The V.I. Raiders passed the ball up and over the Westshore Rebels and won a football game that way.
The Raiders defeated the Rebels 35-16 in B.C. Football Conference action on Saturday afternoon at Caledonia Park.
V.I. quarterback Liam O’Brien threw five touchdown passes, three to Arthur Fabbro, and the home team led by a comfortable margin all game long.
“We did a fair bit of passing and we were pretty on [our] game,” said Fabbro. “Other games we’ve been kind of stuck getting the ball moving … This game we were able to really get some drives going and get some big pass plays.”
The Raiders were successful with some home-run tosses.
“We always want to go for the deep balls, but we haven’t really had the time, maybe,” Fabbro said. “This game it was there. It’s just being able to hit it.”
There were a lot of penalties, with the Raiders getting flagged for 175 yards.
“We were very undisciplined, which I did not like, especially since that is something we preached the whole week,” said Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach.
V.I. receiver Dustin Hamm opened the scoring, catching a 14-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter, and Fabbro added a 10-yard TD catch six minutes later.
It was Fabbro again scoring to start the second quarter on a 58-yard touchdown reception. Victoria’s Hunter Lake got his team on the board with a one-yard TD run, but Fabbro restored his team’s margin with a five-yard TD catch in the dying seconds of the first half.
V.I.’s Dustin Rodriguez extended the lead late in the third quarter, catching a perfect long-bomb pass in stride and turning it into a 60-yard major.
The Rebels added a safety and then a seven-yard TD run from Lake in the fourth quarter.
O’Brien finished the game 17-for-20 passing for 337 yards and also had 35 rush yards. Fabbro had six catches for 156 yards and Rodriguez had seven catches for 148 yards.
Defensively, Travis Novak led the way with seven solo tackles and Dexter Shea had six. Matt Hill had the Raiders’ only sack while the Rebels defence got to the quarterback four times.
For Victoria, Lake was 9-for-20 for 53 yards plus 50 on the ground, while Darcy Cherneff had a game-high 60 rush yards.
Leading Westshore’s defence was Jordan Goertzen, who had four solo tackles and a sack.
GAME ON … The Raiders’ next game is Saturday (Sept. 26), when they visit the Langley Rams for a 4 p.m. kickoff.