August 7th, 2022. Langford, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels and the Vancouver Island Raiders went head-to-head in the first of two games this season in the 2022 “Battle of the Rock” at Starlight Stadium on Saturday evening with the Rebels coming out on top in a decisive 41-10 win to extend their win streak to 3-0, and take first place in the BCFC standings.
Starting quarterback Te Jessie would command his team in another brilliant performance to help his team to the lopsided victory throwing for 3 TDs on 286 yards passing, while his team would amass a total net offense of 435 yards, the third highest game net total so far this season.
Rebels have shown a panache for offense so far this season, but there was no mistaking that the Raiders would have their say in the first fifteen minutes. After an evenly played first period the Raiders would find themselves only down by a Simon Hales field goal with some quick defensive reads to negate any big Rebels gains. The Rebels would find themselves up 3-0 at the end of the first quarter of play.
After a “warm-up” first quarter, the Jessie and the Rebels would go to work, exploding for four touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Belmont Bulldog graduate, turned VI Raider, turned Westshore Rebels Eli Nelms-Horton would crack the ice with the first major in the game. His first and only reception of the game would be a 75-yard catch from Jessie to ignite his offense to put the Rebels up 10-0.
The Raider’s and their starting QB Ben Chomolok would bend but not break the Rebels defense, threatening with a major from 25 yards out, but D-man Tarik Polius would chalk up his first of 2 quarterback sacks in the game to force the Raiders to concede the TD with a field goal by Sterling Henry to erase the doughnut 10-3. Rebels Running back and kick-off returner Gerren Hardisty, who is turning some heads in the BCFC this season, would take the ensuing Raiders’ kick-off 90 yards to the house to answer, putting his team up 17-3. For Hardisty, that is his second kick-off return in as many games for the second-year man, also from the Belmont Bulldog program in Langford,BC. Hardisty has averaged 49 yards per return so far this season.
Raider’s Chomolok would put his team back in the hunt with a 43-yard toss to Andre Gordon, beating the Rebels defender in the end zone with a remarkable over the shoulder reception to bring the visitors from Nanaimo to with a TD of tying the game 17-10.
The Raider’s secondary sitting back after being burnt a few too many times by the Rebel’s deep ball, would be rewarded with a Jake Smith interception, climbing the ladder to take away the Te Jessie toss. After a Raider’s turnover of the ball, Rebel’s David Lezama would rush 11 yards for the score and a 24-0 lead. With time running out in the first half, Jessie would add to the Rebels lead one more time with a 27-yard strike over the middle to Hunter Bowles, another one of many Belmont Secondary players to fill the Rebels roster. With the game all but out of reach, the Rebels would take a comfortable 31-10 halftime lead to the locker room.
The Rebels defense, perhaps smelling blood in the water, would tighten down their play to hold the Raiders of the score board in the second half with some inspiring individual effort. Te Jessie would score his third passing TD of the game to Keiran Poissant before taking a well-earned seat to make way for back up QB and kicker Simon Hales to finish the fourth quarter under center. Hales would put his own stamp on the game, with his only pass in the game, a 38 yrd bullet to Zion Brown to cap the game at 45-10. Hales, the utility player he is, would record 77 yards punting, 353 yards kick off, 1-1 15 yd field goal, 6-6 converts, and 1 touchdown pass.
Oh… I forgot to mention that Hales was the fourth Bulldog to figure with majors in scoring on the night. Way to go Bulldogs !!
Next up, the Rebels travel to Kelowna to play the also undefeated Okanagan Sun. Both, Head Coach Shane Beatty and Defensive Coordinator Dexter Janke are both Sun alumni and are looking forward to the match up. “Playing there in 2014, it will be the first time I’ve been back to the Apple Bowl (stadium), but for us as an organization we’ve had a solid first three weeks, now Okanagan (Sun) are the measuring stick.”, Janke would comment post game. The Sun sit in second place with a game in hand after a bye week.
Game Time. August 13 – 5:30pm. Apple Bowl Stadium Kelowna, BCBritish Columbia Junior Football Leaguewww.bcjuniorfootball.ca