The Nanaimo Redmen have been low on roster numbers all year, but they have everything else it takes to win football games. They have size, skill and spirit, they play to their system and they play scrappy. And it’s gotten them all the way to the championship game.
The Redmen take the field Sunday (Dec. 1) in Langley to face the North Surrey Bears in the Vancouver Mainland Football League midget final.
“There was only one goal from the beginning, and that’s to get to the game that we’ve got on Sunday,” said Sean Roden, Redmen coach.
The finalists are evenly matched – so evenly matched that their one meeting this fall was a tie game.
“They’re a really fast team; they’ve got a really fast defence but we’re a bit more harder hitting than they are,” said Chae Faickney, Nanaimo lineman. “I think it will be a good game.”
Austin Lyle, Redmen quarterback, said when the teams met earlier this season, both sides were missing some players.
“We have ours back; they hopefully have theirs back. I think it’s an even match,” he said. “We were both the underdogs coming into [last] week and now we’re on top. It’s just going to come down to who wants it more, who’s going to play hardest.”
Lyle said offensively, his team will keep pounding away with the power run game that’s been working well.
Defensively, Roden said the Redmen will need to have a totally different game plan than in the semifinals because they’ll be facing a more balanced attack from the Bears.
The finalists might not have been favoured to make it this far, but they made it for a reason. Now that they’re in the big game, the Redmen know they’re in the running to win it all.
“We’ve got a week to go,” Lyle said. “We’re not going to let it get to our heads – we’re going to celebrate after.”
GAME ON … The Redmen and Bears kick off Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley.