The Nanaimo Redmen didn’t get much of a challenge as they prepare for an important regular-season finale.
The city’s Vancouver Mainland Football League midget team scored a 10-0 default victory over the Richmond Raiders on Sunday on the mainland. The Raiders were two players short of the minimum roster number, but gamely took the field anyway for an exhibition that the Redmen won 42-0.
Alex Kutra scored a rushing touchdown and also caught a TD pass from Todd Hansen. Jordan Pugh had a kick-return touchdown and Kalden Keen, Brodie Squire and Jaxxen Wylie had rushing TDs.
The game might have been too easy to be any kind of playoff tuneup, but the Redmen have been making sure to run hard at practice to keep their intensity high.
“We’ve been having some pretty physical practices because we’ve had a soft spot in our schedule,” said Sean Roden, Redmen coach. “That’s the biggest test that we’ve been getting the last three weeks, is practice.”
This Saturday (Nov. 5), the Redmen (7-2) expect a good game as they make a trip to the Fraser Valley to face the Chilliwack Giants (5-4). The G-men feature a good quarterback and running back, said Roden.
“Other than that, they’re certainly not the calibre of the team that we faced in the’09 provincial final. They’re not as big, they’re not as aggressive…” he said. “They’re a decent team. They’re definitely a playoff team, they’re definitely capable of beating us if we don’t do what we need to do.”
The matchup has implications in the standings. A win guarantees Nanaimo third place in the VMFL, a first-round bye in the playoffs and means a home game in the second round. A loss and the red team could dip down to fifth.
It’s a “big, big game,” said the coach, and a win the Redmen would love to get.
“We’re a good team and if we execute I think we’ll have success,” Roden said.
GAME ON … Saturday’s kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. and the game will be webcast live at www.chilliwackgiants.com … Redmen starting quarterback Todd Hansen, also the team’s kicker, is expected to miss the game with injury.