With two easier exhibition wins under their belts, the Rebels faced a formidable foe in the provincially-ranked Bulldogs on Thursday.
“Obviously, we didn’t come out very strong. That was predictable when you think of how young we are. This was the third game of our season, but this was the first game we were really challenged and so for a lot of our Grade 10s and Grade 11s, this was their first real meaningful high school game and I think they were a little shell shocked at first and the score indicated that,” said Adam Hughes, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels football team.
Racing out to a 30-point deficit to the Bulldogs, the Rebels did manage to make numerous adjustments to make for a much more respectable showing against the Bulldogs, which saw some pushback with the defensive second-half shutout.
Stacking the box against the Rebels, the Bulldogs played its safety tight, in which the Rebels were able to find the chinks in the armour in the second half to move the ball more effectively, which Hughes highlighted the chunks of yardage Josh Sebok was able to get at fullback.
Defensively, Dylan Tams and Craig Avison were the big hitters for the Rebels, according to Hughes, to help shutout the Bulldogs’ offence in the second half.
“We talked about going out and simplifying things and continuing to stick with it and do our best and play to our strengths with our speed,” said Hughes.
“The thing that was promising in the second half was their offence didn’t score. They kept their starters in until about four minutes left in the second half, so it’s not like we were playing against their scrubs. We really stepped up our offensive game.”
“On offence we started to move the ball well, returning to the things that gave us success in our first two games. We took the second half as a real positive. It was a good test to see where we stacked up against the rest of the province.”
Hughes admitted how the Rebels stack up has the team needing to do some work, but saw plenty of things to build on with the more impressive second half of the Rebels tussle with the Bulldogs.
“The shortcomings I saw are things we can fix so in the playoffs, when we see Winston again, we will be able to start the way we finished and keep the game close and be competitive,” said Hughes.
The Rebels will have plenty of preparation time for its next opponent who have an off week this week, before travelling to Cardston on Sept. 27.
“We were exposed in a couple of areas on offence and defence and that is what this week will be in practice, to get healthy and fix those flaws,” said Hughes.