time in team history and have won both meetings with the Rams at the Apple Bowl this season, outscoring them 68-30.

This game will feature the two best defenses throughout the regular season.  The Sun allowed the fewest points (139) while the Rams allowed the second fewest at 254.  The Sun also led the Conference with an unbelievable 59 takeaways, including 23 interceptions, 15 fumble recoveries and 21 turnovers on downs.  10 players had at least one interception, led by Robbie Yochim’s four.

Ten of the 23 interceptions for the Sun come against the Rams this season.  Both Yochim and Dexter Janke each had a pair.

The Sun defense frustrated the Rams running attack holding them to an average of 66 yards in the three match-ups.   Jordan Traversy had the most success on ground with 88 yards in the series.

On the other side, the Rams defense has also been very tough to crack.  Their secondary and blitz packages have kept Cam Bedore and Josiah Joseph uncomfortable as the duo is only averaging 84 yards through the air.  The Rams defense has made six interceptions against the Sun this season, John Beckerleg had two of tham.  Speaking of the blitz, BCFC Defensive Player of the Year Dylan Roper has been simply fantastic on the Rams defensive line collecting a Conference high 10 sacks, while Rookie of the Year Ethan Schulz has been solid at the linebacker position.

This championship game will feature two outstanding returners as Yochim and Beckerleg were named as co-All Star returners this past week.  Yochim set all kinds of team and Conference records, while Beckerleg has been extremely dangerous, but has struggled against the Sun coverage team.  Between the two of them, these two All-Stars have returned 12 kicks for touchdowns.

The Sun are going to run the football.  In the semi-final win over the Raiders the Sun dressed five running backs and collected 233 yards on ground led by the BCFC’s Most Outstanding Running Back Alex Bradley who rushed eight times for 79 yards and a score.  Back in Week 7 against the Rams, Bradley rushed 20 times for 154 yards and had a touchdown.  In their three regular season games the Sun are averaging 161 yards on the ground.

The Rams are more than likely going to pass with McCarty throwing to the lethal combination of Malcolm Williams and Dan English.  The dynamic duo has combined for 25 receptions against the Sun in regular season for 390 yards and four touchdowns. As a team the Rams are averaging 227 yards through the air against the top rated defense.

Both offenses scored over 45 points in their semi-final win last weekend, the Sun beating the Raiders 47-16 while the Rams won 48-46 beating the Broncos.

Sunday’s game will be the eighth time these two have faced each other in the Cullen Cup, with the Rams winning five of them.  The last match-up was in 2005 at the Apple Bowl with the Sun falling 31-27.  Prior to that, the teams hadn’t played each other since 1995, the Sun winning that game 13-1.

The stakes in the 2014 match-up are even higher with the winner hosting the Canadian Bowl on Saturday November 8th.

Photo credit:  Greystoke Photography

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