Westshore Rebels running back Jamel Lyles (22), gets tripped up by Okanagan Sun defenders Conor Richard (left) and Ty Kitzman during a B.C. Football Conference game in Kelowna last season. The Rebels are anticipating an exciting matchup against the Sun this Saturday at Westhills Stadium. (Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography)

Rebels prep for big matchup versus Okanagan Sun

Winner will get home field advantage in the playoffs

It’s a matchup the Westshore Rebels and head coach Charly Cardilicchia have been waiting for all season.

After losing to the Okanagan Sun during the Rebels’ season opener on July 29 (and its only loss this season), the team will have the chance to redeem themselves against the Sun on Saturday – this time on home turf.

“We’ve been preparing for this matchup since the end of the game in week one,” Cardilicchia said. “There were a lot of things to figure out about ourselves from that first game. Since then we’ve done a good job of getting ourselves prepared to be where we believe we need to be to be able to beat them in this matchup … this is something that we’re hungry for.”

The Rebels proved they could be an offensive force on the field after a convincing 42-17 win against the Chilliwack Valley Huskers last Saturday during the team’s final road game of the regular season.

Building on the momentum from the previous week’s 33-28 win over the Langley Rams, the Rebels racked up 267 rushing yards against the Huskers in Chilliwack.

Rebels’ Kyle Clarke opened the scoring with a field goal followed by a touchdown by D’Saun Greenaway in the first six minutes of the first quarter. The Huskers scored a touchdown to cut the Rebels’ lead to 10-7, but the team’s offense exploded from there with touchdowns from Austin Lindo-Brow, a 34-yard run TD by Trey Campbell and Jeremie Drouin in the first half to make it 35-7 for the visitors.

That offence continued into the second half with a touchdown from Daniel Clarke. The Huskers tried to claw their way back with a touchdown with 1:16 left in the game making it 42-17, but in the end, it was the Rebels who walked away with the win.

RELATED: Rebels defeat the Rams 33-28 in big second half comeback

The victory brings the Rebels to 8-1 on the season.

“We had a pretty efficient performance in the first half. But for the most part, we were much more disciplined, penalties weren’t as much of an issue, and they weren’t as devastating to our output on the field as they had been the week before,” Cardilicchia said, adding with the upcoming match against the Sun, it was easy for the team to overlook the Huskers, but they stayed focused on the task at hand.

“I was really proud of the boys being able to keep their focus throughout the season and get an opportunity to earn a first-place showdown with the Sun at home.”

It’s the team’s strong offence and defence that Cardilicchia will rely on to defeat the Sun this weekend.

“If we protect the football, we play tough defensively and control time of possession, I think we’ll win this game,” said Cardilicchia said, noting whoever wins the game will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Rebels take on the Okanagan Sun at Westhills Stadium Saturday, Oct. 7. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

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