A late touchdown made it close, but two missed field goals earlier meant it didn’t matter in the Okanagan Sun’s 16-13 loss to the Westshore Rebels on Saturday night at the Apple Bowl.
The loss was the 2-1 Sun’s first this season in the B.C. Football Conference while the Rebels improved to 3-0.
It was a grind-it-out football game that featured good running and good defence, but too many mistakes almost everywhere else.
Kelton Kouri rushed six times for 96 yards — including a 64-yarder that looked to change the game in the second half. Two plays later, though, the Sun nearly fumbled the ball away on a bobbled hand-off attempt and had to settle for a field goal.
Malcolm Miller caught two passes for 57 yards, one of which he turned into that late TD. He also rushed four times for 13 yards.
Miller’s 41-yard score came with the Sun trailing 16-7 with just a few minutes remaining. The Rebels stopped the Sun’s two-point conversion and the ensuing on-side kick.
Finding a starting quarterback remains a work in progress.
Alex Douglas was 8-for-18 for 126 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Ethan Newman was 7-for-13 for 46 yards and an INT of his own.
Newman also attempted a lateral pass that missed Miller and landed in the end zone, where Rebels’ Kieran Benedito de Barros landed on it for a score.
Sun kicker Isaac Wegner kicked two singles and a field goal, but also missed twice.
Kyle Clarke of the Rebels was essentially the difference. He kicked three field goals and one conversion.
The Sun defence also forced a safety to account for the remainder of their scoring.
Okanagan will look to rebound on Saturday with a trip to Nanaimo to face the Vancouver Island Raiders for a difficult 3 p.m. start.
V.I. earned its first win of the season thanks to a 47-17 victory over the Kamloops Broncos.
Elsewhere in the BCFC on the weekend, the Langley Rams remained the team to beat after a 38-10 win over the Valley Huskers (0-3).