Kamloops Broncos player Kaden Cook, left, tackles V.I. Raiders receiver Adam Finnik as Andrew Baerg of the Broncos and Trevor Pelland of the Raiders keep their eyes on the play. (KARL YU/The News Bulletin)

Raiders beat Broncos 51-10

V.I. players set records on special teams, defence

The V.I. Raiders ran roughshod over the opposition this past weekend.

The Raiders were 51-10 winners against the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday at Caledonia Park. The game was 10-10 after one quarter, but V.I. played shutout defence after that and some huge special teams plays helped turn the contest into a blowout.

“It kind of went the way we expected it to go, as long as we played good and executed, and that’s what we did,” said Doug Hocking, Raiders coach.

Brycen Mayoh had a monster game with a 68-yard punt-return touchdown, a 128-yard missed-field-goal-return TD in the second quarter and 110 receiving yards including a TD reception. He had another missed-field-goal-return TD called back on a penalty.

V.I. scored 24 points in the third quarter to take over the game, capitalizing on some Kamloops turnovers to gain field position.

Hocking said the Raiders’ work on special teams helped its offence settle down in the second half. Playing with a lead helped, too.

“Once we got up by a couple scores, we pretty much knew that they were going to pass the ball the rest of the day and that let Quinton Bowles and our defensive line tee off,” the coach said.

Bowles finished the game with a team-record five sacks.

Jake Laberge finished 9-for-18 passing for 171 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Jamie Ybarra made his season debut, going 3-for-11 for 61 yards and a TD.

Mayoh’s 128-yard missed-field-goal return was the longest in BCFC history; the old record of 125 yards had been set by Armen Pogosian of the Vancouver Trojans in 1996.

North Rainey and Adam Finnik caught TD passes Saturday. Rhett Williams rushed for a TD and Zander Bailey had 13 carries for 71 yards as four different tailbacks combined for 154 yards.

James Parker was 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 37-yarder, and kicked six converts.

Bowles’s five sacks in one game tied a BCFC record shared by four players. The previous team record of four had already belonged to Bowles and had been set in 2014.

Brody Taylor had three sacks on Saturday, Alex Eberling made five tackles and Ethan Moran had a fumble recovery.

The Raiders didn’t turn the ball over, while the Broncos turned it over four times, all on special teams plays.

Hocking said he’s proud of his players and coaching staff, not only for Saturday’s win, but for the progression he’s seeing with the football team.

“We’re not even close to playing our best football. We’re still getting better every week,” he said. “Every week it shows that our guys are buying into our coaching and what we preach inside the locker room.”

GAME ON … The V.I. Raiders (3-1) will play the Okanagan Sun (4-0) on Saturday (Aug. 26) at 2 p.m. at Nanaimo’s Caledonia Park.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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