It was simply too big of a mountain to climb for the Okanagan Sun.
The Westshore Rebels scored the game’s first 32 points, then held off the Sun for a 32-21 victory in the BC Football Conference final Saturday in Victoria.
It was the Rebels’ first Cullen Cup win since 2003.
Turnovers were the Sun’s undoing, as the defending BCFC champs threw three interceptions, lost three fumbles and turned the ball over once on downs.
The Sun had trouble containing the Rebels’ running game. Conference outstanding offensive player Jamel Lyles rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Ashton MacKinnon ran 12 times for 82 yards.
The Rebels led 10-0 after the first quarter and 25-0 at the half.
Down 32-0, the Sun battled back with three touchdowns in the second half, but ultimately fell short.
Keith Zyla and Kyler Mosley scored touchdowns along the ground for the Sun, while Zyla found Shamar Donelson in the air for the other Okanagan major.
Graduating Sun receiver Pierre Luc-Lord was named the game’s top special teams player.
The Rebels will host the Canadian Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 12 against the champions from the Prairie Football Conference.