May 30th, 2024

Rebels will play for another day


By Dale Woodard on November 17, 2021.

For some members of the Taber W.R. Myers Rebels football team, it was their last home game ever.

But thanks to a winning effort last weekend, it’s not their last football game.

Hosting the Canmore Wolverines in the Football Alberta Tier IV South semifinal Saturday afternoon on their Ken McDonald Sports Complex home field, the Rebels posted a 38-6 victory.

That earns the fifth-ranked Rebels at least one more game – this one on the road – as the W.R. Myers squad heads to Drumheller to take on the second-seeded Titans in the South final Saturday at 1 p.m.

Thanks to Saturday’s home effort, the Rebels now get at least one more game with the winner of this weekend’s game advancing to the Tier IV provincial final Nov. 27 at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton against the winner of the North championship game between the #8 Ardrossan Bisons and the #1 Sexsmith Sabres.

“The guys were pretty dialed in,” said Rebels head coach Jason Jensen. “For a lot of them we knew it would be their last home game for the season and for our seniors it was the last time they would ever play on that field. So they had it in their heads they wanted to walk off as winners.”

A quick start Saturday ensured that happened.

“Our field is still in great shape in Taber, so it set up for a good day for us,” said Jensen. “The guys were fired up. We came out of the gate on defence and stopped them right away and then drove down and scored on offence and just took off from there. It was probably the best game we played all season.”

Rebels quarterback Kade Lund passed for 276 yards, completing 13-of-22 passes for five touchdowns and one interception.

Mason Werewka had two receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns, while Colby Hansen had three receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown.

Kyler James added a major on five receptions and 40 yards and Aiden O’Connor added two receptions for 42 yards to go along with one touchdown.

The Rebels opened up a 28-0 lead at the half on Saturday.

“It was one of those games where we were able to get everybody lots of playing time,” said Jensen. “We got some backups in early in the second half and still managed to put up another touchdown. Canmore, to their credit, never stopped coming at us and managed to break off a nice long play in the second half to get on the board.”

The Rebels were 3-4 heading into Saturday’s South semifinal.

It made for an up-and-down season for the team, but that was by design from the coaching staff.

“This has been the hardest schedule I’ve ever put together,” said Jensen. “That was for this reason. I wanted these guys battle-tested throughout the year. So as it is right now, we are kind of healed up from all of our injuries and these guys looked good in the first game of provincials. That is what I was preaching to them all season with that and it paid off.”

It now sets up the South championship against the second-ranked Titans, who defeated the ninth-ranked Claresholm Willow Creek Cobras 19-12 Saturday.

“They’ve had a great season,” said Jensen.

“They have been beating pretty much everybody in front of them. Both teams have traded film. I have seen them on film and they’re a good football team. Drumheller brings a tough fight to us, that is never an easy game, especially going into Drumheller. We know we have our work cut out for us this week.

“They have some speedy guys like we do. Defensively, we’re going to have to key on their speedy guys. Offensively, we just have to set the tone with our game.”

The Rebels lost to Drumheller in the provincial quarter-final in 2019.

“So playing in a provincial semifinal is a first for them,” said Jensen. “All of my seniors were on the sidelines for the game we lost against Canmore in 2018 in the provincial semifinals. So they’ve had a little taste of it.”

Still, Saturday’s game is just another football game, said Jensen, with the simple objective of earning the right to play for one more after this weekend.

“The guys have it in their heads, they do not want it to be their last game. What I have been preaching through the playoffs is earning another game. You win this week to earn yourself another game. They still have the opportunity to play two more football games this year, but they have to earn it this weekend.”

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