V.I. Raiders kicker Matius Bueno tries for a field goal during a game against the Langley Rams earlier this season on the mainland.

Raiders face first-place Rams

The V.I. Raiders have a chance to bounce back from blowout losses. Nanaimo hosts the Langley Rams on Saturday (Aug. 23) at Caledonia Park.

The V.I. Raiders have a chance to bounce back from blowout losses.

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team hosts the Langley Rams on Saturday (Aug. 23) at Caledonia Park.

Langley is undefeated and in first place in the B.C. Football Conference, but V.I. could be competitive against the visitors this weekend. The Raiders believe that a lot of little things are going wrong, which has led to big plays and big scores against them.

“It just seems like a lot of little things that we just need to put back together,” said Dylan Chapdelaine, Raiders safety.

An example, said coach Brian Ridgeway, is special teams, where V.I. is “one block away, one missed assignment” from doing some real damage.

Specials were one of the reasons why the Raiders lost to the Rams in the season opener last month on the mainland. V.I. will have to be careful again this week against Langley’s John Beckerleg, who already has three kickoff return touchdowns and one punt return TD this season.

The game will also feature two of the league’s top quarterbacks, Rams quarterback Dylan Tucker, a former Nanaimo Redmen pivot, is the BCFC’s most accurate passer and Raiders QB Liam O’Brien leads the league in yardage.

The Raiders may be lining up against the Rams on Saturday but V.I. feels like it needs to address, first and foremost, its own game. The team worked on tackling and other fundamentals this week, and it also needs to be mentally prepared to play after back-to-back tough losses.

“We’ve had a lot of adversity – we want to see how we respond,” said Ridgeway.

Chapdelaine said the Raiders have to put the Sun games behind them.

“We just have to … focus on us and get us better,” he said. “It’s a new game. So just forget about last week and come out firing this week because it’s going to be 0-0 starting the game.”

Ridgeway said despite the team’s struggles, he’s seeing “huge growth” in his young players week to week.

“We’re going to work hard and we’re going to do our best…” said Colton Copp, rookie linebacker. “We’re going to put our best effort forth and not let anything drag us down.”

GAME ON … The Raiders and the Rams kick off Saturday at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students and will be available at the gate.


Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP probe fires at Brechin Elementary School

Police say eight fires appear to have been set intentionally

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Diary of Anne Frank turned into emotional stage production

Nanaimo Theatre Group director, actors say message relevant today

Actress tells war stories in D-Day remembrance play in Nanaimo

‘Jake’s Gift’ follows a Second World War veteran coping with his past

Man pleads guilty to child porn charges in Nanaimo, Crown alleges 250,000 images

Psychiatric assessment requested by Crown, sentencing to be set June 4 in Nanaimo court

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Nanaimo Business Awards celebrate an ‘outstanding’ year

Winners were revealed last week at a gala event at the Port Theatre

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

TSB issues two safety recommendations in probe of fatal B.C. train derailment

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

Vancouver Island cat jumps from fourth floor to escape fire

Blueberry was missing after the fire but has been found

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Short-circuit likely caused Notre Dame fire: police official

Investigators made an initial assessment of the cathedral but can’t yet search charred interior

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Most Read