Story and Images by Eric Eichhorn (ISN)
October 13, 2012, Nanaimo, BC – The Westshore Rebels finished their regular season Saturday with a 57-7 loss to the BCFC regular season champion Vancouver Island Raiders at Calendonia Field in Naniamo.
The Rebels went into Saturday’s game with a 7-2 record against the perennial power house 8-1 Raiders, hoping to hold down 2nd place in the BCFC, take home field advantage into the post season, and set a date with the Langley Rams next in weekends semi-final. For the Raiders, the game, you would think, would be academic. Already winning top spot and home field advantage with a first place finish on the season, playing spoiler to the Rebels seemed the only motivation the defending champions needed.
Jordan Yantz scrambles outside the pocket, straight arming Rebels Chris Pastro – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Raiders starting QB Jordan Yantz, needing only 14 passing yards to claim the CJFL single-season passing record, seemed to be able to strike at will, finding Dustin Pedersen in the end zone for the Raiders first major of the day and giving Yantz enough yardage to add another record to his sophomore resume.
Raiders Jordan Yantz would break the CJFL single season passing record Saturday after noon vs the Westshore Rebels – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Westshore Rebels would, from the opening kick off, find trouble in the defensive line of the Raiders. Rebels starting QB Mark Black would be hurried often as the the Raiders defence would keep pace with the Rebels receivers, allowing the Raiders front line to get to Black often. The Rebels CJFL rushing record holder, Greg Morris, after an amazing performance last weekend against the Kamloops Broncos, would be the focus of the Raiders pursuit, tracking him down on occasion in the backfield for losses. Despite the focus, Morris, only needing 6 yards, would take over second place in BCFC history for rushing, surpassing current BC Lions RB Andrew Harris for total rushing yards in a single season, easily attaining that mark in the first quarter of play.
Raiders RB Galloway would get the better of his Rebels counterpart Greg Morris breaking free for one of his large gains on the afternoon – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
After a Raiders fumble at 10:51 of the second, Rebels would take possession on the Raiders 40 yard line. After going 3 and out, Rebels kicker Van Gylswyk would attempt a 40-yard field goal, only for the kick to go wide, keeping the Rebels off the scoreboard. Rebels QB Mark Black would finally find his step with 2:04 remaining in the 2nd quarter when he would move the chains after throwing a 30 yard pass down field to #88 Hunter Lake.
Rebels Hunter Lake is tripped up by Raiders Jaxxen Wylie – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Raiders defence would respond, intercepting the Rebel ball on the Raiders 25 yard line. The Rebels would show a new found determination with time running out in the second as Rebels # 35 Chris Pastro would find Yantz in the back field for a Rebels sack. The Rebels would then, on the next play, pick off a Jordan Yantz pass on the Raiders 40 yard line, taking possession and looking to close out the half putting points on the board. The Raiders defence though would reply, coming up big one last time in the half when QB Mark Black would be intercepted on the Raiders 2 yard line, denying the Rebels points at the end of the half. The score at the half 30-0 for the Raiders.
Rebels #88 Hunter Lake couldn’t quite catch this long ball from QB Black – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
The Rebels, after shuffling through their quarterbacks, found some success in the 3rd quarter using ex-Rebel starting QB – turned receiver Cat Todorovich. Todorovich, would temporarily take the helm, using his legs to scramble for the yardage neccesary to move the yard sticks and take the focus off their star asset RB Greg Morris.
Rebels #7 Cat Todorvich would score his teams only touchdown on the afternoon against the VI Raiders – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Todorvich would return to his normal field duties as receiver in the fourth quarter, taking a pass over the middle from the Raiders 47 yard line and running it into the end zone for the Rebels only major of the game. Yantz would be replaced by backup J.J. Mraovic late in the 3rd quarter in relief after a questionable hit on Yantz. The Raiders, showing the heart of a champion, would keep the foot on the pedal, and would add two touchdowns with 3:03 and 13 seconds remaining to finish the game.
Receiver Cat Todorovich would pull double duty Saturday playing both QB and reciever – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
“We were really excited for this matchup, just a chance to play against a great back ( Greg Morris ),” Raiders Coach Blokker would comment after the game when asked about his teams motivation. “There’s two teams on this rock, and I’d like to feel as if it’s our rock… I wanted our team to play hard for our 22-year-old guys. It’s their last time to step on this field in regular season play, and I’m proud of them.”
With the loss, the Rebels will play their semi-final game against the Langley Rams in Langley October 20th, while the Raiders will host the fourth place Okanagan Sun in Naniamo the same day.