September 22, 2018 Victoria, BC ( ISN ) – The Westshore Rebels, unable to find their offensive game, suffered a crucial loss with three games remaining in the season, falling to the resurgent Langley Rams 27-3 Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C.
Marked by the absence of Rebels’ starting QB Mason Brown and star running back Khaliel James, both with undisclosed injuries, the inopportune loss would come as the rest of the BCFC turn the league standings upside down with unexpected, and expected, victories in a show of league parity not seen in recent memory.
With the top five teams separated by only two points and four games remaining in the regular season, a win for the Rebel’s would have given themselves a big leg up in the standings with three potentially difficult games remaining, two of which are on the road in Kelowna and Chilliwack in the remaining weekends to come.
Langley Ram’s RB Max Joseph would provide all the offense the Rams needed, dominating the field with all three of his team’s touchdowns while running for a game high 226 yards. Rams would add a field goal, a touchback and a single to round out their scoring.
Despite the efforts of recently returned Rebel alumni QB Ashton MacKinnon, and the two-way play of RB Kaine Stevenson and Cody Holmes, the Rebels offense would threaten at times in the Langley end but would fall short of scoring in the game, unable to convert field position to points as penalties and inconsistent play would plague Westshore all afternoon.
Unnecessary penalties, reigned in in the past few outings, would return to the Rebel’s game against the Rams as frustrations would mount. The Rebels would be assessed five unnecessary roughness penalties in the game, sixteen penalties in the final half alone to factor in the loss.
MacKinnon would struggle to find his rhythm in front of the Rams defense, throwing a respectable 15-25 completions for 165 yards, but give up four turnovers on interceptions for his efforts. MacKinnon, not afraid to carry the rock, would lead his team in rushing with sixty-five yards in an effort to make up for the absence of RB Khaliel James.
Rebel’s Cody Holmes would impress throughout the game, recording two, game-leading interceptions in the first half of play in momentum changers that would give the Rebels much needed field position. Holmes would also lead the team in pass receiving with sixty-five yards caught on two catches, the longest on a forty-three yard strike from MacKinnon over the middle of the field to threaten the Rams defense.
RB Kaine Stevenson would provide much of the Rebel’s positive yardage for his team, picking up the slack for his missing teammate in James, posting 83 yards total offense on the ground and through the air via Mackinnon.
The Rebel’s defense would have to contend with the balanced play of Rams QB Duncan Little in the first half, who’s improved efforts of late have made the Langley team a potential post-season playoff contender.
Little would engineer two first half scoring drives, one for a touchdown and another for a conceded field goal, before being knocked out of the game after a blind-side quarterback sack by Rebel’s defensive back Jason Pyper, in an aggressive move to the ball to beat Ram’s chosen “running back turned offensive lineman” Dillon Cusker.
Backup QB Tristan Yanciw, inserted into the game in place of Little, would orchestrate two more majors on the legs of Joseph in the second half to run away with the win.
The Rebels, now holding a 3-3-1 record, sit just outside playoff contention in fifth place in the standings, but despite the placing only three points separate them from a first place finish in the season with three games remaining.
The Rebel’s will now travel to Chilliwack to take on the 4-3 Valley Huskers Saturday September 29th, looking for a road to keep pace with the rest of the British Columbia Football League.