October 8, 2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels did what many thought couldn’t be done after the departure of JC Boice last season – bettering last year’s club best ever regular season record. The Rebels saved their best defensive effort for last to do just that, claiming a first place finish and home field advantage throughout the playoffs by defeating the visiting Okanagan Sun 30-19 in the final game of the regular season in front of a packed house at Westhills Stadium Saturday night.
The Rebels defensive core, criticized much this season for their undisciplined play, showed how dangerous they are when not being assessed a plethora of penalties as they have so far this season. Finding the discipline and focus at just the right time in the season, they would turn in a stellar game to help the team finish the regular season 9-1.
Defensively, Coach Shane Beatty couldn’t be happier, or more relieved, with his defensive core’s performance. “ All three phases tonight, that’s probably the most complete game we’ve played. We played fast, and there were some great hits tonight. Our front four in Kent Hicks, Jeremie Drouin, Chris Larsen and Leonardo Ingram played phenomenal, and Provo (Raishaun) stepped up big time for us. “ Keeping the ball out of Okanagan Sun’s potent receiving core a high priority in the game, Beatty would go on to add, “ Our secondary is legit. We’ve always told our kids that games eight, nine, and ten is when everything comes together and it is now. We’re playing solid.” The Rebels would finish the game with an acceptable 155 penalty yards assessed, while the defence would force 3 turnovers. Kent Hicks would lead his defensive line with two of his team’s four Sun QB sacks in the game.
Offensively, Rebels QB Scott Borden, looking comfortable behind his O-line all game, would command his team with 432 net yards offense, 251 of those yards found through the air on on 11 of 25 attempts.
Trey Campbell made his case for BCFC and CJFL Allstar honors known. Near unsolvable by the Sun’s defense, Campbell would lead his team with two rushing touchdowns and a usual “lunch bucket” effort that would see Campbell carry 23 times for 143 yards. Austin Lindo-Brow would also score on a 42 yard reception TD for the Rebels. Kicker Kyle Clarke would be perfect from the mark with three field goals including an 27-yard boot in the 2nd quarter, finishing with 60 yards net total.
Much a defensive battle from the opening kick off, both teams would settle to kick field goals to knot the score 3-3 after one quarter of play.
Trey Campbell would score the first major of the game on a ten-yard run. Set up by QB Scott Borden’s play calling to back up the Sun defense, the Rebels would go up 10-3.
The Okanagan Sun, directed by starting QB Nick Wenman, would reply on their own rushing TD from eleven yards out by Jack Lawson with eleven minutes remaining in the first half of play 10-10.
The last four minutes of the half belonged to Trey Campbell, almost single-handedly carrying his team and multiple Sun’s defenders down field the last four minutes of the 2nd quarter to set up his second touchdown of the game, running the rock in untouched from four yards out to start what would be a 20 point, unanserwed Rebel’s offensive explosion.
The third quarter would see little scoring, as both ends would tighten down defensively. Sun’s QB Wenman would get little assistance from his offensive line. Harrased by the pressure of Rebel’s Kent Hicks, Jeremie Drouin and Chris Larsen, Wenmen would find little time to find his receivers down field to offer any sustained attack.
Rebel’s Clarke would provide the only scoring in the third quarter to added to his team’s lead 23-10.
Sun’s QB Wenam would give way to this year’s backup veteran QB Keith Zyla to start the final frame with hopes of engineering a comeback bid to put them back on top. Wenman would finish his tenure in the game with 52 net yards passed over three quarters on play.
Rebel’s QB Scott Borden, opening the fourth quarter with ball possession, wouldn’t waste anytime negating any Okanagan Sun attempt to close the score. Borden, sending receiver Austin Lindo-Bro downfield, would throw thirty-five yards over the Sun’s defensive back and into the outstretched hands of Lindo-Brow at the three-yard line. Stabbing the ball across the goal line, Lindo-Bro would give the Rebels the needed breathing room, going up 30-10.
After a great kick off return by Conor Richard would give the Suns a favorable, midfield possession, Zyla, put in the unenviable position to find nineteen points in a quarter filled with hard-hitting defensive plays, would find a glimmer of life in the Okanagan offense. In a monetary lapse of defense by the Rebels, Zyla, airing out the ball from center field would find receiver Nate Anderson deep, beating the Rebels secondary for the major to post a 30-17 score.
Zyla would get one last attempt at the end zone with three minutes remaining but would be turned aside by a Rebel’s DL Eddy Nyongwa interception.
The Rebels, conceding a touchback after a Sun’s fumble recovered by Westshore on their own one yard line, would run out time on the clock to take an impressive 30-19 win to the locker room.
The Rebels will now face fourth place Langley Rams in the playoffs in a game that will be nothing short of entertaining after their last meeting, while the Okanagan Sun will face the 3rd place VI Raiders of Nanaimo.
In their last outing versus the Raiders, the Sun conceded a come from behind tie that left the door open for the Westshore Rebels to take advantage of the first place finish with Saturday’s win.
** (BCFC game stats not available at deadline)