Nick Robinson, defensive lineman for the V.I. Raiders, tackles Kamloops Broncos QB Nicolas Nica in the team’s home opener on Saturday. The Raiders won 47-17. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

V.I. Raiders earn first win of the season

Raiders blow out Kamloops Broncos in home opener in Nanaimo

With starting QB Jake Laberge injured, backup Cole McGarvey rose to the occasion and steered the Vancouver Island Raiders to a 47-17 win over the Kamloops Broncos Saturday afternoon.

The Raiders had lost their first two of the season, both on the road, but put on a strong performance at Caledonia Park in the team’s first win. Laberge suffered a shoulder injury late in the team’s loss to the Westshore Rebels last week and Curtis Vizza, Raiders’ head coach, said McGarvey got first-team reps in practice in the lead up to the home opener. Vizza was pleased with McGarvey’s play.

“With Cole McGarvey, he’s been here day in and day out,” said Vizza. “He’s been a leader on and off the field for a while now. For him to step up in this role, it’s not a major transition for us. Cole knows the offence, he’s got a lot of respect from everyone here and showing here today, he can be our guy.”

RELATED: V.I. Raiders take to home field for first time in 2019

RELATED: V.I. Raiders make coaching change

McGarvey said he relished the opportunity to start, especially in front of the Caledonia Park faithful, and the team, who went into halftime with a 22-14 lead, came on in the third and fourth quarters.

“I think we came out a little sloppy, but it was just all on us, things we could fix, little things,” said McGarvey, about the play of the offence. “I think the second half was more of our [game], but we still need to play a 60-minute game.”

Andre Goulbourne, V.I. running back, said it was good to finally stop a two-game slide.

“It was a big relief, you know? We were coming in, ready for these guys and we got it done,” said Goulbourne.

McGarvey finished 17-for-27 passing for 406 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Mike West had eight catches for 140 yards and Jared Braun had three catches for 111 yards. Goulbourne carried the ball 18 times and gained 125 yards.

Defensively, Andre Gordon had two interceptions and Gevhahn McNally-Hardisty and Nils Haeni also had picks. Ethan Moran had five tackles, Tyler Hill had a fumble recovery and Matt Hill and Doug Thornton had sacks.

The win not only represented the first win of the season, it also was Vizza’s first as head coach of the Raiders. Vizza was promoted from offensive line coach last November, replacing Doug Hocking.

Laberge is listed as week-to-week, according to Vizza.

GAME ON … The Raiders will host the Okanagan Sun Satuday, Aug. 24 at Caledonia Park. Kickoff is at 3 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Nanaimo high school students cut class to attend climate action rally

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo rally raises awareness, demands action against climate change

Public meeting will explore ideas to battle addiction and crime in Nanaimo

Organizers call for treatment centres, accountability for crimes, citizens’ task force

VIU students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

VIU Students’ Union, B.C. Federation of Students launch ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates ‘disappointed’ with prime minister over blackface

Situation a ‘nightmare’ for Trudeau and the Liberals, says VIU professor

RDN transit committee recommends keeping bus loop at Port Drive until summer

Regional District of Nanaimo board to debate recommendation Oct. 22

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Nanaimo athletes earn gold, silver, bronze at 55-Plus B.C. Games

Huge contingent of local participants competed in largest-ever 55-Plus B.C. Games in Kelowna

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Most Read