Going into Saturday’s Canadian Bowl championship, Langley Rams head coach Howie Zaron game called on fans of the Canadian Junior Football League team to fill the stands at McLeod Athletic Park (MAP) stadium in Langley.
“We’d love to get them [fans] out,” Zaron told Black Press Media, “have everyone get loud and rowdy.”
That they did, ignoring rainy weather to cheer on their team.
And while the fans were enthusiastic and every bit as loud as requested, the results were not what they were hoping for.
It was a heartbreaker of a loss for the Langley Rams, who were defeated 11-6 by the Saskatoon Hilltops, marking the Saskatchewan team’s sixth straight Canadian Bowl championship.
By the end of the first half, Hilltops were leading courtesy of place kicker Rylan Kleiter, who scored twice in the second quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, running back Max Joseph scored a touchdown, but Langley was unable to make the two point conversion, leaving the score at 8-6 (due to a safety conceded by the Rams).
TOUCHDOWN RAMS! Maximilian Joesph scores the games first major!!! 8-6 Hilltops | 6:25 Q3 pic.twitter.com/m0OVXR2wAT— Langley Rams (@LangleyRams) November 16, 2019
Hilltops’ Kleiter got another one through the goalposts in the fourth quarter to make it 11-6 with just over two minutes remaining, and the Hilltops managed to withstand a final determined attack by the Rams that got within 15 yards of winning.
Heartbreaker. Congrats to the @SaskHilltopscjfl on another championship victory. Thank you Rams fans for an unforgettable season. We will be back pic.twitter.com/x2UR6TQR7d— Langley Rams (@LangleyRams) November 16, 2019
Going in, both teams were undefeated, the Rams with 12 straight and the Hilltops with 11.
Both punched their ticket to the final with convincing wins over tough opponents.
Rams won the Cullen Cup with a 35-12 home victory over Langford’s Westshore Rebels before a crowd of 1,300 junior football fans, while the Hilltops won against the London Beefeaters 51-1 in the other Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) semifinal action in London.
More to come.