Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
August 20th, 2016 Chilliwack, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels, slow out of the gates early, waited until the fourth quarter, outscoring the Chilliwack Valley Huskers 21-0 in the final frame to lift themselves to a 47-23 win Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Stadium in Chilliwack.
Despite a gritty, first half performance from the valley team, keeping pace with the high-octane Vancouver Island team down by only a single point at the half, the Huskers fall to 0-5, while the Rebels improve to 4-1 on the season in tightly contested British Columbia Football Conference standings at the mid-season mark.
A game of contrasting play between the two sides, Chilliwack having a prolific QB / receiving core and the Rebels holding perhaps two of the best running backs in the conference, both sides would trade scoring successes on their strengths to go to the locker room with the Rebels holding a narrow 15-14 margin. QB Noah Falconer would mark the board first in the game in the second quarter on a pass to Bake Draper, scoring his first of three TD’s for the green and white. Rebels, never without a reply, would go deep to Nathanial Pinto from QB Ashton Mackinnon. Penalties hurting the Rebels late in the half would allow Falconer to find Draper again to put the Huskers go up 14-7 with a minute and a half remaining.
With Jamel Lyles occupying the Huskers defense, Trey Campbell would return the Husker kick off 41 yards to set up a Lyles running TD from the five-yard line tying the score in a thirty-three second blink of the eye. A Rebel’s single would put the Westshore Rebels up 15-14 after difficult first half.
The Huskers, running game non-existent with only 10 yards rushing all game, would expose the Rebels secondary for 175 yards passing in the first half on the arm of Husker QB Noah Falconer who would put up a total 309 yards total passing, while the Rebels would pound the ball on the ground for 144 yards in the opening half of play.
The Husker’s Draper would give his team their third lead in the game early in the third to retake the lead 21-15. Rebels starting QB MacKinnon would reply, connecting with Cowichan Bulldog alumni Kane Melchior on a deep six for the major and a 21-20 lead. A Rebels 2-pt conversion would go for not. That TD would mark the sixth lead change in the game in a tight scoring contest. After trading field goals, the Rebels defense would back up the Huskers, forcing Falconer to put a knee down in their own house to give the Rebels a 26-23 lead with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter.
The Rebels would start to warm up in the thirty-four degree heat of the Fraser Valley to go on a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter, as the Huskers would appear to run out of steam.
Rebel’s Kane Melchior would hook up with Ashton MacKinnon for his second TD of the game at 14:48 of the final frame to start to pull away 33-23. Melchior, making the conversion from QB to receiver in his first year in the BCFC, is quietly making a mark on the Rebels roster, scoring at least a touchdown in 4 of the five games to date, receiving for 294 yards on 13 catches for an unofficial 22.6 yard avg.
The Rebel’s Trey Campbell would go to work from that point on, scoring the next three touchdowns. The first two came in dramatic fashion, as the Toronto, Ontario native would erupt for two, back to back, 55 yard runs on consecutive plays, the first called back a holding penalty. Campbell would add another rushing TD with seven minutes remaining to close out the scoring and cap a strong Rebels second half performance for the 47-23 win.
That win mark the end of a three-road game set. The Westshore Rebels return to Westhills Stadium to face the Valley Huskers in game two of the home and home match up on August 27th. Game time is 4:00 pm
– Westhshore Rebels had three touchdowns called back on penalties.
– Westshore Rebels outpace Huskers net offense 473 – 299 yards
– Husker’s Falconer slings 22-43 pass completion and 3 td’s
– Husker’s lineman James Sturgeon records five tackles, one QB sack, and a fumble return for a 15 point game performance
– Rebel’s Nate Skeete 5-5 on converts and one field goal