August 5th, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – The Westshore Rebels of the British Columbia Football Conference looked more like a team in mid-season form than one that just started a season, as they broke the Broncos of Kamloops 70-10 Saturday afternoon at Starlight Stadium in their home-opening game of the season.

After a dominant 69-0-win last weekend in Nanaimo to open the season versus the VI Raiders, a perennial island rivalry, it would have been easy for the Rebels players emotions to run over in overconfidence, falling back to earth in game two as many teams do, however there was none of the bravado you would have expected after last weekend win. Showing spectators, fans, and perhaps the BCFC that there is something different in the air about this 2023 incantation of the Westshore Rebels, it was nothing but work ethic on the grid iron.

The Rebels would keep the Broncos out of the endzone much of the game. The Rebels would score three TD’s in the first quarter before Kamloops would split the uprights for a field goal making the score 21-3 .  Westshore would keep the pedal down and hold a 49-3 lead at the half to take a comfortable lead in the contest. Scoring another three touch downs in the third quarter, the Rebels play would fall silent in the final frame. Taking advantage of the Rebel lull, Kamloops would score their only touchdown of the game late on a down-field connection from Bronco’s back-up QB Josh Charison to veteran receiver Colton Meikle.

August 5, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – Running back Gerren Hardisty has a habit of making people miss their tackle as he runs for some of his 104 yards on the day – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Offensively, Westshore receiver and ball returner Cairo Berry would have a game to remember, leading all scorers with a massive four touchdown reception performance over 116 yards caught, setting the mark to beat in the league this season. After scoring all four with pass receptions for majors, Berry flirted with an unthinkable fifth marker on a punt return, diving over a defender and into the endzone only to be denied the major on a penalty called behind the play.  Teammate Zion Brown would also have a break out performance, adding another two of the ten Rebels touchdowns they would score through the game.

August 5th, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – Reciever Cairo Berry pulls down one of his four touchdown receptions in the game versus the Kamloos Broncos – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

There seems to be no stopping the play of starting Rebels QB Te Jessie. Jessie would be solid again under center for his team, engineering his offensive squad to 357 net yards over two and a half quarters of play, completing 13/17 pass attempts for 230 yards and five touchdowns through the air.  Back-up QB Ethan Pickard would take over from Jessie in the second half, confidently guiding his team to an additional 2 TDs before the close of the game.

August 5, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – Rebels QB Te Jessie had another top performance recording 5 TD’s in the game before sitting out the remainder of the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Running back Gerren Hardisty put in another “all or nothing “ performance with 104-yrds rushing, sometimes sacrificing the body taking to the air to make the additional yards gained in highlight-reel fashion.

August 5, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – Running back Gerren Hardisty has a habit of making people miss but gets tripped up on this hurdle trying to get every yard possible – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

 

Defensively, the Rebels put in another top shelf performance. The Westshore defense would prove a thorn in the Bronco’s side most of the game.  Holding starting QB Clark Snider and his replacement Josh Charison to only 233 net offensive yards, it wouldn’t be until the second half when the Bronco’s would avoid a three and out possession.  Rebels linebacker Demar Hohnstein was, seemingly, an unstoppable force against the Kamloops Broncos. Broncos would feel his presence all over the field as he would record nine tackles and post another four of nine total tackles by the special teams.

August 5, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – The Rebels defence was locked in on Broncos starting QB Clark Snider looking to knock down this pass attempt – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

Westshore defensive back Bronson Phieffer would be the only defensive player in the game to carry the ball to the end zone, stepping in front of a Charison pass for a 42-yard pick-six to deflate the Kamloops offense.

Despite the interception thrown, the Bronco’s would show some spark in the second half with the play calling of Charison. A combination of Rebel penalties and improved Bronco play would see the visitors find the house on a reception by veteran Bronco Colton Meikle to lift the spirits and the score for the Kamloops sideline. The touchdown, more a moral victory, would be of little consolation as the Rebels would post the 70-10 victory to go 2-0 in the early season.

August 5, 2023 Langford, BC (ISN) – Westshore Rebels receiver Zion Brown celebrates for ISN photographer after scoring his first of 2 TD’s in the game – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Rebels will now make the long-haul trip to Prince George to play the Kodiaks next weekend, August 12th.  The Prince George Kodiaks, in only their second season in the British Columbia Football Conference, recorded a 1-9 record in their inaugural 2022 season, and have yet to post a win this season, standing 0-1 in a 32-0 loss to the Okanagan Sun.  The Rebels, not playing the Kodiaks last year, will get their first taste of Prince George football and the 1742 km round-trip travel schedule. The Rebels are the first island BCFC team to make the trek up north.