Palmarin rumbling along for Broncos

Based on his physique, Jacob Palmarin isn't going to shed many tacklers with fancy footwork, jukes or spins.

It seems the Kamloops Broncos' starting running back would rather run over a defender anyway.

Palmarin, a second-year player with the Kamloops Broncos, is third in the B.C. Football Conference with 190 rushing yards through three games. He has been a big part of an offence that, despite the Broncos' 0-2-1 record, has performed rather well over the last two games.

Palmarin managed only 10 yards in the Broncos' season-opening 51-0 loss to the Rams in Langley on July 27, but followed up with 106 yards in a 29-29 tie with the Valley Huskers in Chilliwack on Aug. 3. Despite an Achilles injury, he gained 74 yards when the Huskers came into Kamloops and won 33-30 on Saturday.

Palmarin has fought for every inch, a bit of a change from his school days.

"In high school, I was more shifty," said Palmarin, a Nanaimo native who graduated from Catholic Central in Lethbridge. "When I started working out hard, I moved more into a power back."

Palmarin declared himself ready to go for Saturday's home game against the Okanagan Sun at Hillside Stadium. A sore Achilles tendon in his right leg limited him in Week 3, as he picked up 74 yards on 10 carries, only one of them - a 21-yard rumble - in the second half.

Without Palmarin's size in the game, it changed the dynamic of the Broncos' offence, despite it ending up with a pretty balanced attack - 32 rushes, 39 passes.

"I'm always looking at getting a good (run-pass) ratio, and it's been almost even this season," said Broncos head coach Duncan Olthuis. "Jake has excelled . . . he's really helped us."

Palmarin came to Kamloops after Evan Parr, who played with the Broncos in 2012, recommended the running back to Olthuis. Palmarin had just been cut by the U of Regina Rams, and took some convincing before he believed that he would be guaranteed a spot in Kamloops.

"His dad called me - he was a little skeptical," Olthuis said. "(Palmarin) came out, and as soon as we saw him, we could tell he was athletic."

He played sparingly in 2012, putting up a respectable 118 yards on 22 carries, while scoring two touchdowns.

Now carrying 195 pounds on his 5-foot-10 frame, Palmarin's hard work off the field is helping him on it.

"The gym is pretty much my life," said Palmarin, who plans to get into kinesiology at the U of Lethbridge. "I want to be a trainer one day."

Putting up numbers against Okanagan will be a bigger challenge for Palmarin, as the Sun is one of the strongest teams in the conference. The Sun, according to Olthuis, plays a 3-3-6 defence filled with athletic, speedy players.

It'll be a new look for Palmarin, but the approach won't change.

"More trucks for me. More breaking tackles, that's what it is," he said. "Gotta run hard."

EXTRA POINTS: Game time is 7 p.m. . . . The BCFC's leading rusher is Okanagan's Dillon Fortune, who has picked up 276 yards. . . . The Sun had won all three of its opening games, but had a 65-10 victory over the Huskers on July 27 overturned for using an ineligible players. The Sun is appealing, and Broncos president Dino Bernardo called the ruling "a travesty."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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