The teams war cry is Rebel Up and the organization continues to move in that very direction.
The Westshore Rebels won their fifth straight B.C. Football Conference game Sunday evening the first time theyve managed to achieve that since 2004 using an unrelenting offence early in a 48-41 victory over the Kamloops Broncos at Bear Mountain Stadium.
It ended up much closer than it should have been due to special teams nightmares. The Rebels were up 48-14 before a series of botched snaps led to blocked field-goal attempts. Kamloops also converted on several onside kicks and a lengthy kick return that added to the second-half shenanigans.
We went from the best special-teams game of the year up in Kelowna last week to the worst, which we arent happy about, but there was a lot of stuff we werent happy about in the second half. Well just go to work and fix it, said Rebels head coach John Cardilicchia.
He made several changes to his lineup in the second half, which also added to the change in momentum, but in the end it was a win.
It feels great, he said of achieving a fifth straight triumph, the clubs 120th in franchise history. Ill take an ugly win over an ugly loss any day. We got our two points, thats what we came for. Did we want to do it like this? No. Are we happy we did it like this? No. Are we happy that were 5-1 and moving forward? Yes.
Quarterback Mark Black threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in building up a 34-7 lead at halftime as the Rebels improve to 5-1 on the season. The win also clinched a playoff spot.
Black connected on a pair of TD catches with Cat Todorovich the first from 17 yards out just 3:54 in and the second from seven yards on the final play of the first half before the receiver was ejected for overly exuberant celebrations.
Black also came out of the game at the break after completing nine of 18 passes for 148 yards and the three scores. The starting quarterback added three carries for 38 yards, including a nifty nine-yard TD scramble before he gave way to backup Jesse Herman.
It was a great performance from the offence, initially, said Black. Every guy was working together.
Then it got wacky in the second half, including a crushing blind-side hit from Broncos defensive lineman Braden McCarthy that forced Herman to fumble in his own end zone, which Kamloops Grady Chalmers jumped on for a score.
Chalmers also had an amazing three field-goal blocks as the Rebels struggled with usual snapper, Carlos Cerrato-Hiebert, unable to perform those special-teams duties, which became a nightmare for kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk.
Three or four blocked field goals is unacceptable. We have to go back and put some work in on that, said Black.
Herman found Vinnie Cannata for a 53-yard TD strike (his second of the game) to make it 48-14 late in the third quarter but thats when the game started to slide.
Derek Apps had a
104-yard kickoff return for Kamloops that led to a Jacob Palmarin touchdown. The Broncos pulled off an onside kick and followed that with a 44-yard bomb from Mark Discombe to Carter Bilawchuck that cut the score to 48-27. Discombe added other TD strikes to Bilawchuck and Jesse Neufeld and ran in from one yard out as the Broncos offence came to life.
Defensively, the Rebels received a BCFC and CJFL record-tying performance from Braeden Swatez who had five knockdowns.
We did look good in the first half. But momentum is a beast, and when they got a couple of big special-teams plays, momentum switched and they started to believe, said Cardilicchia.
The Rebels travel to Chilliwack on Saturday to face the 0-6 Huskers.
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