By Greg Price
It was a nail-biting loss and a dominant win that was featured among the week’s gridiron action for the Taber peewee Rebels football team.
The loss was a 7-6 cliff hanger against the Raymond Junior Comets on Sept. 19 at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park.
“The loss was certainly not for a lack of effort. We had two penalties and one of them called back what would have been the game-winning touchdown,” said Jamie O’Connor, head coach of the Taber peewee Rebels football team. “But that’s football, and that’s why the game is played.”
The lone Rebels touchdown was punched in by Mason Werewka, on a one-yard rumble, set up by a lengthy scramble by quarterback Aiden O’Connor.
Things changed for the better on Saturday with sheer dominance as the Rebels shutout the Lethbridge Junior Coyotes 40-0 at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park.
In a sign of things to come, Ezra Oevering took it to the house on the opening kickoff for the major to give the Rebels a lead it would never look back from.
“It helped take away all the jitters the kids may have had before the start of the game. From a coach’s standpoint, we could tell the kids were nervous before the start of the game as they felt they deserved a better outcome from the week before,” said O’Connor.
From that point, it was the Mason Werewka show, as the speedy running back was able to dart between many would-be Coyotes tacklers on the way to the Rebels’ next three touchdowns.
“He was on fire all game, and as the game went on, he got stronger not only on the offence, but the defensive side of the ball as well,” said O’Connor.
Brendan Klassen recovered an onside kick in special teams, along with a pick-six, returning an interception for a touchdown.
To help develop the kicking game, the now-sanctioned peewee league under SAMFA in 2016, gives two points for a kick convert, and only one point if you run it in. Oevering was 5/5 in kick convert attempts which gave him confidence in his kickoffs as well with booming deep kicks.
The team was firing on all cylinders as just with the offence and special teams, the defence came up big as well, including a goal-line stand that included Cohen Broadbent busting through the line to register tackles for losses.
“We had a big lead, but the boys didn’t want to give them anything, and we were proud of the effort all the boys put in. It truly was a team effort from start to finish,” said O’Connor.
“Through five games, the defence has allowed only three scores. I’m confident we can keep this trend going on defence, and hope that our offence can keep pace as well.”
The Rebels were on the road against the Rams on Monday on a season slate that will continue to be tough and competitive as the Rebels’ results from its seeding jamboree to start the season has it playing in the ‘A’ division along with the likes of Raymond, Magrath, Cardston, Lethbridge Rams and Lethbridge Coyotes.