By Jason Sperling
Sept 19,2015(ISN) – After an emotion day for the Okanagan Sun and the entire BCFC with the passing of 21 year old JT Fernandez on Wednesday, the Rebels have been working hard on the practice field and will be in Kelowna on Saturday with playoff implications on the line. The Rebels are only 2 points out of a playoff spot with 3 games remaining, including the last game against the Vancouver Island Raiders (who currently hold the last playoff spot).
Saturday’s broadcast from Kelowna will be on pay-per-view and available HERE. The game can also be followed along via our Facebook, Twitter, or quarterly text notifications.
Complete team and player season statistics are available at westshorerebels.ca, under the media tab. Westshore Rebels game day roster is available on our website.
The only meeting of the season between the Sun and Rebels
By Ryan Watters (@ryan2tswatters)
Saturday night the Sun will play their first of three straight home games to conclude the regular season when they host the Westshore Rebels (2-5).
Not since the 2012 season have the Rebels paid a visit to the Apple Bowl and left with a 27-24 victory.
The Sun are coming off a 19-7 win in Nanaimo and have won five straight games heading into Week 9 of the BCFC season. The Sun are in sole possession of first place with a dominating defense that have allowed a Conference low 93 points. They have yet to allow a team to total 100 yards on the ground.
When it comes to turnovers the Sun lead the Conference with 16 interceptions and a +19 in takaways. Both Dexter Janke and Robbie Yochim had three interceptions, while JT Fernandez, Beck Fullerton, Landon King and Brennan Van Nistelrooy each have two.
The Rebels are a -6 in giveaways and their quarterback Hunter Lake has thrown nine picks, second most in the Conference.
Teams playing the Sun have found it difficult to score points, which has been a problem for the Rebels all season. They have scored the second fewest points (131) and have lost two straight, scoring 14 points in both losses.
Without much of a run game, the Rebels have had to throw as evident by Lake’s Conference leading 249 attempts. He’s completed 117 pass for 1,880 and has a passer efficiency rating of 75%. He’s also thrown 13 touchdown passes. Lake does have three dangerous receivers when he has time to throw. Jordan Rodinsky has 30 catches for 608 yards and five touchdowns, Nathan Leader has 16 receptions for 382 yards and a major while Jason Beauchamp has 20 catches for 296 yards and two scores.
Lake is very mobile, leading the Rebels in rushes (33) and yards (350), averaging 10.6 yards a carry. The Sun linebackers, Fernandez, Ron Mwamba and Jeff Mock will be aware and will adjust accordingly.
Last week rookie quarterback Josiah Joseph made his first career junior start recording the win over the Vancouver Island Raiders. He finished 10 of 18 for 150 yards and threw a TD. Overall this year the Mount Boucherie product is 27 of 50 for 436 yards and has four majors.
The Sun running attack has led this club all season and the Rebels will see a heavy dose of Dillon Fortune, Alex Bradley, Kory Nagata, Makhail Maloff and now Armand Bokitch who has rejoined the team. Combined this foursome has rushed 129 times for 1,093 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Rebels best defender is Victoria native Chris Pastro who leads the Conference with 30 solo tackles. The fifth year linebacker also has 15 assisted tackles, three sacks, two blocked kicks, two knockdowns and a forced fumble. He will have to be outstanding again to shut down the Sun running attack.
Since 1985 the Rebels and Sun have met 50 times with the Sun owning a 42-6-2 record, outscoring them 1869-724.
Last season the Sun won their only meeting 37-26 in Westshore, with Fortune leading the way carrying 18 times for 124 yards and a major.
In their last visit to the Apple Bowl in 2012 the Rebels won 27-24. The last Sun home win was in 2011 blasting the Rebels 49-7.
With a win the Sun will take another step closer at home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available HERE.
NEXT GAME (Away game): Saturday September 27th, 1pm @ Chilliwack Valley Huskers.