The Okanagan Sun have defeated the Regina Thunder to win the 2022 Canadian Bowl, the third championship in the team’s history.
The Sun rallied to defeat the host Thunder 21-19 to win the championship game of the Canadian Junior Football League.
The Sun trailed 15-0 at one point in the second quarter and 15-7 at the half before roaring back in the third quarter with two touchdowns to take a lead they would never relinquish.
However, the Sun replied with 5:07 left in the quarter as Jevan Garwood ran 53 yards up the middle for a touchdown to make it 17-14.
The defence then took over. On Regina’s next possession, facing second and nine, Dawson Puk came up with the biggest defensive play of the game, intercepting a Carter Shewchuk pass at the Regina 49.
Quickly, the visitors went up 21-17, with Mike O’Shea hauling in a 24-yard touchdown from Dom Britton with 3:02 left in the quarter.
They had a chance to increase the lead to a converted touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but a O’Shea was unable to handle the snap on a 34-yard field goal attempt to give the Thunder the ball back down by four.
While the game was played in Regina, a viewing party was held in Kelowna at Dakota’s Sports Bar and Grill, where a few dozen gathered to watch.
Saturday’s win was the third national title for the franchise, who won their first 32 years to the day on Nov. 12, 1988, a 50-0 shellacking of the Burlington Junior Tiger Cats.
During the regular season, the Sun dominated the B.C. Football Conference 10-0. In the playoffs, Okanagan downed the Langley Rams 44-20 in the semifinals, then the Westshore Rebels 38-0 in the final.