By Greg Price
W.R. Myers Rebels football team couldn’t get out of its own way in a tough-to-take 21-14 loss to Winston Churchill Bulldogs on the road on Friday.
There were 255 yards on 21 penalties which rivaled total offensive yards (243) to make for a sluggish game for the Rebels who still had their opportunities to win.
“This was a tough loss to swallow. We just shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers,” said Jason Jensen, head coach of the W.R. Myers Rebels football team.
The Rebels started the contest strong, forcing a two-and-out on the Bulldogs’ opening possession, where W.R. Myers replied with an impressive six-play drive, culminating in a 35-yard Quinn Bailey touchdown run.
“From there on out, it turned into a grind, with both teams exchanging short series, before Bailey again broke loose on a 50-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately for us, that run would be called back due to a penalty, which would become something of a trend as the game wore on,” said Jensen.
A missed Rebels field goal in the second quarter had the Bulldogs responding themselves with a 55-yard touchdown run themselves three plays later.
The Rebels answered back with quarterback Kade Lund hitting fullback Shawn Harris on a 60-yard catch and run to put the Rebels up again by a score.
The Bulldogs kept coming back and eventually connected on along pass of their won to tie the game heading into half-time.
“The second half is where we really ran into trouble. On offence, we moved the ball effectively, but every time we seemed poised to score, we derailed ourselves with penalties and turnovers. The defence played outstanding for the most part, keeping the Bulldogs out of the endzone for the whole third quarter, but even there, we had several drive-extending flags, which proved quite frustrating,” said Jensen.
Something eventually had to give and it did in the form of a long Bulldogs punt return and then 25-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Our boys never quit, and fought hard until the end, but unfortunately, another turnover would snuff out our last chance to tie the game up.
Lund would finish the game with 6-for-19 passing for 124 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Harris made four grabs for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Rebels had 119 rushing yards on the ground, with the offence turning the ball over four times.
“Games like this are frustrating. You can’t expect to win when you’re taking penalties, and consistently turning the ball over. As the head coach, I have to take responsibility for that,” said Jensen. “I can blame some of it on the weather last week, which forced us indoors for practice all week, but still, we have to find ways to make sure we’re prepared, even when Mother Nature doesn’t co-operate.”
The Rebels will need to figure things out quickly in a short turnaround, as the team travels to Claresholm to play Willow Creek Cobras on Thursday.
“They’re by far our biggest rivals, and this game has major implications on the Dawson Trophy race, as well as provincials seeding. I’m confident that if we’re sharp, and at our best, we’ll beat them. We definitely have the talent to do it, but any game with Willow Creek, especially in Claresholm, is extremely tough. I’m looking forward to seeing what Thursday night brings,” said Jensen.