The V.I. Raiders know that football season is about to get a whole lot tougher.
The Raiders play host to the Okanagan Sun this Saturday (Aug. 8) in a matchup between the B.C. Football Conference’s two undefeated teams.
“They are the best team in the league,” said Jerome Erdman, V.I. coach. “They bring it, and they don’t show any mercy. They just go after it and after it and after it.”
Okanagan has won its two games this season by a combined score of 142-7.
“They’ve just got great athletes and they execute very well. They don’t really try and trick you, they just execute, which is a sign of a good football team,” Erdman said.
To slow down the Sun’s offence, V.I. will have to be “near-perfect” defensively, the coach said, playing with discipline and making plays when there are opportunities.
As far as V.I.’s offence, a lot will hinge on the availability of quarterback Liam O’Brien, who missed last week’s game with an undisclosed injury and is “touch and go” to play this week, according to the team.
The Sun front seven can bring pressure in a lot of different ways, so the Raiders’ offensive line will need to be “heads up,” Erdman said. Nanaimo’s run game can be successful, he added, through hard work and wanting to win the battles at the line of scrimmage.
Dustin Rodriguez, Raiders receiver, said his team knows it will be a challenge to outscore the Sun.
“They get after it. They’re really fast and they like to hit,” he said. “So we’re going to have to come out there guns firing.”
Erdman said this weekend’s matchup is a must-see.
“It’s the battle of the undefeated,” he said. “People that come to the game are going to get a chance to see two pretty good football teams.”
GAME ON … The Raiders and Sun kick off this Saturday at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets will be available at the gate.