It was way back in week one that these two teams clashed at Westhills Stadium in Langford. The new look Rebels were in full impressive display and looked in full control until a couple late Ram touchdowns narrowed the gap.
A win over the Rams, would in most eyes all but wrap up first place for the Rebels. With a season finale at home against the 1-8 Kamloops Broncos the following weekend it would be a monumental upset if the Broncos came out on top.
A Rams win however and things get all kinds of interesting as they travel to the Apple Bowl to take on the Sun in week 10 in a game that could decide first place. Or it could be for second place hosting rights the following week between the same two teams. Or it could mean…we are getting ahead of ourselves.
This is a game of the #1 offense of the Rebels (463 YPG) versus the #1 defense of the Rams at 252 YPG so something has to give. Coaches always pour over the video of the opponents previous game but no doubt this week the Rams will be taking an even closer look and perhaps phoning Raiders bench boss Jerome Erdman for advice. His club’s defensive schemes were the most successful yet this season in limiting the Rebels offense last weekend, specifically its running game (212 yards on 38 attempts for a manageable 5.6 yard average). The Rams defense is good against the run so this this will be a battle of wills and skills.
Both defenses will be seeing a different look from the respective offenses they face. For the Rebels, Nathaniel Pinto has emerged as serious deep threat with 310 yards and 3 TDS on 9 receptions the past two games. That’s an impressive, if not scary 34 yard average.
For the Rams part, since Tommy Robertson took over at pivot two weeks ago its offense is showing effectiveness it rarely displayed the previous weeks. The Rebels secondary gives up yardage through the air at an alarming rate if you are a Rebel fan (292 yards per game). The visitors will be looking to improve on that or their first place aspirations will be in doubt
Players to watch
It might be a stretch to put a kicker here. As the old joke goes, they are not even really football players. We are making an assumption that a tough Rams defense is able to at least limit Jamel Lyles and the rest of the Rebels offense. That’s not as simple as it sounds of course. In addition to Lyles and his running mate Trey Campbell, the big and mobile Ashton Mackinnon has a noticeable deep threat we talked about above.
But the assumption here is that the Rams will succeed at least to a degree. If the Rebels offense doesn’t get into 4th gear this becomes a game of field position where punting is critical, and perhaps a last second field goal wins the game. No one better than Docherty in the BCFC if it comes down to that.
Rebels RB Jamel Lyles
He appeared a lock to break the conference rushing record of 1592 yards (Matt Medwick, Valley Huskers in 2000). His 196 yard total the last two games equates to a 98 yard per game average, well below the 158 he has managed overall this season. He has eclipsed 200 yards on three occasions and if he does it again the Rebels likely win. If he doesn’t, this game could be a pick ‘em and Medwick’s record could stand another year.
BCFC Single Season Rushing Record
|1592||Matt Medwick||2000||Valley Huskers||246||6.5|
|1496||Greg Morris||2012||Westshore Rebels||147||10.1|
|1476||Andrew Harris||2009||VI Raiders||102||14.4|
|1334||Eric Scott||1985||Richmond Raiders||150||8.9|
|1262||Jamel Lyles||2016||Westshore Rebels||150||8.4|
Next game: (Final regular season home game): Saturday Oct 1, Kamloops Broncos @ Westshore Rebels, 4pm, Westhills Stadium