Westshore Rebels player Colton Farago

Westshore Rebels player Colton Farago

Relentless Raiders rout Rebels

The V.I. Raiders ‘circus’ came to town and trampled all over the Westshore Rebels. Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team demolished its rival 72-6 on Saturday night in Victoria.

The V.I. Raiders ‘circus’ came to town and trampled all over the Westshore Rebels.

Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team demolished its rival 72-6 on Saturday night in Victoria.

Seemingly every player in white got into the act as V.I. just kept pouring it on, scoring 34 fourth-quarter points.

“Guys start having fun and then it’s like a circus out here,” said Jordan Yantz, Raiders quarterback.

The Rebels won the coin flip, but that was about it. Raiders defensive back Skylor Letcher intercepted a pass one minute into the game, leading to a Ryan Jones 25-yard field goal to give Nanaimo a 3-0 lead. The visitors didn’t settle for field goals the rest of the way, scoring 10 touchdowns.

“Our goal coming into this game was to get on the field and put points up quick,” Yantz said. “We did that and we didn’t stop doing it.”

The Raiders’ defence was just as thorough, forcing a ridiculous 11 turnovers – five interceptions, five fumbles and one turnover on downs.

“You saw a couple of picks that we got out there, everybody got right jacked up,” said Glenn Boyce, Raiders linebacker. “When big plays happen like that everybody rallies around it. People get excited to get excited.”

Raiders coach Matthew “Snoop” Blokker said players were challenged to put forth a strong start, and they responded on both sides of the ball.

“I don’t think our defence gave up anything in the beginning and we just kept beating on them,” Blokker said.

“And if you keep giving [Yantz] the ball, he’s going to make it happen and he proved it again tonight.”

The Raiders QB was 9-for-15 passing for 256 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. His acrobats in the receiving corps were dynamic, winning every 50-50 ball and never dropping a catchable pass.

Whitman Tomusiak racked up 141 yards, Andrew Smith and Dustin Pedersen had two touchdown catches each and Mike Schaper also had a TD grab. Late in the game rookie Marshall Cook made a circus catch in the endzone for his first CJFL major, diving to catch a deflected ball.

The Raiders also forced a rushing attack, as eight different ball carriers combined for 217 yards on the ground. Alex Jobson scored a 38-yard touchdown in the second quarter in which he broke multiple tackles. Taylor Flavel and Ashton Galloway punched in one-yard TDs.

The game ended when Ranji Atwall intercepted a pass with no time left on the clock and rumbled 46 yards to the endzone.

The Raiders coach said a win like that, when so many different players get into the game and contribute, is huge for team morale.

“I’m really proud of our effort and I’m really proud, more than anything, that we’re playing together as a team,” Blokker said. “We’re starting to feel that.”

Following their biggest-ever regular-season win over the Rebels, the Raiders circus will pack up its tent and prepare for a home opener next Saturday (Aug. 13). But they’ll savour this win, for at least a little while.

“It was awesome, especially because of the rivalry … especially in their park, on their nice field under the lights,” Yantz said. “You don’t very often get to play Saturday night, under the lights. It was great for us and we really enjoyed it.”

GRID BITS … Also intercepting passes Saturday were Tremaine Apperley, Boyce and Ariel Fabbro. Atwall had five tackles and a sack to go with his pick and Anthony Boutet had a sack and a fumble recovery. Nick Woznesensky had two sacks and Boyce, Galloway, Andreas Iwanegbe and Erling Skuggedal had fumble recoveries. Dylan Chapedelaine made five tackles … Backup QB Kurtis Bardua played the fourth quarter, completing 4-of-7 passes for 79 yards, two touchdowns and an interception … Victoria’s starting QB Cat Todorovich was 3-for-12 for 33 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions and the Rebels’ feature back Greg Morris was held to nine yards on nine carries … Saturday’s margin of victory was the greatest in a Nanaimo-Victoria game since July 16, 2005, the very first time the teams ever met on the gridiron, when the Raiders won a pre-season game 83-7 … In other CJFL action Saturday, the Okanagan Sun scored 14 points in the last minute and a half to beat the Langley Rams 33-23 in Kelowna and the Kamloops Broncos beat the Chilliwack Huskers 37-14 in the Fraser Valley.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Most Read