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Prince George Kodiaks' first season setting with the Sun

BCFC all-stars Will St. Hubert and Keon Raymond II prepare for clash with first-place Okanagan in season finale Saturday at Masich Place Stadium
Broncos ball carrier Keanu Brown takes off
Prince George Kodiaks running back Keanu Brown takes off with the ball during an Aug. 6 game against the Kamloops Broncos at Masich Place Stadium. THe Kodiaks close out their first season at home Saturday against the Okanagan Sun.

The first-year Prince George Kodiaks (1-8) will not advance to the B.C. Football Conference playoffs and that was to be expected.

They’ve taken their lumps as the youngest team in the league and the beatings continued on the road Saturday in Langley, where they lost to the defending league-champion Rams 29-16.

While the game results haven’t gone their way, there’s been plenty to celebrate for the newest franchise on the local sports scene and two prominent Kodiaks have earned recognition as league all-stars in 2022.

You won’t find Will St. Hubert near the top of any individual statistical category but the 23-year-old tackle from Ajax, Ont., touted as a potential CFL draft pick, has been a dominant protector on the offensive line. St. Hubert has picked up where he left off last year as a BCFC all-star with the Vancouver Island Raiders and his exceptional pass protection has given the young Prince George quarterbacks a little more time to make plays.

The other Kodiak all-star is defensive back Keon Raymond II. The 19-year-old is following in the footsteps of his dad, Keon Raymond, the Kodiaks head coach and director of football operations and a former CFL all-star defensive back with the Calgary Stampeders.  The younger Raymond ranks fourth in the league in tackles with 32, two behind teammate Marcellus Pope, who has 34 as the third-leading tackler. Raymond stacks up third in the BCFC as a punt returner, with 324 yards, averaging 13.5 yards. In Saturday’s game in Langley he ran one back 63 yards for a touchdown. He’s also totaled three unassisted tackles in the nine games so far this season.

The Kodiaks will be hard-pressed to win their final game of the season Saturday night at Masich Place Stadium when they host the undefeated Okanagan Sun (9-0). The Sun have outscored their opponents a combined  394-128 and are coming off a 41-24 win over the Kamloops Broncos.

Among the players to watch on the Kodiaks side is receiver Jerome Erickson, the former College Heights Cougar quarterback-turned receiver. Through nine games he’s made 36 catches for 375 yards (tied for 12th in BCFC) and has three touchdowns.

Another favourite target for the Kodiaks is Duchess Park graduate Noah Lank, who has turned his 12 catches into 205 yards and one touchdown. Also keep an eye on TJ Nyberg, a former Shas Ti Kelly Road Roadrunner who scored his first junior touchdown on a one-yard catch last week in Langley.

It helps to have the sixth-rated passer in the league- 18-year-old Liam Oczkowski – tossing them the ball. Oczkowski has drawn the bulk of the reps at QB, going 101 for 190 for a 53.2 per cent completion rate, 1,310 yards and three touchdowns.

He’s also turned out to be a good scrambler out of the pocket and ranks as the league’s 14th-leading rusher with 211 yards and two touchdown runs. Right behind him on the BCFC rushing list  is Kodiaks running back Keanu Brown, whose quick acceleration has led to 203 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Game time Saturday is 7 p.m.. Tickets will be available at the gate or online on the Tickets North website.

 

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