109-Yard Touchdown Earns Joseph Player of the Week Honours
The field goal appeared to be a routine play for Westshore Rebels kicker Kyle Clarke. He would convert on two attempts later in the game, both longer than the approximately 40-yard attempt he faced.
When the ball was kicked it looked good, but the reaction from number five in blue underneath the uprights made it apparent that the swirling Kamloops winds had taken away the football’s momentum.
Max Joseph, the Broncos rookie kick returner from Guilford, B.C., corralled the missed kick and found an opening to his left, and ran down the near sideline, shaking two tackles behind a wall of blockers, for a 109-yard touchdown. A flag on the field had the 410 Broncos fans in attendance holding their breath, but when no penalty was announced the stands erupted for the early play-of-the-year candidate.
“As soon as the kick missed and I saw it was coming up short I picked it up and I looked to my left and I saw I had a couple of blockers, there were a couple big guys and I knew I could outrun them,” Joseph said. “Once I got to the sidelines it was pretty much over from there. My mentality was like I’m not going to stop until I get this touchdown.”
“That’s definitely my longest one to date, but I’m looking to make a bigger one come this week.”
Joseph’s first touchdown of his BCFC career gave the Broncos an early 7-0 lead and marked the only major score of the first half.
“It was pretty good. The length of it obviously is impressive. Id rather have seen an offensive drive down the field, kill five minutes of the clock and score a touchdown but any big play like that is a game changer,” said head coach Brad Yamaoka. “If we could score every time somebody kicks to us we’d be in good shape.”
Along with the highlight-reel touchdown, Joseph collected 123 yards on two missed field goal returns, 57 yards on two kick returns and 28 yards on four punt returns to earn the BCFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
“He’s got a lot of potential and I don’t want to say he’s there yet because he’s still learning to play at this level,” Yamaoka said of the Broncos rookie. “I think he’s just going to continue to get better. It’s one of those adages where you get the ball in his hands and you see what can happen.”
Predicted by media members as a potential rookie of the year candidate, Joseph has been the featured kick returner for the Broncos as well as seeing spot duty as a running back and receiver, averaging 9.2 yards per catch on five receptions and 7.5 yards per carry on six attempts.
“At the beginning of the year, I definitely did feel a little bit of pressure because my name was being put out there but I know I can produce on this field and I trust my skills and my teammates to get it done.,” Joseph said. “I love the team here. I love the boys, I love the coaches, the training staff, everybody here is helping me to get to the next level and I appreciate that and I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.”
The Broncos went on to lose the contest 25-21 on a late-game fumble and will take a 1-2 record to Nanaimo on Saturday where they will face the 2-1 Vancouver Island Raiders.
“It’s a win game for us. We have to go down there and win a football game that’s the mindset. We want to go out and put the best foot forward and win a football game,” Yamaoka said. “We’re not satisfied anymore with being close and being competitive we want to start winning and we need to learn how to win.”