One half of complete football was enough for the V.I. Raiders to win their last game, but they might need more to win again.
Nanaimo’s B.C. Football Conference team plays a rematch against the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday (Aug. 22), this time in the Interior.
The teams met Saturday at Caledonia Park and V.I. came back from a 20-7 deficit to win 35-26.
“We’ve got to come out of the gate right away focused and ready to go,” said Liam O’Brien, Raiders quarterback. “It kind of took us awhile to warm up last game and we can’t really afford to keep doing that.”
Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach, said “nobody really knows” why a team starts a game slowly.
“If we did, we’d make sure it never happened…” he said. “We’ve just got to instill in them, continue with the hard work ethic, start off hungry.
“[The Broncos] are going to be coming after us. This is a huge game.”
Kamloops’ quarterback Stephen Schuweiler set a B.C. record with 35 completions last week, and the Raiders don’t expect to entirely shut down the Broncos’ passing game.
“You’ve got to look at what type of passes they completed,” Erdman said. “Our philosophy this year has been bend but don’t break.”
He said his team will try to put more pressure on the Broncos’ QB this week.
Offensively, the Raiders will look for execution. Erdman said the offensive game plan was pretty much the same in the first half and the second half last week, it was just that the players started to make the plays work.
O’Brien said the Raiders showed in that second half who they really are.
“I think [we’re] going to put up some points and gain momentum,” he said.
The road trip is the longest of the season so far, so V.I. faces the challenge of a long travel day to an away venue. But it’s also time to bond and to go over the game plan, the coach said.
“I’m not looking at [the road trip] as a bad thing, I’m looking at it as an exciting thing,” Erdman said. “It’ll be a change of pace for us.”