V.I. Raiders can climb into first

NANAIMO – The V.I. Raiders host the Langley Rams this Saturday (Sept. 14) at Caledonia Park.

Things can change in a hurry in the B.C. Football Conference.

The V.I. Raiders, buoyed by a big win last weekend, are now about to battle for first place. The men in black host the Langley Rams this Saturday (Sept. 14) at Caledonia Park.

Nanaimo is coming off a 45-17 victory over the Okanagan Sun last weekend.

“A big win like that kind of gives everybody a sense of belief that what we are doing and the path we’re on is the right one,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach.

It could be a turning point in the season, but that’s yet to be determined.

“If we don’t win this week, I guess it’s not that much of a turning point,” the coach said.

So the focus falls completely now on the task at hand, a matchup with B.C.’s defending champions.

Not many opposing teams win at Caledonia Park, but the Rams have done it twice in row – last fall’s provincial championship, and then a 36-28 game last month.

“We’re going to see who’s gotten better since the last time we played,” said Blokker. “We’re healthier than we’ve been, we feel we’re playing better than we have and we’ve got a little more confidence than what we had when we played them the first time.”

Ashton Galloway, V.I. fullback, said the Raiders are a totally different team than they were five weeks ago.

“We’ve progressively been getting better during the season,” he said. “Every single week, at practice we get better and better.”

The Rams are coming off a blowout win themselves, 49-17 over the Westshore Rebels last weekend in which they were led by tailback Kyle Albertini’s 215 rushing yards.

Blokker said the teams’ offences have some similarities – both can run the ball effectively, and both have receivers that demand double coverage.

Blokker said the Raiders’ D isn’t having as many lapses lately, and its up-front play has been effective at stopping the run. One of the keys, the coach said, will be to try to contain Langley’s quarterback Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren who leads the BCFC in both passing and rushing touchdowns.

The Raiders’ primary goal on Saturday will be to win a football game, obviously, but if they can manage to win by nine points or more, they will ascend to the top of the standings.

“That’s what every team wants and that’s exactly what we want,” said Galloway.

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rams kick off Saturday at 2 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets will be available at the gate.


Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read