Tomorrow’s football game isn’t going to be a close one, so the V.I. Raiders will have to focus on the process rather than the outcome.
Nanaimo’s Canadian Junior Football League team (3-0) faces the Chilliwack Huskers (0-3) on Sunday (Aug. 21) at Exhibition Stadium in the Fraser Valley.
The Raiders are on some kind of roll after thrashing the Victoria Rebels 72-6 two weeks ago and then pounding the Kamloops Broncos 60-7 a week later. The Huskers, on the other hand, have lost to the Rebels twice this season and lost to the Broncos once.
“Our focus isn’t on Chilliwack, it’s on the Raiders,” said Matthew “Snoop” Blokker, V.I. coach. “We’re just focusing on how we’re going to start and making sure that at the beginning of this game that we’re going to be very physical and ready to go.
“If we do that then the rest of the game, we should have an opportunity to be pretty dominant.”
The game plan will be comparatively basic, the coach said. The Raiders haven’t inserted any new plays this week, preferring to polish what’s already in the playbook.
There will be one new face in the lineup, however.
The Raiders brought back a former player this week, offensive lineman Steve Pennell. The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder – the older brother of Raiders O-lineman Alec Pennell – is transferring from McMaster to the University of Calgary, but won’t start at U of C until January.
So the 22-year-old right tackle has a window of junior eligibility and he’ll take it.
“Steve’s a very aggressive player and he brings in a physical element to us that I thought in a way we were lacking,” said Blokker.
The Raiders also signed former receiver Darcy MacDonald, who had been playing in Kamloops.
“We wanted to add a little bit of speed to the receiving corps and create some depth and competition,” Blokker said.
MacDonald won’t be in the lineup until next week.