Duncan Olthuis has done the math, and he believes the Kamloops Broncos still have a decent shot at making the B.C. Football Conference playoffs.
"There is a ton to do, but we're comfortable with where we are," said the Broncos head coach. "We'd like to be in a better position standings-wise, but we're confident we can dig out of the hole and get into playoff position."
The Broncos are scheduled to open the second half of their schedule on Saturday, when they meet the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack. Although Kamloops is 0-4-1 and last in the conference, it can still qualify for the playoffs.
For that to become a reality, three things have to happen:
1) The Broncos have to beat the Huskers (2-2-1) by more than three points on Saturday and manage a split or better with the Westshore Rebels (1-4-0). Kamloops will play host to the Rebels on Sept. 14, before the teams meet in Victoria on Sept. 28;
2) The Huskers have to go winless in their remaining five games, including Saturday's contest with Kamloops and two each against the BCFC's top two teams, the Langley Rams (4-1) and Okanagan Sun (4-1);
3. The Rebels have to win no more than one game, assuming Kamloops gets its split. Westshore is in Langley on Saturday and, along with its two games with the Broncos, will meet the Vancouver Island Raiders (3-2) twice.
If all of this happens, the Broncos and Huskers will finish the season 2-7-1, with Kamloops getting the tiebreaker based on head-to-head results, and Westshore will finish 2-8. That would leave the Broncos fourth.
It may be a pipe dream, but, technically, it could happen.
"We have a chance," said offensive lineman Cam Brown. "Looking at the standings, there's extra motivation for . . . everyone in the locker-room. I'm excited for the second half of the season."
First things first, the Huskers.
The Broncos are in this mess because of their poor play against the Huskers in Weeks 1 and 2. Kamloops tied the Huskers 29-29 in Chilliwack on Aug. 3, before losing 33-30 at home one week later.
The Broncos picked up its play and had performed relatively well before last week's bye, losing 23-8 to the Okanagan Sun on Aug. 17 and 37-27 to the Vancouver Island Raiders a week later. Although they were losses, the Broncos did a lot of good things against good teams, and hope to keep things rolling.
"I hope we don't lose that momentum," Olthuis said. "We've had a good week of practices, so I think we'll be ready."
Olthuis denied that the Broncos already are in playoff mode, but Brown feels otherwise.
"Our season has gone so fast, and I think these five weeks are crucial," said Brown, a native of Vanderhoof. "It's time to go. Put up or shut up. It's time to get into playoff mode."
EXTRA POINTS: The Broncos have lost LB Ben Groenewegen for the season after he broke two bones in his back against the Raiders. Olthuis said the recovery is expected to last six weeks, and Groenewegen is hoping to be back if the Broncos make the playoffs. . . . LB Slade Pudetz is good friends with Groenewegen, and left the team when Groenewegen went home. . . . DL Jordan Cundy also left the team to return to Prince George to play high school football. . . . OL Kyle Crall (ankle) and OL Jack Gilliland (ankle) are still nursing injuries, and are considered day-to-day.