Langley Rams linebacker Arie Nakagawa

Langley Rams linebacker Arie Nakagawa

Raiders never give up, but lose

NANAIMO – The V.I. Raiders were defeated 36-28 by the Langley Rams on Saturday at Caledonia Park.

To see a slideshow of photos from Saturday’s game, please click here.

The V.I. Raiders didn’t win, but they came a long way as a team over four quarters of football.

The Raiders twice trailed the Langley Rams by two touchdowns late, and twice they answered back, before they eventually came up short by a 36-28 score Saturday at Caledonia Park.

“At the end of the day we fought and gave ourselves a chance on that final drive,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach. “We still had a chance to tie this game and unfortunately we didn’t make it happen.”

The home team took some time to find the endzone, as it trailed 15-6 at halftime and 22-6 after three quarters. But veteran receiver Whitman Tomusiak got in synch with rookie quarterback Jamie Ybarra and willed the Raiders downfield in crunch time.

“We made our reads and we just threw the football and gave ourselves a chance to make plays,” Blokker said. “When you do that you’ve got a chance and that’s what happened.”

Saturday was the V.I. team’s home opener and there were jitters to start, as the Raiders dropped the opening kickoff, botched a snap and had to concede a safety before the game was a minute old. Owen Redlick’s fumble recovery led to a 24-yard field goal from Ryan Jones, though, and the Raiders led 3-2 after a quarter.

The second quarter started with a 104-yard catch and run from starting quarterback Jaeden Marwick to Dylan Schrot, but the Raiders had to settle for another Jones field goal. The Rams retook the lead on a 34-yard passing TD, then after the Raiders drove the other way, Langley’s Ben Sharpe came up with an interception in the endzone that eventually led to a one-yard QB keeper by Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren.

Nanaimo again made it to the red zone in the dying seconds of the first half, but some miscommunication between coaches and officials – the field’s score clock wasn’t working – saw time expire before the Raiders could try a short field goal.

Malcolm Williams caught a 14-yard TD, the only scoring in the third quarter.

In the fourth, Tomusiak made a long catch to get his team into the red zone, then caught a 10-yard TD pass. The teams traded interceptions, then each team’s QB scored on a one-yard TD run. The Raiders’ onside kick attempt with four minutes left was unsuccessful, and when Gilbert-Knorren scored his third rushing TD of the day moments later, the game looked out of reach. But Tomusiak’s 75-yard TD reception, followed by a big defensive stop, gave the Raiders one last chance. Langley’s Tanner Hamade came up with a pick to secure the outcome.

“It’s a tough way to lose and it sucks losing at home and losing two in a row is something we’re not used to, but we’re not going to quit,” Blokker said.

He said his guys need to show better execution and desire in the red zone.

“If we play a full game, all four quarters, we win that game. We’ve just got to stay consistent…” said Ybarra, who took over the offence midway through the second quarter after Marwick got hurt. “We haven’t quite got to the end goal that we’ve wanted, but all three weeks so far we’ve fought the whole game.”

Tomusiak said the team will take positives out of the home opener, no matter the outcome.

“I think a lot of people maybe thought we were going to come and get crushed out here and we certainly didn’t…” he said. “Everyone’s got to relax. I know there’s huge expectations for this team just off its history. This is the youngest team we’ve ever had. We’ve just got to let the season go on, let these guys learn a bit.”

Ybarra finished 11-for-20 for 233 yards, two passing touchdowns, two INTs and a rushing TD, while Tomusiak had 225 receiving yards on 11 catches. Schrot scored a two-point convert and finished with four catches for 130 yards. Michael Ritchot and Andrew Deleon were Nanaimo’s top rushers with 63 yards apiece. Marwick was 8-for-13 passing for 181 yards.

Defensively, Cole Samson blocked a convert and he and Dylan Chapdelaine had five tackles each. Daniel Dubinski had an interception.

GRID BITS … Saturday’s result marked the first time that the Raiders have lost two games in a row since 2007, and the first time that the team has lost a regular-season home game since July 30, 2005 … The Raiders host the Valley Huskers on Saturday (Aug. 17) at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park.

Just Posted

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

An artist’s rendering of a proposed student housing complex at 326 Wakesiah Ave. (WA Architects Ltd. image)
Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Most Read