The V.I Raiders were stopped in their tracks by the Okanagan Sun.
The Sun defeated the Raiders 27-3 in a first-place matchup in B.C. Football Conference action Saturday at Caledonia Park.
The Raiders’ defence was able to slow up the Sun, but the V.I. offence couldn’t muster much against Okie’s D.
“We played a very, very good football team. I thought our guys battled,” said Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach. “We’ve got a long way to go. The thing I take from this is we were competitive.”
The home team kept the contest close most of the way, as the score was 12-3 at halftime. Okie only scored one touchdown on the day, but kicked five field goals.
“Going in, if you guys said that we would hold them to one touchdown, we might have been happy,” Erdman said.
V.I. was held to just 35 rushing yards and 110 passing yards and quarterback Liam O’Brien, back from injury, was sacked nine times.
“Offensively we didn’t do a good enough job of picking up their stunts and blitzes and stuff like that,” the coach said.
But Nanaimo’s D stuck to the game plan and was disciplined, he said. Dexter Shea, V.I. linebacker, said the defence swarmed, made some big hits and didn’t tire out.
“I think we kept fighting through the whole game, which was, in a loss, the most important thing we could do,” he said.
V.I.’s only points came on a first-quarter field goal from Matias Bueno.
O’Brien finished 14-for-23 for 93 yards with one interception.
Defensively, newcomer Isaiah Stevens had a team-high nine tackles, Josh Paisley had seven and Cole Virtanen had five. Shea, Adam McDonald. Kaelan Botel and Cashton Wilson had sacks and Nigel Henry had an interception.
GAME ON … The V.I. Raiders play the Kamloops Broncos this Saturday (Aug. 15) at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park.