V.I. Raiders linebacker Taylor Saine

V.I. Raiders linebacker Taylor Saine

V.I. Raiders can clinch first place

The V.I. Raiders (7-0-1) play the Langley Rams (6-1-1) this Saturday (Oct. 6) on the road, with a chance to clinch first place in the BCFC.

This season has brought its fair share of frantic fourth quarters. And now there’s going to be some late-season drama, too.

The V.I. Raiders (7-0-1) play the Langley Rams (6-1-1) this Saturday (Oct. 6) on the road, with a chance to clinch first place in the B.C. Football Conference.

“This is what we want. This is great for our league,” said Matthew (Snoop) Blokker, Raiders coach. “The fact that we’re going into Game 9 and there’s this much on the table right now, I think is really exciting.”

The Raiders and Rams  have been jostling for position in the standings all season long. The teams tied 31-31 in Nanaimo in August, then V.I. defeated Langley 41-29 two weeks ago in the Fraser Valley.

“The game was closer than the score says,” said Jaxxen Wylie, Raiders safety. “Obviously they’re a good team, they’ve got weapons on the outside so it’s exciting to play a good team like that.”

The Rams like to try to force the ball into the hands of their playmaker receivers Nick Downey and Malcolm Williams.

“We’ve got to be physical with them,” said Wylie. “We’ve got strong guys on the outside that can push them around.”

Aside from the Rams’ big-play potential, Langley also has a beefy offensive line that can open up holes for its running backs to take chunks of yardage straight up the middle of the field.

“That presents problems for us, but if we can keep them in passing downs then we’re OK,” Blokker said. “If we can’t stop the run, then it’s going to be a long day.”

So the battle in the trenches will be important, and the Raiders look forward to that part of the game, too.

“We have to earn everything, every inch,” said Jordan Kuziek, V.I. lineman. “At the end of the game if we get the most inches, we’ve won the game.”

And the Raiders know what a win means – not just first place, but home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

“Which is obviously huge for us,” Blokker said. “That’s been our goal, and here it is, right in front of us, and a chance to do it.”

GAME ON … The Raiders and Rams are scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 6) at Langley’s McLeod Park. There will be a live webcast at www.viraiders.ca … To read yesterday’s midweek news and notes on the Raiders, please click here.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

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 killed in Nanaimo

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

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

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

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Most Read