V.I. Raiders punt returner Josh Paisley directs his blockers during a long punt-return touchdown during Saturday's B.C. Football Conference game against the Kamloops Broncos at Caledonia Park.

V.I. Raiders punt returner Josh Paisley directs his blockers during a long punt-return touchdown during Saturday's B.C. Football Conference game against the Kamloops Broncos at Caledonia Park.

Raiders beat Broncos to start football season

NANAIMO – The V.I. Raiders won their BCFC home opener Saturday, defeating the Kamloops Broncos 37-14 at Caledonia Park.

The V.I. Raiders got the right kind of start to the season.

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team won its home opener Saturday, defeating the Kamloops Broncos 37-14 at Caledonia Park.

“We played well,” said Nate Berg, V.I. tailback. “You’ve got a new group of guys where you don’t really know what to expect, so it’s the first test to see how we’re going to hold up.”

The Raiders were effective in all three facets of the game against the Broncos. Nanaimo’s defence set the tone early, pitching a shutout for the first three quarters to allow the offence to build a lead.

“Defence is pretty much just energy,” said Nathan Warawa, V.I. defensive lineman. “We came out, we get two and outs, we get two and outs, we get a pick in one play and then we go and sit and then watch the offence and they feed off that too. So if we get the momentum going, if we start it on defence, then it carries over.”

Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach, called the win a good start and liked a lot of aspects of his team’s performance. He said the defence was awesome, which helped rookie quarterback Jake Laberge and the offence.

“There was no pressure on him right away because our defence was playing so well, so he could settle down and play his game,” Erdman said.

The Raiders had a lot of success with Berg and the run game behind strong run blocking from the offensive line.

“We’ll try and run the ball against everybody,” Erdman said. “If you’re able to run the ball effectively, that opens up the rest of your game and defences love it, you’re chewing up the clock.”

Berg scored V.I.’s first touchdown, a four-yard rush late in the first quarter.

Laberge threw two touchdowns, 15 yards to Dustin Rodriguez in the second quarter and 47 yards to Brycen Mayoh in the fourth quarter. He also threw one interception early in the game.

Josh Paisley scored an 85-yard punt-return TD at the end of the third quarter.

Laberge finished 12-of-24 passing for 264 yards. Berg rushed 19 times for 114 yards. Rodriguez made four catches for 111 yards and Mayoh had four catches for 99 yards.

James Parker was 2-for-3 on field goal attempts, missing from 37 yards and then hitting from 33 yards and 36 yards. Bryce Couture was 1-for-1 with a 31-yard FG.

Defensively, Warawa had a sack and a fumble recovery and Kaelan Botel and Tyler Hill also recovered fumbles. Alex Eberling had an interception and Cory Fletcher, Matt Hill and Doug Thornton each had sacks. Gevhahn McNally-Hardisty made eight tackles and had two knockdowns.

For the Broncos, Brett Ablitt had a 19-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Colby Henkel and Jordan Angove had a 101-yard kickoff return TD.

Henkel finished 16-of-22 passing for 119 yards. Broden Romanovitch had nine receptions for 93 yards and Brody Bernier added six catches for 92 yards.

Defensively for Kamloops, Angove had an interception and Cory Yeast and Oso Okojie had sacks and Jesse Zajaros recovered a fumble and had a team-high five solo tackles.

GAME ON … The Raiders visit the Westshore Rebels on Saturday (July 30) in Victoria in a 7 p.m. game.


Just Posted

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read