September 15, 2018 Langford, BC ( ISN ) – Starting QB Mason Brown and back up Ashton MacKinnon, sharing passing duties, would throw for a combined 353 yards and four touchdowns to help their Westshore Rebels defeat the Kamloops Broncos 34-20, reshaping the BCFC mid -season standings with a “unique” four point win Saturday afternoon at Westhills Stadium.
Three weeks ago, after the cancellation of a Rebels’ road game to Hillside Stadium in Kamloops due to poor air quality from forest fires in the interior of B.C., the British Columbia Football League decided to make, what was to be the second meeting between the two teams, as a winner take all in the series and count Saturday’s game as a four point win for the victor.
For the winless, 0-6 Broncos, the loss begins to dim any playoff hopes after taking the “two games for one” defeat.
The Rebels, under new head coach Shane Beatty, would come out Saturday looking to put the train back on the tracks after a distracting past three weeks saw players suspended by the BCFC and their season-starting head coach Charly Cardilicchia resign amid comments made public about the decision-making process of the league.
It didn’t take long for that train to find the tracks in the game and to the end zone Saturday as the Rebels would open the scoring against a team that has been outscored 48-186 over the past five games.
Rebels RB Khaliel James, having another outstanding game for his team, would open the scoring only two minutes into the game rushing the ball into the Bronco’s house for the major to give Westshore a 7-0 lead early.
James, doing the bulk of the work carrying the ball, would run for 85 yards to lead all rushers on both sides of the ball in the game to go along with his touchdown.
After a Bronco fumble in their own end, Rebels would take advantage to extend their early lead with a Kyle Clarke field goal to shore up their lead 10-0. Clarke’s leg would be true to the mark all game, going 4-4 on extra point conversions and 2-2 from field goal range.
Broncos would finally reply, as Kamloops’ QB Reid Vankoughnett would march his team down field for his first of two TD strikes in the game with only 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter, pulling within a field goal of knotting the score 10-7.
Rebels, firing on all cylinders, would take a 17 point lead in the second quarter on a pair of TD’s in a much needed offensive effort that has been sporadic so far this season. Starting QB Mason Brown would throw to Cody Holmes over the middle from inside the Bronco’s end on a thirty-seven yard touchdown catch and run play to open the second quarter.
Newly acquired back up QB Ashton MacKinnon, sharing QB duties in the game, would next find a streaking Nathan Failto downfield, airing out a seventy-five yard catch and run play to cap the Rebels offensive explosion, giving the home team a commanding 24-7 lead to close out the quarter’s scoring.
The Rebels alumni and Mt Doug High School graduate MacKinnon, in his second game back as a Rebel, would look sharp throwing for 135 yards in the game.
The Bronco’s would show some determination to open the third quarter, marching the ball down field, but would be turned aside by the Rebels defense and have to settle for a field goal and a 24-10 deficit.
Showing some added determination, Kamloops would pin the Rebels deep in their own end, forcing Westshore to give up two points on a touchback to make the game interesting going into the final frame with a 24-12 score.
Both teams would trade touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Rebel’s rusher Kaine Stevenson, breaking multiple tackles, would find his way twenty-six yards to the end zone with eleven minutes remaining to give his team a 31-12 lead.
The Bronco’s would take advantage of a soft Rebel’s defense late in the quarter, finding the end zone for the touchdown, and adding a two-point conversion in a gritty, eight point effort with only two minutes remaining in the game for a 31-20 margin.
Rebel’s kicker Kyle Clarke would close out the scoring in the game with a field goal to give the Rebel’s a much-needed 34-20 victory.
Defensively, the Rebels would play much of the game with same aggressive, nose for the ball type of play that has much been the reason for some of their team’s early season successes.
Rebels Byron MacKinnon and Kaine Stevenson would be the thorn under the Bronco’s saddle as both would combine for eight tackles, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Lineman Leonardo Ingram would also sack Bronco’s QB Vankoughnett twice for lost yardage.
Vankoughnett would finish the game throwing 14-35 for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns in the loss.
Not to be completely satisfied with his team’s effort on the afternoon but happy for the win, Beatty would comment post game, “ It should have been a 43-14 score, but you know a win is a win. We’ll take it. We have some work to do.”
Next up, the Rebels will play the Langley Rams September 22nd at Westhills Stadium in a matchup that could also prove valuable for each team as they hunt for playoff territory.