Sports

V.I. Raiders can climb into first

Things can change in a hurry in the B.C. Football Conference.

The V.I. Raiders, buoyed by a big win last weekend, are now about to battle for first place. The men in black host the Langley Rams this Saturday (Sept. 14) at Caledonia Park.

Nanaimo is coming off a 45-17 victory over the Okanagan Sun last weekend.

“A big win like that kind of gives everybody a sense of belief that what we are doing and the path we’re on is the right one,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach.

It could be a turning point in the season, but that’s yet to be determined.

“If we don’t win this week, I guess it’s not that much of a turning point,” the coach said.

So the focus falls completely now on the task at hand, a matchup with B.C.’s defending champions.

Not many opposing teams win at Caledonia Park, but the Rams have done it twice in row – last fall’s provincial championship, and then a 36-28 game last month.

“We’re going to see who’s gotten better since the last time we played,” said Blokker. “We’re healthier than we’ve been, we feel we’re playing better than we have and we’ve got a little more confidence than what we had when we played them the first time.”

Ashton Galloway, V.I. fullback, said the Raiders are a totally different team than they were five weeks ago.

“We’ve progressively been getting better during the season,” he said. “Every single week, at practice we get better and better.”

The Rams are coming off a blowout win themselves, 49-17 over the Westshore Rebels last weekend in which they were led by tailback Kyle Albertini’s 215 rushing yards.

Blokker said the teams’ offences have some similarities – both can run the ball effectively, and both have receivers that demand double coverage.

Blokker said the Raiders’ D isn’t having as many lapses lately, and its up-front play has been effective at stopping the run. One of the keys, the coach said, will be to try to contain Langley’s quarterback Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren who leads the BCFC in both passing and rushing touchdowns.

The Raiders’ primary goal on Saturday will be to win a football game, obviously, but if they can manage to win by nine points or more, they will ascend to the top of the standings.

“That’s what every team wants and that’s exactly what we want,” said Galloway.

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rams kick off Saturday at 2 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets will be available at the gate.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
Nanaimo man wanted on Canada-wide warrant
 
Difficult birth for LNG cash cow
CANCER & FAMILIES-Part 3 – Family focus brought to cancer care
 
Fire departments respond to school fire
 
Smoke Alarm - October 29
E&N optimism up after meeting, election
 
ELECTION 2104: Candidate wants the E&N turned into high-tech testing ground
 
2012 Predictions - Theatre - Clayton Jevne, Theatre Inconnu

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event




Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.