The regular season had its ups and downs for the Nanaimo Redmen. There were injuries, scoring slumps, wins and losses.
“When you’re a good team, [you’ll] often find a way to win when you haven’t played your best and we didn’t do that as well this year as we would have liked and as a result it cost us a couple of positions in the standings,” said Sean Roden, coach of the Redmen. “But we’re all starting from scratch here now.”
The Redmen (7-3) did enough to earn a first-round bye in the Vancouver Mainland Football League playoffs. Now, that bye week is behind them and they’re ready to face the Langley Stampeders (8-3) on Sunday (Nov. 20).
The coach said dealing with adversity this fall means the Redmen are a battle-tested squad.
They’ve won and lost battles since they defeated the Stamps 21-7 way back in Week 1.
“We were a better team then and we’ve both changed, but we believe we’re the better team now, too,” said Jordan Pugh, Redmen safety.
Nanaimo and Langley have similar-looking personnel and playbooks, said Roden.
“I think we match up well against them but I think that they probably think they match up well against us, too,” he said. “We both play smashmouth football, nothing really flashy from either team. So it’s going to be won in the trenches, for sure.”
Especially in playoff-football conditions in the north end. The red team hopes it can pound the ball better than a Stamps team used to the firm footing of a turf field.
“They’re not used to getting down in the muck as much as we are and with the weather, we’re supposed to have some pretty good rain and maybe even snow,” Roden said. “I’m looking forward to that, actually.”
GAME ON … Sunday’s kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park. Admission is free.