August 3rd, 2019 Chilliwack, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels found steely resolve to overcome a thirteen-point, fourth quarter deficit and take away a Valley Husker victory with a 21-20 win in week one British Columbia Football Conference.
With newly-acquired Rebel QB Colby Henkel under centre, Westshore would benefit from their defense and a game winning TD reception to Brycen Mayoh and convert by Kyle Clarke with 2:20 minutes remaining in game one to steal the victory. Westshore would also see scoring majors from running back Zachery Lubin and veteran Rebel receiver Nathan Falito.
For much of the first half, both teams would spar equally on the defensive side of the ball, however time of ball possession and converted first downs would favour the Huskers as they would find their game rhythm and the end zone to score the game’s first points with the major and a field goal to take an early 10-0 lead in to the second quarter.
Rebels’ QB Henkel, pressured by the Husker defensive line would strike late with six minutes to go in the half finding receiver Nathan Falito in the end zone between two Husker defenders to bring down the ball to trailing 10-7.
A Husker field goal with two minutes remaining in the second period would see the Chilliwack hold onto a 13-7 lead going into the locker room at the half.
Perhaps frustrated at the low scoring, defensive battle and lack of consistent offensive output, a common mantra used in many sports when penalties and a lack of offensive production could be heard from the Husker bench, “We are our worst own enemy “. Referring to their inability to get past the Rebel’s defense with any regularity, that statement would prove prophetic later in the game.
Penalties would rule the play for the Rebels in the 3rdquarter, turning back field gains made. A stubborn Husker defense would limit the Westshore’s advances and favourable scoring position. That defensive pressure, perhaps not allowing Rebels Henkel the time to read the defense, would throw an interception to Husker’s defensive back Marcel Arruda-Welch for the pic-six late in the third quarter to give the Valley Huskers, what seemed, a comfortable 20-7 thirteen-point lead to enter the final quarter of play.
As has been noted in recent past seasons, the Westshore Rebels have been known for being a second half team, resilient in every sense of the word when the game is close. That would prove no different as Head Coach Shane Beatty would rally his squad to mount a nail-biting comeback. The Rebels would stiffen up their defensive against the Husker ball slinger starting QB Reid Vankoughnett.
Starting with a Maleek Womack interception, the Rebels, shut down the Husker offense over the next twelve consecutive ball possessions, giving their offense the opportunity to do something positive with the ball. Not to squander that momentum, QB Henkel would find the right tools to mount a comeback down 20-7. That prophetic saying heard late in the second quarter on the Husker’s side of the field would hold true in the last five minutes of the game, working against the home team, as the Rebel’s dig deep to tilt the field in their favour.
Rebels running back Zachery Lubin would take the rock from Henkel with five minutes remaining in the game, diving into the end zone over a Brycen Mayoh block from three yards out to put the Huskers on notice with a now-narrow 20-14 lead.
The Rebels, not taking their foot off the gas pedal, would hold the Huskers in their own red zone on the next possession with time running down. After the Husker’s, with some confusion from the side lines would concede two consecutive time count penalties, the Rebels would stop what appeared a further Husker miscommunication on a faked Husker punt to take over the ball ten yards out.
Henkel, rolling out of the pocket would find Mayoh in the back of the end zone for the tying touchdown. Place kicker Kyle Clarke would kick the go-ahead conversion as the Rebels would take the wind out of the Husker’s sails and claim their first victory of the 2019 season.
When asked whether he consider his team lucky in the win, Head Coach Shane Beatty didn’t mince words about his team’s performance, “ Twelve series in a row we stopped them on defence, and finally made a big play with the pick, converted that, stopped them on three of our turnovers, which is massive. I think Bob (Reist, Husker’s head coach ) has a good team. I think they gassed out a little at the end, and our team might be in better shape with our past six months of gym training. Whether we earned it or got it given to us, facing that adversity makes us grow as a team.”
***game statiscs not available at posting