By Greg Price
Taber bantam Rebels football team made a statement in its first game of the regular 2019 season by blanking Lethbridge Junior Coyotes 44-0 this past week on the road.
The Rebels rumbled their way to 232 yards on the ground on day that saw them churn out 339 yards of total offence.
Evan Rabusic scampered for 105 yards and two touchdowns, while also scoring another major on a 41-yard punt return.
“He rambled through at least four would-be tacklers for a TD and I feel that’s what set the tone for the game,” said Jamie O’Connor, head coach of the Taber bantam Rebels football team.
Quarterback Brennan Abela added two touchdowns himself, including an impressive 99 yard run, close to his own goal line. Noah Mouland rounded out the Rebels scoring with a six-yard touchdown reception from Abela. Abela would go on t be 6-for-9 for 107 yards passing.
“It was really great to see a good balance in our offence to start the season,” said O’Connor. “It was able to keep the Coyotes’ defenders scrambling all game.
Defensively, the Rebels were led by lineman Tyson Harker, linebacker Allen Clements and rookie defensive end Kayden Wright who combined for 23 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery by Clements. Elias Cooper, Cody Heide, Mouland and Rabusic all finished with three tackles each.
“Our first two defensive series, the Coyotes had a huge time of possession advantage on us, but the boys never slowed up,” said O’Connor. “The Coyotes were able to move the ball in short chunks and you could tell we were nervous a bit, but a big stop on third-and-goal at the one-yard line fired up the ‘D’ for the rest of the game. Overall, I was impressed with how our team responded and I don’t think there was a player left off the stat sheet whether it be offence or defence. It was a total team victory. We have been talking about the team mentality to the boys since the first practice and they have all bought in.”
Taber bantam Rebels football team kicks off its home opener this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park against the Coaldale Spartans.