The Westshore Rebels season ended on Saturday night with a loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders in the Cullen Cup Final at Westhills Stadium.
After a 9-1 regular season that saw Head Coach Charly Cardilicchia named BCFC Coach of the Year, Trey Campbell named Top Offensive Back and Christian Krause awarded Top Offensive Lineman, the Rebels struggled to get anything going in the championship final.
At 2:35 in the first quarter, the Raiders opened the scoring and went up 7-0. That lead held for the quarter and then the Raiders scored again early in the second quarter and it was quickly 14-0.
The Rebels would stop the bleeding for a short while with a Kaine Stevenson touchdown but the Raiders took a 18-7 lead just before the end of the first half with a field goal.
The Rebels struggled offensively with passes being completed or on target with mother nature wreaking havoc all night.
The Raiders continued to dominate and added a field goal with 1:29 left in the game to seal the 21-7 victory.
— Westshore Rebels (@WestshoreRebels) October 22, 2017
Coach Charly Cardilicchia said after the game the amount of turnovers the Rebels committed on the night was a big part of the loss.
“I think the turnover ratio is what killed us,” he said. “In a championship game and big games like that, when there is a turnover ratio, turnover battle like that almost 100 per cent of the time you lose the game.”
He also pointed to a play early in the game that would have given the Rebels a touchdown but instead was a dropped ball.
“It just never seemed to get on track after that,” Cardilicchia said. “The rain was obviously a big factor and we couldn’t get the ball outside to our receivers, we wanted to really try and stretch the field a little bit but yeah they [Nanaimo] played well, they came out here and they were an inspired group and at the end of the day, we made some mistakes that cost us a big game.”
Cardilicchia said the 10 wins in a row meant nothing nor did the first place finish in the league.
“The only thing that mattered to us was a national championship,” he said. “This is a huge failure as far as I’m concerned.”
As for recruiting for next season? The head coach said that begins tomorrow.