It’s a tired sports cliché but the Westshore Rebels are truly taking things one week at a time.
The 1-1 Rebels could easily be either 2-0 or 0-2, but instead they sit at .500 following a tough season-opening loss against the Okanagan Sun and a narrow 27-25 win over the rival Vancouver Island Raiders on Saturday.
The club will take to the new Westhills Stadium turf on Aug. 19 when they host the Langley Rams, but head coach Charly Cardilicchia says his club isn’t looking past this weekend’s game in Kamloops.
The Broncos have struggled in recent years and are coming off a 36-0 thrashing at the hands of the Sun, but the club gave the Rebels a scare late last season before Westshore emerged with a 34-25 win.
Still, Cardilicchia likes the way his team matches up with this Saturday’s opponents.
“I’ve looked at all teams in the league now on tape and [if we lose] it’s going to be us that beats us. If we take care of business and we do what we need to do … we’ll be tough to beat,” he said.
Cardilicchia’s offence may benefit from the possible return of Trey Campbell, who missed week two with a hand injury. If all goes according to plan, Cardilicchia expects the Rebels speedster will have a good chance of suiting up in week three.
Raishaun Provo had 78 yards on 13 carries to lead a committee of running backs in Campbell’s absence, but it was a touchdown drive late in the first half and a blocked punt return that keyed the Rebels’ win.
Down 14-3, the Rebels took over on their own one-yard line with under three minutes to play before halftime. Faced with the prospect of giving up more points should their drive stall, the club’s stagnant offence came to life as quarterback Scott Borden engineered a 109-yard touchdown drive.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Rebels found the end zone twice in the final 15 minutes, including a spectacular play after a blocked punt by Connor Whitney.
After Rebels lineman Kent Hicks picked up the loose football, he found teammate Chris Larsen with a lateral and Larsen took it to paydirt.
“It was a team play to have all three guys involved like that,” Cardilicchia said.
Borden has thrown for 500 yards and three touchdowns against a single interception over the first two games and has made good use of receivers D’Saun Greenaway (13 receptions, 204 yards) and Nathaniel Skeete (six receptions, 103 yards). But Cardilicchia believes his best football is still to come.
“He hasn’t really scratched the surface of the greatness that he has. He has clean numbers right now but he’s better than what his numbers show in his leadership role … I think we’re about to start firing on all cylinders.”
This Saturday’s game in Kamloops kicks off at 6 p.m. The Aug. 19 home opener against the Langley Rams is slated for a 3 p.m. opening kick.