The Taber bantam Rebels football team scored a decisive win Saturday in Claresholm.
An opening-drive touchdown set the tone for the visitors, as the Rebels rolled to a 41-0 win.
Evan Rabusic scored on a 75-yard touchdown run on Taber’s second play from scrimmage, which turned out to be the start of a dominating performance for the first-year running back.
Rabusic ended the day with 164 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, part of a 277-yard rushing attack for the Rebels.
“We moved the ball effectively all day on offence,” said Rebels assistant coach Garrett Simmons. “Evan set the tone early and we never looked back.”
Kyler James was the next Rebel to get on the board, as he took a Kade Lund pass and scampered 40 yards for a touchdown. Rabusic added scoring runs of 20 and 44 yards to put Taber up big after two quarters.
“We mixed in the run and the pass those first two quarters and tried to keep the Claresholm defence off balance,” said Simmons. “Our defence also held strong, and really allowed us to take a comfortable lead into the locker room at the half.”
Brennan Abela took over the quarterbacking duties after the Rebels built an early lead, and the Grade 8 QB directed two scoring drives in the second half to end the contest. Abela capped off drives with scoring runs of 22 and 45 yards, as the Rebels battled the home team, and the elements, to secure the win.
“It wasn’t the greatest weather we’ve ever played in, especially for a late-September game,” said Simmons, who added the driving sleet in the first quarter and the near-freezing temperatures posed an early challenge. “The kids battled through the elements and really did their best to focus on playing football.”
At the end of the day, Lund finished 3-for-3 for 73 yards and a passing touchdown, while James accounted for all 73 of those yards through the air. Aiden O’Connor added 50 receiving yards, while Abela threw for another 73 yards.
Rabusic’s 164 yards led all rushers, while Abela added 85 yards and O’Connor accounted for 34 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Mason Werewka had a big day with six tackles, two quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery. Cohen Broadbent and Nathan Keeping recorded eight tackles each. Noah Mouland had six tackles and a fumble recovery and O’Connor added six stops and one interception. Logan Porter added five tackles.
“Our defence was lights out again,” said Simmons. “We’ve pitched shutouts in three of our four league games, which has been very impressive. We rallied to the ball well against Claresholm, just like we did the previous week against the Coyotes, and made them work for every inch of the field.”
The 3-1 Rebels next face the Lethbridge Bulldogs on Oct. 13 in a 1 p.m. game in Taber.