August 26, 2023. Langford, BC (ISN) – In what was touted by many as the “game to see” of the 2023 regular season, the Westshore Rebels avenged their 2022 Cullen Cup loss to the Okanagan Sun with another lopsided victory, beating the visiting team 52-23 to continue as the only undefeated team remaining in the British Columbia Football Conference with a 4-0 record.

The Rebels, handling their opponents be an average of 62 points for over the previous three games, added another 50+ point performance with some high-flying, offensive athleticism and aggressive defense that kept the Kelowna team on a back foot most of the game. For the defending 2023 CJFL National Champions, it was the first loss to the Rebels since November 2021.

The Sun would enjoy their only lead of the game early in the first quarter on a QB keeper by Liam Kroeger to go up 6-3 on their first possession of the game after a Rebels field goal. After conceding a safety, Rebels would answer on their next possession as QB Te Jessie would find Cairo Berry alone to his right with a pass on an out pattern. Berry, who is explosive every time he gets his hands on the ball, would break one tackle and beat two other Sun defenders for the host’s first TD of the game, giving Westshore a narrow 10-7 after one quarter of play. Berry would also bring the ball back 82 yards later in the game on a missed Okanagan field goal attempt to lift Rebels fans out of their seats. Berry would finish the game leading his team with 2 receiving touchdowns from Jessie.

Jessie was laser-focused through three quarters of play before sitting down, completing 22 of 27 pass attempts for 303 yards, and engineer five touchdowns. Jessie would also score his own rushing TD, launching himself over two Sun defenders from a pair of yards out. Receiver’s Keiran Poisssant, Kwame Franklin, and Ferrell Yakim-Kenfack would also benefit from Jessie’s arm, scoring a touchdown each for the Rebels.

The Okanagan Sun’s defense would fair well against the Rebels running attack, holding Westshore to only 16 yards rushing in the first half, and 76 yards for the game. Rebels Gerren Hardisty and teammate Malik Gagne-Smith would have little room to carry the ball, only finding space for a total 54 yards the entire game between the two running backs.

The Rebels defense, despite penalty woes much of the game, would make good to keep the Sun from finding the end zone for the next 30 minutes of play. In a defining defensive play of the early game, the Rebels would turn aside a Sun’s 2-yard, 3rd and goal TD attempt to prevent Okanagan from adding to their lead, and set the defensive tempo for the rest of the game. The Rebels defense would benefit from another outstanding game by Demar Hohnstein. Hohnstein would record 8 solo tackles and assisted on another. Riley Berfelo, would also prove a thorn in the Suns side, stopping the Okanagan offense 6 times, assisting on another tackle, and knocking down one Liam Kroeger pass.

Despite their successes running the ball against the Rebel’s defense in the first quarter, it would appear as Okanagan may have found their “Bus Legs” half way through the 2nd frame as the Rebels would start to outpace the Sun, going into halftime up by 26-9 score.

The Rebels, showing no signs of slowing their offensive roll, would increase their margin to 42-9 at three quarter time before the Rebels starters would get some well-deserved bench time, handing the keys to back up QB Ethan Pickard.  Pickard would guide his team for a final TD and put the team in position for a Marcus Jones 30-yard field goal.

The Sun would reciprocate, inserting their back up QB Adam Rocha into their offense in the final quarter. . Starting QB Liam Kroeger would finish the game with a respectable 236 yards passing, on 17/29 attempts.  Rocha would find advantage in the fresh defensive line for Westshore, orchestrating a pair of touchdowns with the game out of reach, to make the 52-23 loss a little more palatable for the long bus ride home.

With the decisive win, there is little doubt that the Rebels are the top dog in the BCFC. Barring a major collapse with 6 games remaining in the regular season and three of those on home field, all indications are that the Rebels will hold home field advantage through the playoffs, and possibly the CJFL National Championship.


The Rebels will travel to Langley September 2nd to take on the 2-1 Rams. The Rams have a game in hand after missing a date last weekend with the Sun due to the wildfires burning in the Okanagan.  That game will be rescheduled according to the BCFC.

** Note that all statistics are unofficial at press time

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