August 26, 2018 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels ended their regular season win streak at eleven games with a 33-7 loss to the V.I. Raiders at Westhills Stadium Saturday night under the lights.
With the loss, the Rebels fall to 1-1-1 and fourth place in the standings with game in hand, while the VI Raiders take command of second place in the British Columbia Football Conference early in the season.
The game was a rematch of last year’s playoff, Cullen Cup final in which the Raiders would also claim in a surprising victory to some football fans despite finishing the 2017 regular season in third place.
A packed stadium for the game, Rebels-dedicated fans could only sit and watch as the home team would sputter, demonstrating flashes of defensive brilliance, but little in the way of offense threat for the VI Raiders to condoned with.
The agile, starting QB Mason Brown, would be sacked four times under relentless pressure and would never seem to find his rhythm in the game as the Raiders defensive core would find the Rebel’s backfield with more regularity than a QB would ask for from his offensive line. Brown would finish the game passing 15-31, 161 yards, and throw three interceptions.
The Rebels would fall behind 17-0 at halftime on a Raider offense run by veteran QB Jake Laberge and never fully recover. Laberge, a large part of the Raider’s success on the evening would pass for 347 yards and three TD’s.
The only glimmer of offensive consistency for the Rebels came in the second half when RB Khaliel James and Cody Holmes, giving QB Brown manageable field position to work with would play a large part in moving the Raiders backwards with 184 yards of net offense to pose a greater offensive threat.
Pounding the ball on the ground, James would provide a scoring spark for his team with the lone TD for the Rebels at 11:43 of the third quarter, carrying the rock out of the backfield 10 yards for the major to give Rebels fans something to cheer for. James, leading in yards carried on both sides of the ball, would rush for a game high 134 yards on twenty-one carries to try to kick star his offense.
Penalties and inopportune turnovers would, however, erase any hope for a Westshore comeback as the Raiders, taking advantage of a relaxed secondary would rattle off the next two TD’s to close the door on any possibility of a Rebels win.
Raider’s game scoring would come from Belmont Bulldog graduate receiver Eli Nelms-Horton (2 TDs), RB Rhett Williams, and receiver Mike West.
An already difficult evening for the Rebels, would be underscored by the absence of Head Coach Charly Cardilichhia, who was suspended by the British Columbia Football Conference for three games for apparent “Code of Ethics” infractions after being critical of how the league managed last weekend’s games in the wake of air quality concerns due to wild fires burning. Defensive Head Coach Shane Beatty took the helm in his first stint as Head Coach for the Rebels. Beatty will continue to act as Head Coach while Cardilicchia sits out the next two games for the penalty served.
The BCFC takes a holiday next weekend, but returns to action September 8th when the Westshore Rebels will look to right their loss in a home and home affair against the Raiders on their home turf at Caledonia Park. Game time is 2:30 pm.