The Okanagan Sun slipped past the Westshore Rebels by a 19-15 score in the season opener for both clubs on Saturday in Kelowna. (Douglas Farrow/Contributor)

Westshore Rebels fall in season opener in Kelowna

Okanagan Sun win rematch of last year’s B.C. Football Conference championship game

In a reverse of the club’s typical 2016 game script, the Westshore Rebels jumped all over the Okanagan Sun early but faded in the game’s latter stages in a low-scoring 19-15 loss in Kelowna.

The defending Cullen Cup champions – who made a habit of dominating the second half of games in 2016 – were powered by a pair of long passing plays from quarterback Scott Borden in the early going, eventually taking a 14-0 lead over the Sun by the time the second quarter was a minute old.

Okanagan fought back with a pair of touchdowns of their own by the half, both coming on the ground.

Both offences stagnated in the final 30 minutes, with the winning points coming on a Sun safety in the third quarter. They added an insurance field goal in the fourth.

The Rebels turned the ball over seven times in the loss, four times on downs.

“There’s some things that need to be dealt with and cleaned up,” said head coach Charley Cardilicchia.

The rookie head coach, who also serves as the team’s offensive co-ordinator, admitted that there’s a learning curve to his new role. He lamented the fact that he didn’t continue with the team’s high-tempo, aggressive attack throughout the game.

Borden completed 21 passes on 41 attempts for 281 yards, adding two passing touchdowns. He was intercepted once.

The second-year Rebel also carried the ball four times for 23 yards to lead the Rebels on the ground as the club struggled to get its rushing attack going. Trey Campbell managed just eight yards on five carries before exiting with a dislocated finger. Cardilicchia called him week-to-week but said there’s a chance he’ll be ready for Week 2.

D’Saun Greenaway impressed in his Rebels debut with seven grabs for a team-high 114 yards and a score. “He’s what you call a freak,” Cardilicchia said of the 6’5” wideout. “He’s going to be a big piece of our puzzle.”

Austin Lindo-Brow had the Rebels’ other major, finishing with two catches for 64 yards.

Defensively, the Rebels limited the Sun to just 11 first downs and 234 net yards while forcing three turnovers. “They did exactly what they had to do,” Cardilicchia noted.

As was often the case in 2016, the Rebels were heavily penalized, committing 16 infractions totalling 133 yards compared to the Sun’s nine for 70.

Westshore has two more road contests before their home opener on Aug. 19 at Westhills Stadium.

They’ll travel over the Malahat to visit the Vancouver Island Raiders (1-0) on Aug. 5 before another trip to the B.C. Interior on Aug. 12 for a date with the Kamloops Broncos (1-0).

Cardilicchia is expecting a physical game in Nanaimo.

“When it’s Victoria and Nanaimo there’s always a bit of an edge,” he said.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette

Just Posted

Province funds $88.6M for two new schools in Langford by 2022

Langford gets 500-seat elementary school and a 700-seat middle school

New secondary school planned for north Langford

Province announces $18.6 million in funding for site

Confusing parking lot blamed for cars tipping into flowerbeds at Peninsula Canadian Tire

Tow and repairs cost thousands, engineer says drivers’ responsibility, Canadian Tire stay quiet

Saanich says it will take months to fix a sink hole that appeared during ‘Snowmaggedon’

Roads closed in the area after the sink hole first opened in early February

Derelict trimaran removed from Oak Bay waters

Boat has been aground near Oak Bay Marina for over five months

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read