Raiders to play home and away versus Broncos

NANAIMO – The V.I. Raiders, coming off their first loss of the season, are getting ready to play the Kamloops Broncos.

The task is a little bit different for the V.I. Raiders this week – they will look to respond to, and rebound from, their first loss of the season.

The Raiders, coming off a 27-3 loss to the Okanagan Sun, are getting ready to play the Kamloops Broncos.

Coach Jerome Erdman said he and his staff stress that the team shouldn’t get too high or too low over the course of a football season.

“Modus operandi’s still the same – work hard, get our assignments down, get a good grasp of what Kamloops is going to do,” Erdman said.

The Broncos will pose a challenge. Statistically, they boast the league leaders in passing yards, receiving yards and rushing yards.

To combat that, Erdman said, “we’re going to run around, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to be patient and eliminate the big play.”

The Raiders feel like their defence is playing well right now, and will go into the game with the attitude of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

“I don’t think we need to do anything different,” said Dexter Shea, Raiders linebacker. “I think we’ve just got to play our game. That’s what it’s going to be like all year – as long as we play our game and stay true to ourselves, I think we’ll beat any team.”

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders will try for better balance on offence. Last week they couldn’t muster much with the run game, and Erdman said “you’ve got to be able to do both” to be successful. He thinks the Broncos’ more traditional defensive front will be easer for the Raiders’ offence to read, and so it will be up to the players to “get after it and be physical.”

It’s the first of two straight games against the Broncos, so the home-and-home series shapes up as an important stretch of the schedule.

“We’ve got to beat them,” said Erdman. “We do take one game at a time as the old cliché [goes], but this is huge … If we win both of them we’ll be in very good shape and we play the first one here, so we have got to make hay.”

GAME ON … The Raiders host the Broncos on Saturday (Aug. 15) at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets, $12 for adults, will be available at the gate.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com