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History-making Rebels prove too hot for Sun

WESTSHORE 30 OKANAGAN 19 Here comes the Sun? Not so quick. It was eclipsed by a Rebel yell.
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Westshore quarterback Scott Borden throws against Okanagan at Westhills Stadium on Saturday.

WESTSHORE 30
OKANAGAN 19

Here comes the Sun?

Not so quick. It was eclipsed by a Rebel yell.

Westshore (9-1) defeated Okanagan (8-1-1) by a 30-19 count under the lights Saturday night at Westhills Stadium to clinch the regular-season championship in the B.C. Football Conference.

Few thought Westshore could match what it did last season, when it won the league regular-season at 8-1-1, under J.C. Boice. But the club responded, under rookie head coach Charly Cardilicchia, with the first nine-win season in franchise history.

At stake was home-field advantage throughout the BCFC post-season, which goes to the Rebels, beginning next Saturday night at 7 at Westhills, in the semifinals against the fourth-seed Langley Rams (4-6).

The third-seed Vancouver Island Raiders (6-3-1) travel to Kelowna to take on the second-place Sun in the other semifinal in the Apple Bowl.

Keyed by a dominating offensive line that sprung running-back Trey Campbell for two first-half rushing touchdowns, the Rebels took a 20-10 lead into halftime and increased it to 23-10 at three-quarters.

Campbell, who came into the game with a league-leading 669 yards on the ground, finished the season with nine touchdowns.

“It’s exciting, especially for me, coming back from last year. We started to jell and became dangerous this season,” Campbell said. “We are also in better shape than most teams.”

A 35-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, lofted perfectly by Westshore quarterback Scott Borden into the waiting arms of receiver Austin Lindo-Brow, looked to pretty much settle matters at 30-10.

But the Sun kept pressing and the game wasn’t over until a late fumble recovery by the Rebels inside their own five-yard line with a minute remaining.

The Rebels defence was in the Sun backfield most of the night, especially the big-but-mobile Kent Hicks. “Our defensive front seven is U Sports calibre and is the best in the country,” said the versatile Hicks, who also handles the Rebels punting chores.

Offensive-star Campbell went even farther in praising the Rebels on the other side of the ball: “We have an amazing group of guys on defence, and probably some future CFLers.”

Placekicker Kyle Clarke's foot accounted for three field goals and three converts.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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