Be it ever so artificial, there’s no place like home field.
The Westshore Rebels broke in the newly laid turf at Westhills Stadium, also to be used by Canada’s national rugby teams, with a 29-5 B.C. Junior Football Conference victory over the Langley Rams on Saturday afternoon.
Westshore, the defending Cullen Cup B.C. champion and Canadian runner-up last year to the national champion Saskatoon Hilltops, moved to 3-1 while Langley fell to 1-3.
The Rebels played their first three games of the season on the road while the new turf was being laid at Westhills.
“The turf is fantastic,” said Rebels head coach Charly Cardilicchia.
“The players love it. It is so deep, that they can turn and cut on a dime.”
That is exactly what Rebels running-back Trey Campbell, who is also an effective receiver out of the backfield, did in scoring three touchdowns and amassing more than 200 all-purpose yards on Saturday.
“[Campbell] is so hard to bring down and gets so many yards after contact,” said Cardilicchia.
The Rebels defence, meanwhile, was in the Rams backfield all afternoon. It was just a matter of being pro-active, Cardilicchia said.
“We knew Langley would be coming at us because nobody wants to fall to 1-3.”
After having to rally for tight road wins in Nanaimo and Kamloops the past two weeks, the Rebels allowed themselves a little more breathing room in their home opener.
The Rebels continue their four-game homestand next Saturday against the winless Valley Huskers from Chilliwack.
“We’re in a great position. We’re in the driver's seat,” said Cardilicchia.
The Vancouver Island Raiders also moved to 3-1 on Saturday with a 51-10 victory over the Kamloops Broncos at Caledonia Park in Nanaimo