The V.I. Raiders went on the road and scored a one-sided victory over the Valley Huskers.
The Raiders shut out the Huskers 40-0 on Saturday at Chilliwack’s Exhibition Field. The visitors were up 30-0 at halftime and had things well in hand the rest of the way, finding success in all three phases over the course of the game.
“I liked what I saw yesterday,” said Doug Hocking, Raiders coach. “We did a good job defensively holding them. They had some opportunities, they got down in our end and we held them to some field goal attempts … Offensively, we were able to finish some drives and put points up on the board and work some things that we’ve been trying to get going.”
Jake Laberge threw three touchdown passes to lead the Raiders’ offence, while Brycen Mayoh caught two TD passes.
Laberge connected with Jared Braun on a 52-yard TD bomb down the near sideline midway through the first quarter to open the scoring.
In the second quarter, the Raiders struck for three TDs in a stretch of five minutes, with Mayoh hauling in a 35-yard TD pass, Zander Bailey scoring his first BCFC touchdown on a 15-yard run and then North Rainey scoring on a 43-yard catch-and-run play.
The Raiders scored one more TD with three minutes left in the game as QB Cole McGarvey made his first BCFC touchdown pass when Mayoh caught a tipped ball in the back of the endzone for a 20-yard major.
James Parker kicked a 20-yard field goal and five converts.
The Raiders had their most successful day so far this season running the football, utilizing four different tailbacks to gain 140 yards on the ground.
“When the O line’s working up front and playing like they did yesterday, those yards will come and they don’t need to be big runs,” Hocking said. “We’ve preached all year long, we need to be able to run between the tackles and those running backs have got to get their weight behind their pads and be punishing-type runners.”
The coach also credited the defensive backs, who heeded a message to go and try to get those balls in the air and came up with three interceptions.
“I thought they did a great job yesterday attacking the football and it showed in the turnovers,” said Hocking.
Laberge finished 17-for-25 passing for 335 yards with three TDs and two INTs. McGarvey was 4-for-8 for 75 yards, a TD and an INT.
Rainey finished with four catches for 109 yards. Bailey had seven carries for 59 yards.
The Raiders finished with 517 yards of total offence compared to 274 for the Huskers.
Defensively, Gevhahn McNally-Hardisty, Jérémie Cheng and Ethan Moran made interceptions and Matthew Cox had a team-high four tackles.
For the Huskers, Danny Harris had two interceptions, Keishon Joseph had one and Tyler McStravick had a sack.
GAME ON … The Raiders host the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday (Aug. 19) at 2 p.m. at Caledonia Park.