For much of the first half Saturday night at the Apple Bowl, the prognosis didn’t look good for the Okanagan Sun.
The Sun struggled to find its rhythm on both sides of the ball and found themselves in an early hole against the defending BCFC champion Westshore Rebels.
But in the end, persistence paid off as Ben Macauley’s club rallied for a 19-15 victory in the B.C. Football Conference opener for both clubs.
The Rebels scored on a pair of long passing plays to jump on top 14-0 a minute into the second quarter.
The Sun fought back with two majors of their own before the end of the first half. Quarterback Keith Zyla plunged into the end zone on a third-and-goal play from the three, followed by Kyler Mosley’s one-yard run with just 15 seconds remaining in the half to tie the score at 14.
Neither club could generate much offense in the second half. The winning points for the Sun came on a safety in the third quarter. Kicker Isaac Wegner booted a 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
The Sun was sharp on both defense and special teams in the second half forcing seven turnovers on the night.
Linebacker Conor Richard was a big factor on defense for the Sun, recovering a fumble and partially blocking a punt.
Cole Klughart blocked a field goal attempt in the first half that would have given the Rebels a 17-0, but instead turned the momentum in the Sun’s favour.
Okanagan (1-0) will host the Kamloops Broncos next Saturday night at the Apple Bowl. Kick off is 7 p.m.