The Westshore Rebels’ final regular-season game of the B.C Football Conference season went as I expected on Saturday.
Actually, it was worse.
Digging themselves a huge 28-0 hole after the first quarter - courtesy of four interceptions thrown by quarterback Hunter Lake - the Rebels were hammered 71-0 by the Vancouver Island Raiders.
As I had written in Saturday’s paper, the chances of the Rebels earning the point required to qualify for the post-season was somewhere between slim and none and Slim had already left town.
The Rebels had failed to defeat the Raiders in all previous 19 times they had played and there was no way Westshore was going to get a point on the road in Nanaimo after experiencing 18 players attend practices throughout the week.
Mistakes were made early and the Raiders took advantage of the miscues.
The details will be found in Sunday;s edition of the Times Colonist, but Rebels head coach Tim Kearse and his club paid a price in turning over the ball five times in the opening half in falling behind 55-0 at the break.
The only saving grace was running the clock, straight time, in the second half.
“A team like that is going to make you pay,” Kearse said of the Raiders, who finish first overall and will host Kamloops next week in playoff action (I predict that, too, will be a slaughter).
“We couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn today (passing wise) and he wasn’t getting any help from receivers running wrong routes. But that’s what happens when you only have 18 guys in practice. You’re going to have guys messing up.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have had him throwing the ball as much as I did early on, but I figured what do we have to lose?”
Lake’s statistics will look awful when they come out this week, but that is what happens when you have players playing both offence and defence at the junior level.
Exhaustion had set in long ago for the Rebels, who had several key veteran players quit on them after Week 6 of the schedule.
The Rebels finish 2-8 on the season, with six of those losses coming to the Raiders and defending champion Langley Rams as the schedule did the locals absolutely no favours in 2013.
Unfortunately, Kearse and his coaching staff – who need to be commended for putting up with plenty of off-field distractions – took the brunt of it this season, along with the players that remained.
It’s a learning lesson, to be sure.
You can read more about the game in Sunday's paper and we’ll catch up with Kearse later in the week to discuss next season.