V.I. Raiders defensive back Josh Paisley intercepts a pass intended for Westshore Rebels receiver Nick Spindor during Saturday's B.C. Football Conference game at Caledonia Park. The Raiders won 48-7.

Raiders beat Rebels to finish strong

The V.I. Raiders defeated the Westshore Rebels 48-7 on Saturday at Caledonia Park to finish the B.C. Football Conference schedule.

The V.I. Raiders kept up their gridiron grind all the way through the last game of the regular season, and now they can get ready for playoffs.

The Raiders defeated the Westshore Rebels 48-7 on Saturday at Caledonia Park to finish the B.C. Football Conference schedule.

“Overall we executed pretty well…” said Brian Ridgeway, Raiders coach. “We got to use the whole bench this game, which is good, and all the guys got meaningful reps.”

There was nothing at stake in the standings on Saturday, as the Raiders were already headed to the post-season and the Rebels couldn’t qualify, but the visitors played with pride and the home team matched that, and more.

“A walk in the park doesn’t really help us at all. We need that intensity and that competition to get better and Victoria has some good players and they always play us tough,” Ridgeway said.

Marshall Cook, V.I. receiver, liked the way his team played hard right till the end of the regular season.

“It’s fantastic to be able to stay out there and stay fully focused from the opening snap to the end of the game,” he said. “Being able to do that now translates to when it comes down to big games.”

Cook had a huge performance in his final regular-season game as a Raider, making seven catches for 258 yards and three touchdowns, including a 98-yard major.

His stats will secure a league receiving title, and his 64 catches and 1,084 yards are both third-best in BCFC history.

Quarterback Liam O’Brien was 12-for-20 in Saturday’s victory, giving him 171 completions and 2,842 yards, both fourth-best in BCFC history. He threw TD passes to Alex Kutra and Cook and ran one in himself. Other TDs were scored by Micheal Ritchott, on a 70-yard run early in the first quarter, and Nate Berg, on a four-yard run in the second quarter. Kurt Parsons threw two second-half TDs to Cook. Ritchott finished with 128 rushing yards on five carries.

Defensively, Nathan Mayers, Josh Paisley and Travis Novak had interceptions and Tyler Harvey and Kaelan Botel had one and a half sacks each. Dylan Chapdelaine made seven solo tackles and Nigel Henry had five tackles and a sack.

For Victoria, Nick Spindor caught a 29-yard TD pass in the first quarter. Rebels QB Hunter Lake was 20-for-40 passing and finishes 2014 with 177 completions, third-most in BCFC history. Rebels DB Braeden Swatez, who is from Nanaimo, had a standout game with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

GAME ON … The Raiders play the Okanagan Sun in the B.C. semifinals on Oct. 19 at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna. Kickoff time has not been finalized, but is expected to be 1 p.m.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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