July 29, 2017 Kelowna, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels Football Club came out firing on all cylinders, but fell to a resilient Okanagan Sun team 19-15 in Kelowna Saturday night in the week one, marquis match up of the 2017 British Columbia Football Conference season.
A highly anticipated rematch of last year’s BCFC Cullen Cup final in which Westshore would win 32-21 in Langford, this game played out eerily similar to last fall when the Rebels would jump out to a dominating lead only to see the Sun fight their way back into the game.
The Rebels, coached by first year BCFC Head Coach Charlie Cardilicchia, would enjoy an unanswered 14-0 lead into the start of the second quarter much to the displeasure of the supportive hometown crowd that packed into Apple Bowl Stadium in the sweltering 36-degree heat.
Second year veteran Rebels starter QB Scott Borden, going head to head with Sun’s field boss Keith Zyla, would throw two unanswered TD’s to put Victoria in front 14-0, showing command of the field and a touch with the ball, setting the Okanagan team back on their heals and fans into their seats. Borden would throw for 168 yards in the opening half, finishing with 281 yards passing to outpace Sun starting QB Keith Zyla’s 178-yard game total.
Rebels head coach would praise his starting QB Borden on his performance, “ Scott Borden played a great football game. A great leader. He made some great throws for us down the stretch.”
Borden would open scoring in the game on a balanced attack with a 39-yard TD pass to receiver D’Saun Greenaway. Greenaway, taking the sideline pass over his shoulder out of reach of his defender, would carry the rock an additional three yards to the end zone. Greenaway would finish the day with a game-high, triple digit, 114 yards receiving on 7 catches in the loosing effort.
Taking advantage of his all-star defensive line’s efforts to keep the Sun offense in their own half of center field much of the first twenty-five minutes of the game and unable to gain momentum, Borden would further dominate finding Austin Lindo-Brow for the Rebel’s second TD of the game, grabbing a 47 yard catch and run major to lead his team to an early second quarter, surprise start.
In a game that is just as much about momentum as it is about the skill of the players, a blocked Rebels field goal kick later in the second quarter by Sun Conor Richard may have been the catalyst needed to tilt the field in the Okanagan Sun’s favor, igniting a comeback performance that saw the Sun score the next sixteen points, much in the hands of Receiver / RB Kyler Mosley who would be clutch when his team would need field position.
The Rebels, penalized nine times for 108 yards would allow Okanagan to answer twice in quick succession in the last half of the second period when QB Zyla would call his own number from the one yard line for a rushing TD, and Mosley, playing the proverbial “thorn” in the Rebel’s defensive secondary’s side, would score his only TD in the game from 7 yards out, knotting the score 14-14 at the half. Mosley, even more importantly for his team, would also pull down 76 yards receiving of the clutch variety to frustrate the Rebel’s defensive secondary.
Much a defensive standoff in the second half after both teams would combine to put twenty-eight points on the scoreboard in the first half of the game, each side could do little to find the house to take a decisive lead.
Adding to Rebel’s offensive woes in the second half was the loss of running back Trey Campbell who would leave the game in the third quarter and not return in what was reported as an upper body injury.
Despite a strong defensive stand, the Rebels would be forced to concede a safety to give the Sun a 16-14 lead in the third quarter. Rebels kicker Kyle Clarke would give his team back a single point with a kick through the end zone to stay near 16-15.
Sun kicker Isaac Wenger’s field goal would be the only points scored in the fourth quarter, sealing the 19-15 win for the Okanagan Sun.
Despite the loss Head Coach Cardilicchia sees the positive in his team and the game. “ I like our team. The lack of an exhibition game hurt us clearly. The injury to Trey was a huge loss to us down the stretch.”
Next Saturday the Rebels play their first game of the young season on Vancouver Island against the VI Raiders of Nanaimo. When asked about his team’s preparation in light of what he saw on the field in Kelowna he would comment, “ we got to get our special teams cleaned up, our receivers and running backs need to be dialed in little better. If we play sixty minutes like we played in the first quarter, there’s nobody in the conference that can match us. There’s lot’s to grow on. You have to remember 0-1 doesn’t knock us out of the playoffs.”
Game time against Vi Raiders is 2:00pm at Caledonia field in Nanaimo.