Rebels Unable To Weather Raiders, Upset In Cullen Cup Final

Raider's Advance to Western Final

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October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) -Raider's Shawn Arabsky celebrates his team's win. Arabsky would have two interceptions on the evening - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

October 22, 2017   Langford, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels postseason football drive came to an unceremonious end Saturday night as the Vi Raiders of Nanaimo prove the driving force in a 21-7 BCFC Championship Cullen Cup upset loss.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Most Valuable player of the Game, Raider's Zander Bailey escapes the Rebel's defensive pursuit. - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Most Valuable player of the Game, Raider’s Zander Bailey escapes the Rebel’s defensive pursuit. – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

For the Raiders, the win is their eighth provincial title in team history, including six straight between 2006-2011.

The Rebels, under first year BCFC Coach of the Year Charly Cardilicchia, looked to protect a 10-1 record against the third place Raiders with hopes of taking the Cup as back to back champions, but a victory was not in the cards for the home side as mounting injuries, seven turnovers, and dominating Raider special teams and defensive play would shut down the Rebel’s high flying aspirations as national champions.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's ready to battle for the Cullen Cup in run out - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s ready to battle for the Cullen Cup in run out – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

For the Rebels, the defeat would be a hard pill to swallow after a stellar season. “It’s a very disappointing finish,” said head coach Cardilicchia. “We couldn’t get the ball to bounce our way, couldn’t get our run game untracked. The defence played great, well enough to win.”

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's Chris Larsen, always a defensive force, puts the hit on Raider's Brycen Mayoh- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s Chris Larsen, always a defensive force, puts the hit on Raider’s Brycen Mayoh- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Offensively, both sides would not only have to battle each other, but also one of the worst fall storms to hit the south island so far this year as pounding, torrential rains would near-nullify any chance for a packed Westhills Stadium to witness a prolific passing game. Quarterbacks on both sides of the ball would pass for a dismal cumulative first half total 5-22 attempts as a slick ball would make for a very sloppy game.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's Trey Campbell was held relatively quiet in the final with smothering  Raider's defense - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s Trey Campbell was held relatively quiet in the final with smothering Raider’s defense – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

QB Scott Borden, throwing only four picks in 245 tries all season, would uncharacteristically throw two interceptions in the game final, both into the waiting hands of Raider’s DB Shawn Arabsky to turn momentum back the visitors way.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's QB Scott Borden Jr. stands in the pocket for the rare downfield pass as the rains for hamper much of the passing game for both sides Saturday night - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s QB Scott Borden Jr. stands in the pocket for the rare downfield pass as the rains for hamper much of the passing game for both sides Saturday night – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Raiders would jump out to a 14-0 lead in by the second quarter and never look back. Under QB Jake Laberge, the Raiders would get scoring on a 19-yard TD pass to Trevor Pelland in the first quarter of play, adding to their lead five minutes into the second frame on a TD by Brycen Mayoh.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Raider's QB  Jake  Laberge looks downfield for yardage- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Raider’s QB Jake Laberge looks downfield for yardage- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Rebels, fighting back, would answer with their own TD on a kick return that saw the explosive legs of Kaine Stevenson run the ball 67 yards, beating the Raiders coverage to make a game out of it 14-7. The Raiders would add rouge and a field goal to go up 18-7 at the half.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's Birhanu Yitna's running game was in form as he breaks down the sideline- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s Birhanu Yitna’s running game was in form as he breaks down the sideline- Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

A stronger defensive effort from the Rebels in the second half would all but hold the Raiders off the board but would never be able to find their offensive mojo, much in part to fabulous downfield special teams coverage that would hem in Rebels kick returners most of the game, forcing Scott Borden’s offence to work a long field.

October 22.2017  Langford, BC (ISN) - Rebel's defense kept the game close, able to put pressure on QB Jake LaBerge - Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
October 22.2017 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebel’s defense kept the game close, able to put pressure on QB Jake LaBerge – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

A late Raider’s field goal after a Rebels fumble would give the VI Raider’s a 21-7 victory and the 2017 Cullen Cup Championship.

 

 

 

 

 

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