The V.I. Raiders and Westshore Rebels line up in a game earlier this season in Langford. The rivals play a rematch this Saturday (Sept. 19) at Nanaimo's Caledonia Park.

The V.I. Raiders and Westshore Rebels line up in a game earlier this season in Langford. The rivals play a rematch this Saturday (Sept. 19) at Nanaimo's Caledonia Park.

Rebels guarantee victory, Raiders have other ideas

NANAIMO – The V.I. Raiders play the Westshore Rebels in B.C. Football Conference action this Saturday (Sept. 19) at Caledonia Park.

The final regular-season home game is huge for the V.I. Raiders.

Nanaimo’s junior football team plays its longtime rivals, the Westshore Rebels, in B.C. Football Conference action this Saturday (Sept. 19) at Caledonia Park.

The Raiders must win to keep alive their hopes of hosting a playoff game, to maintain their perfect record against the Rebels, and to bounce back from a loss last week to the Okanagan Sun.

“We look to get back on the rails and make a statement versus Victoria,” said Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach. “That’s going to be a huge game.”

The two teams met a month and a half ago in Langford and the V.I. team needed a blocked field goal in the dying minutes to preserve a two-point victory. After that game, according to Raiders receiver Dustin Rodriguez, a Rebels player guaranteed that Westshore would win the rematch.

“I don’t know about everyone else, but it makes me pretty mad,” he said. “They’ve never beaten us before and they’re going out and saying that. I guess we’re going to find out what happens.”

Rodriguez said his team showed it can run on the Rebels, and he thinks that this time the Raiders will be able to pass the ball effectively, too.

“We’re going to be coming out firing,” he said.

Erdman said discipline will be important in what is sure to be a charged atmosphere.

“When Victoria and Nanaimo play, there’s a little something extra to that game,” he said. “There’s a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity and it’s going to be a great game, it’s going to be a battle. I’m looking forward to it.”

GAME ON … Kickoff is at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets will be available at the gate.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com