Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 

Sports

Change of Seasons

Huskers' game plan expected to evolve in 2017

Warren Andrews/Voice photos

 

VI Raiders rookie QB, Jake Laberge (12), pulls back to pass last week in the final game of the regular season with the Huskers. Laberge is one of the league's top rookies throwing for over 1700 yards this season.

 

he Huskers couldn’t transfer an inspired defensive effort in the first half against the VI Raiders Saturday at Exhibition Stadium into a win unfortunately.

 

2016 will be remembered by Huskers fans as one of the most promising in years, however, as the team showed growth on both sides of the ball.

Lets start with the most pivotal position on the team, the Quarterback.

Noah Falconer helped the Huskers offense rack up 178 points their highest total since scoring 236 points in 2008.

Falconer passed for 2500 yards, which ranks him 10th as the all-time best single season total in BCFC history, knocking the Abbotsford Air Force’s Greg Korstrom and his 2476 yards in 1993 back into 11th. His 178 completions second only to Jordan Yantz and his 182 back in 2010 with the Riders.

 

The 373 attempts through the air a new benchmark for the BCFC, topping the 366 Hunter Lake of the Westshore Rebels threw up in 2014. His 19 touchdown passes may not have made history, but were 2 better than the Broncos Coby Henckle for tops this season.

A couple of factors led to this remarkable season. The offensive line as a whole kept Falconer on his feet for most of the season, shaving the sacks allowed from 17 the year before to 12.

The running game with Ryan Beaubien started to gain some credibility in the final half of the season. After gaining a combined 74 yards on 24 attempts in the first 5 games, he managed to pile up 253 yards on 52 attempts over his last 4 games.

The bread and butter was the air attack, led by a quartet of good receivers.




Bruising Blake Draper made a living out of catching passes in traffic. The all-time Huskers reception leader finished with 42 snags for 478 yards, as he stands with 143 catches overall.

Third year player Keenan Godden had his best season in green. He piled up 737 yards on 38 catches, 4 of them touchdowns. That yardage total was second best in the conference.

Rookie receiver and former High School AAA player of the year Mike West was a revelation, leading the team with 44 catches and 6 touchdowns in 9 games, and finished 4th in the Conference with 693 yards. He also had 12 tackles, a blocked kick, forced fumble and one fumble recovery while playing defense.

Fellow rookie Elijah Falconer had 24 catches for 283 yards. He also caught touchdown passes in 3 straight games.

There were also improvements on the defensive side. The 423 points allowed were 108 less than last year, a significant achievement.


James Sturgeon saved his best for last, finishing 4th in the Conference with 102 points on 52 combined tackles and 4 quarterback sacks.


Travis Dietrich battled through injury to place 11th with 83.5 points. He had 34 combined tackles and 4 fumble recoveries.



Tyler McStravick was among the Conference’s top ball hawks, snaring in 4.

Rookies Chris Thelasco and Josh Wice also had very good seasons.

Thelasco with 30 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 interceptions.

Wice had 34 tackles, a blocked kick, a sack and 2 fumble recoveries. Brenden Atkinson, Cody Lawlor and freshman Mason Paleck also contributed with solid campaigns.

On special teams, Liam Zurflah was second in the Conference in field goal percentage, making 5 of 6 attempts.

The Huskers will say goodbye to a number of players that age out including Jason Ghag, Gary Lumeka, Duncan Finch, Jesse Smith, Atkinson and Sturgeon. A number more will head off to university or begin a career outside of football.

Watch or re-watch the final game of 2016 here courtesy of VBN Sports.
 

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