Raiders play biggest game of season so far

Nanaimo's V.I. Raiders are getting ready to step on the field against the Langley Rams on Saturday (Sept. 26) on the mainland.

V.I. Raiders defensive back Josh Paisley

The V.I. Raiders are getting ready to step on the field in the most important football game of the regular season.

The Raiders visit the Langley Rams on Saturday (Sept. 26). The winner will have the inside track on a home playoff game.

“[Players] know how important it is and hopefully that will reflect in their work ethic this week. I think it will,” said Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach.

The teams haven’t met since Week 1, a 22-14 Nanaimo win, and the squads will be much different now. The Rams were without their starting quarterback in the season opener, for example, and their tailback Nathan Lund is tough to bring down.

“Offensively they’re very well balanced,” Erdman said. “They run and pass the ball very well.”

The Raiders’ defence will have to be disciplined with its assignments and its tackling technique, the coach said.

One interesting lineup change for the Raiders is the addition of running back Coltin LaPlante, a dominant high school player at Ballenas Secondary. With Nathan Berg getting healthier and Taylor Flavel also in the mix, LaPlante rounds out the run game.

“He’s a pretty darn good football player,” said the coach. “So hopefully we’ll have a three-pronged attack.”

A lot of Raiders will be looking to make an impact in the biggest game of the season.

“Big players make big-time plays in big-time situations and I think we have plenty of guys that can do that this week,” said Travis Novak, Raiders linebacker.

He said with the standings the way they are, this Saturday’s game feels like a playoff game. To win that kind of game in an unfriendly environment on the road, the Raiders will look to score early and try to quiet the crowd.

“It’s a circle-the-wagons, us-against-the-world type of thing, and I think that can really galvanize a team,” Erdman said.

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rams kick off Saturday at 4 p.m. at McLeod Stadium.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Event held Thursday at Maffeo Sutton Park

Sailing waits expected this weekend at Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay

B.C. Ferries is advising that repairs to one of the vessels are taking longer than expected

Suspect allegedly smashes minivan’s window to steal bike

A bicycle was stolen from a vehicle parked at the Travelodge motel on Terminal Avenue on Tuesday

Cedar Elementary students bless totem poles

School celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day with ceremony

Nanaimo seeking court order to shut down Discontent City

Injunction filed, hearing could take place as soon as next week

First night market fills Commercial Street

Downtown event will continue every Thursday until the end of August

Beefs & Bouquets, June 21

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo woman graduates high school at age 92

Joan Deebank is the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as the ministry can confirm

Platform chosen for online B.C. cannabis sales

Ottawa-based company to create websites for when marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Almost 2,400 young athletes set to compete at BC Summer Games

Full list of participants was released Friday for the Cowichan Valley event

Family raises money for B.C. man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

Canucks ink Markus Granlund to one-year extension

Finnish forward’s contract is worth US$1.475 million

Warning issued as swimmer dies, boater missing this week in B.C. waters

Coroner says statistics show a spike in drownings beginning in May and rising through August

Most Read