September 3, 2022 Kamloops, BC (ISN ) – The Westshore Rebels of the British Columbia Football League survived a resilient Kamloops Broncos effort to come away with a 32-27 win at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC.
With the win, the now 5-1 Rebels, enjoy a first-place tie in the standings with the idle Okanagan Sun who enjoy in a bye week. The Bronco’s fall to 2-4 on the season.
The meeting with the Broncos was the second game of a home and home series. The first game taken by Westshore in convincing fashion 49-7 August 27th at Starlight Stadium in Langford, BC. With that August 27th outcome, Rebels fans and the organization surely had reason the feel comfortable in a victory going into Kamloops, however the Broncos had other ambitions.
Rebels’ starting QB Te Jessie would have a rare off-night under centre. Jessie would have trouble finding his passing game against a well-prepared Kamloops defense. Jessie would throw a mere 8 completions on 22 attempts, for a total of 103 yards, one interception, and two touchdowns, while his Bronco counterpart and ex-university teammate Reid Vankoughtnett looked in sync most of the game with a 395 yard passing performance, throwing one interception and three TD’s on the evening.
The Rebels defense would be a menace for the Broncos from the opening snap, backing up Vankoughnett three times for losses before finding a rhythm. Newcomer to the Rebels, Nehemiah Forde-Browne would standout with his constant pressure on the Broncos ball, as the defensive squad would tally 30 tackles on the night.
In a predominately defensive game, Rebels Simon Hales would provide the only points in the first 15 minutes of play, forcing a Bronco’ safety and successfully completing a 39 yd field goal to give his Rebels a 4-0 after one quarter of play.
After a Rebels’ major early in the second frame to take a 11-0 lead, the Broncos ‘offense would find their stride in rebuttal, exploding for an unanswered seventeen points to take their first lead of the game into the locker room with a 17-11 halftime margin over the shocked visitors from Vancouver Island.
The Rebels would come out of the locker room in the third quarter, striking for fourteen points in response, while their defense would dig deep to turn up the pressure on the Vankoughnett passing game. Despite some Broncos success moving the chains, the Rebels defense would win the quarter for their team, able to turn aside any Kamloops threat.
With momentum in favour of the Rebels, Westshore would take, what looked to be, a comfortable lead into the final quarter of play, up 25-17.
Unlike their last meeting when the Rebels seemed to have free will over the Bronco’s in the fourth quarter, this quarter would prove different without the passing game of Westshore to rely on. Hemmed in their own end by the Broncos defense, QB Jessie would turn to the ground game and running back Gerran Hardisty. Hardisty, carrying his offensive team on his back, would be used almost exclusively on multiple plays downfield. With the Broncos unable to stop the relentless, ever-grinding legs of Hardisty, the Rebels would take what would seem to be a comfortable 32-20 lead.
Bronco’s, bolstered by their earlier game successes, and some inopportune Rebels’ penalties, would find themselves just inside midfield with time winding down. QB Vankoughnett, with two minutes remaining, would split the Rebels defense to hook up with Brock Dufort down field for a late toucddown with 52 seconds remaining to pull to within five points with a 32-27 score.
The Broncos would recover the following onside kick, but the rebels defense would play large again to turn away the threat. Rebel’s Hardisty, called upon once again, would rush the ball out of harms way as the Rebels would run out the final half minute of the clock to hold onto a 32-27 victory. Hardisty would finish the contest with an amazing 205 yards rushing on eighteen carries, much of that real estate covered in the last half of the game.
The touchdown talley would see the Rebels Cairo Berry, Zion Brown, Gerren Hardisty, and QB Te Jessie all figure for majors in the game.
The Rebels will not have much time to regroup after the hard-fought victory over the Broncos as they will host the Okanagan Sun at Starlight Stadium September 10th on Alumni Night under the lights. The Sun routed the unprepared Rebels 65-29 in their last head-to- head match in Kelowna in week three action.
That game may be a preview of the BCFC Cullen Cup final to be hosted by the top seeded regular season team.