August 4th, 2018 Langley, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels came back from a six point, fourth quarter deficit to spoil newly-appointed Rams’ head coach Matt ”Snoop” Blokker’s return to the BCFC with a 19-16 victory at McLeod Stadium Saturday.
Unbelievably, with many of the markings of the 2017 Rebels – Rams game in Langley last season in which Westshore overcame a 17 point deficit , Rams fans would witness a resilient Victoria team survive a penalty-laden first half, a brilliant fourth quarter rushing performance by Rebel’s starting QB Mason Brown, and a go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter by Nathan Falito to steal the win.
“I knew this wasn’t going to be a cake walk”, head coach Charly Cardilicchia would explain post game. “ I’m very happy with the outcome, especially the second half. We turned some things around. It wasn’t a clean game, but for the first game of the year without an exhibition, we expected those penalties and turnovers to be a bit of an issue but we were able it make sure it didn’t hurt us too much”.
Rebel’s QB Mason Brown would get the nod under center. The fleet-footed, 6 foot, 205 lb Brown, last a product of Acadia University, would lead his newly adopted team in rushing with 95 yards to go along with a 13-24 passing performance for 213 yards.
Langley’s starting QB Duncan Little would impress also with a dominating passing game that would see him toss 21-42 for a total 320 yards of net a 343 net yards Ram’s offense to challenge Westshore’s retooled defensive line.
For the Rebel’s, kicker Kyle Clarke would be the point-getter early for Westshore, going 1-2 from field goal range and 2-2 on conversion attempts to keep pace with the Rams, themselves unable to find their rhythm through the first twenty-eight minutes of play.
Westshore’s Kaliel James would score the game’s first touch down out of the back field from fourteen yards out, beating four defenders to the goal line for the major and put his team up 10-6 with 3 minutes left in the first half.
Rebel’s penalties, still a carry over from last years record-setting season, would help give Langley’s QB Duncan Little the added drive and field position, as the Rebel’s defense, despite turning away a threatening Ram’s red zone offense twice from scoring majors and preventing a conversion attempt, would concede the lead when after a Langley’ field goal and a color, Ram’s foot soldier Joe Carter would receive the ball down the side line to run the ball to the end zone putting his team up 15-10 to close out the first half.
Frustrations on both sides of the ball would boil over, as Rebel’s Tyree Dunn and Ram’s Jevon Cottoy would be ejected from the game for a “player interaction” as the half closed out.
Although Westshore would be assessed 207 yards in a penalty-filled first half, the Rebels would manage to minimize costly errors against themselves in the second half despite setting a CJFL single game record with 34 penalties for 252 yards.*
The Rebels defense continued to impress in the last half of the game, preventing the Rams from any profitable field position, forcing a touchback after tackling Rams QB Little in their own end zone to pull to within five points of the lead 16-12.
Cardilicchia, frank about his defensive line’s game performance would offer nothing but compliments about the overall resolve of defensive head coach Shane Beatty’s squad. “ The true, telling tale you look for in a defensive line is how they perform when their back’s are against the wall., and if you looked at our performance today they were amazing. Shane Beatty did a great job dialing up some pressures against their quarterback. ”
Rebel’s QB Mason Brown, starting to feel Langley’s defensive pressure in the backfield, would demonstrate his rushing abilities to move his team the sticks, giving his team the needed field position to be an offensive threat. After finding receiver D’Saun Greenaway on a pair of sideline tosses, Brown would go to the end zone with 6:31 remaining in the game.
Finding another target in Nathan Falito deep in the corner of the Ram’s house, Falito would pull the ball down over his shoulder for the major and the final lead change in the game and a 19-16 thrilling victory.
Excited about his team’s capabilities the remainder of the season, Cardilicchia sees even greater things to come from Rebels as players find their game rhythm and timing. “ Our defense played great. Our offense is going to improve. We have an amazingly talented receiving core. We’re working with the quarterbacks. Things are going to gel as the season goes on. For this to be our opening performance, I think we’ve got some really bright things to look forward to. ”
The Rebels will get back to work this coming week to prepare for their home opener August 11th, against the visiting Okanagan Sun at Westhills Stadium. Game time is 4:oo pm.
- information taken from CJFL website