Kamloops Broncos lose heartbreaker in final game of 2018

By Adam Donnelly
October 13, 2018 - 8:09pm Updated: October 14, 2018 - 12:05pm

KAMLOOPS — There’s a reason they call football a game of inches.

With less than 80 seconds on the clock, Broncos receiver Thijs Duineveld took off down the near sideline at Hillside Stadium, gaining a step on his defender.

Back at the line of scrimmage, Broncos rookie QB Reid Vankoughnett stepped up in the pocket to avoid being sacked, then launched a 30-yard pass in Duineveld’s direction.

The pass slipped through Duineveld’s outstretched fingers and fell incomplete. The Broncos turned the ball over on downs.

Their opponent, the Langley Rams would get one first down, then run out the clock and claim victory. The final score was 26-22.

WATCH: 2018 KAMLOOPS BRONCOS SEASON WRAP

“Yeah, we definitely wanted that one pretty bad,” Vankoughnett said after the game. “We almost had it. We almost converted on a big 3rd down play that maybe we could have scored on. Maybe we wouldn’t have, but it would have given us another chance.”

The Broncos led 17-14 at halftime. They’d stretch that lead to 19-14 in the 3rd quarter after they forced the Rams to take a safety.

Langley would come back and score a touchdown later in the 3rd, then fail on their 2-point convert attempt, which left the Rams with the narrowest of leads.

Kamloops kicked a field goal to take a 22-20 lead early in the 4th, but Langley would add a pair of field goals later in the quarter to make the score 26-22, a lead they held onto for the victory.

Despite the tough loss, Broncos Head Coach Brad Yamaoka was pleased with the effort his boys showed.

“The last three weeks, I thought this team came together,” Yamaoka said. “A call goes a different way in this game, or a bounce goes a different way last week, we could win a football game. It’s unfortunate for the boys. I wish they could have got at least one win under their belt, but they can be proud… they really put it all together and put it all on the field.”

While the team ended the year without notching a win, Yamaoka was proud of the growth his squad showed down the stretch and sees some potential for the team heading into the off-season.

“From where we started to where we ended, night and day,” Yamaoka said post-game. “I’m proud of the boys and the way they played and progressed over the season. They didn’t give up, kept working hard in practice… The core, if they stick together, will be in good shape for the future.”

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