The V.I. Raiders won a playoff mismatch on the weekend.
Nanaimo’s junior football team overwhelmed the Kamloops Broncos 63-7 on Saturday at Caledonia Park in the B.C. Football Conference semifinals.
The Raiders led 42-0 at halftime and 63-7 after three quarters before the clock was sped up for a mercy-rule fourth quarter.
“When you break it down, it was one of our better performances as a team…” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach. “We’re on this roll and we’re peaking at the right time and we’re still getting better every game.”
Raiders quarterbacks Jaeden Marwick and Jahmari Bennett shared playing time almost equally, with Bennett throwing three touchdown passes and Marwick throwing two. Marwick was 8-for-12 for 177 yards and Bennett was 4-for-5 for 52.
Dustin Rodriguez scored two punt-return touchdowns in the first half, one from 55 yards and one from 63 yards.
Whitman Tomusiak caught two TD passes, including a 35-yard reception, and Ashton Galloway had a 53-yard rushing TD and a short TD catch.
Andrew Deleon scored a major on a 35-yard catch-and-run play and Alex Thompson got behind coverage to score a 57-yard touchdown reception. Nanaimo’s other TD was scored by Micheal Ritchott on a 14-yard run play. Ritchott led the Raiders in rushing with six carries for 94 yards.
The Broncos scored their only points early in the second half as Derek Yachison caught a 43-yard touchdown pass. Caleb Grinberg had 160 receiving yards for the visitors.
Defensively for the Raiders, Jaxxen Wylie, Cole Bishop and Fabian Ross had interceptions, Ash Gayat had two sacks and Quinton Bowles also got to the quarterback. Dylan Chapdelaine had a team-high five tackles.
The Broncos’ D was led by Julio Makambo who had a sack, a fumble recovery and five tackles. Dan Orydzuk had a game-high seven tackles.
“Obviously it wasn’t really a competition out there…” said Tomusiak. “We just try to focus on our own thing. We have our plays and we execute them; it doesn’t matter who’s out there.”
Bowles said his team felt the playoff switch turn on midway through the practice week.
“We knew it was time to rock and roll, and that’s what we did, we rocked and rolled,” he said. “Our coaches are always reminding us, keep that intensity, keep it going, raise the level.”
The Raiders will need to get ready to raise the level again next week, as they’ll host the Langley Rams in the B.C. championship game. The Rams defeated the Okanagan Sun 24-13 on Sunday in Kelowna.
GAME ON … The Raiders and the Rams play this Saturday (Oct. 19) at 1 p.m. at Caledonia Park.