May 20th, 2024

Tough luck rocks Rebels in final

By Dale Woodard on November 30, 2021.

The Taber W.R. Myers Rebels had their opponent in the Sexsmith Sabres as the teams clashed in the Football Alberta Tier IV championship Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Rebels, a second opponent showed up after the game started and this one happened to be Murphy’s Law.

The fifth-ranked Rebels were defeated 51-7 by the top-seeded Sabres in the championship game Saturday afternoon at Commonwealth Stadium.

Though the Rebels enjoyed a strong start, Murphy’s Law showed up and in the spirit of that law, everything that could have gone wrong, did.

“It started out really well for us,” said Rebels head coach Jason Jensen.

“We stopped them to begin and we drove down and scored. They ended up answering back after a couple of drives. We knew we were in with a team we were pretty evenly matched with, but then it seemed like everything that could go wrong for us went wrong.

“We had a couple catastrophic injuries early in the game and lost some of our best players. We just had wacky stuff happen, weird fumbles, too many penalties, it was just one of those things we couldn’t come back from. It was 21-7 at the half, so we still felt like we were in it.”

By the second half, the deeper Sabres bench became evident as the Rebels fell behind to the numbers game.

“Our boys got worn down and with the injuries, we didn’t quite have the subs to replace those guys. We had too many guys playing both ways.”

Kyler James was felled with knee injury and Cody Heide also went down to injury.

“Some other guys were banged up and we ended up having to pull them later in the game.”

Still, Jensen gave credit to his charges for going out swinging even when the Sabres pulled away.

“Through all of this I couldn’t be more proud of my boys,” he said. “They hung in there and fought until the very end. Winning championships is fantastic, but the reason I do this is to force these young men into something strong and better than they were when they came to me. So when I see that type of fight left in a team, even into the fourth quarter when we knew the game was out of hand, they were still wanting to go out and fight. I had injured guys begging me to put them back on the field. That type of thing makes me feel really proud as a coach. That’s the important thing about football.”

It made for a “magical” year, said Jensen.

“In the middle of the year I know a lot of people had us written off when we went on a bit of a losing skid against those top teams. But these boys never quit on me and I can look back on that with a lot of pride.”

The loss aside, there was the whole Commonwealth Stadium experience to be soaked up.

“The weekend was fantastic,” said Jensen. “We went up to practice at Clarke Field. We went and watched the Tier II game at Commonwealth and just to be able to play out there was pretty good. Those boys loved that part of it.”

Evan Rabusic had eight carries for 30 yards, while Lund rushed for 25.

Mason Werewka had four receptions for 25 yards and Kyler James hauled in two passes for 29 yards before going down to injury.

Lund completed 10 of 19 passes for 126 yards and three interceptions.

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