V.I. Raiders running back Nathan Berg gains yards during a game against the Westshore Rebels earlier this season in Victoria. The teams meet again on Saturday (Sept. 17) in Nanaimo.

V.I. Raiders running back Nathan Berg gains yards during a game against the Westshore Rebels earlier this season in Victoria. The teams meet again on Saturday (Sept. 17) in Nanaimo.

Raiders get Island rivalry rematch against Rebels

The V.I. Raiders take on the Westshore Rebels this Saturday (Sept. 17) at Caledonia Park.

The V.I. Raiders are hoping that an Island rivalry matchup can help point them in the right direction before playoffs.

The Raiders take on the Westshore Rebels this Saturday (Sept. 17) at Caledonia Park.

It’s the first meeting between the teams since Week 2 of the season, when the Rebels defeated the Raiders for the first time ever, 45-22, in a game in Victoria.

Since then, the Rebels have been battling for first place in the B.C. Football Conference while the Raiders haven’t yet been able to put together back-to-back wins.

Trevor Pelland, Raiders receiver, said his team has shown it can be competitive with any team in the BCFC, but needs to be more consistent to win against the best teams.

“Our losses haven’t been a huge blowout,” said Pelland. “A lot of it’s beating ourselves. Are we going to win this game by competing as a unit, or are we going to lose our game against ourselves? That’s what I think it’s going to come down to.”

Josh Paisley, V.I. defensive back, said his team will draw on some of the lessons from the first meeting in Victoria, when the Raiders led at halftime but lost the lead.

“We can pick up on their key players and we know who we need to stop,” Paisley said. “And overall, we’ve built as a team so we should be able to fire out the whole game, not just the second half.”

He thinks the Raiders can be competitive with the Rebels and said physicality, conditioning and will to win will all come into play.

“The game on the Island, it’s a fight for the Island,” Paisley said. “It’s a grudge match; it’s a grind. You have to be able to outlast the other person.”

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rebels kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Caledonia Park. Tickets will be available at the gate.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com