It’s a different season, but the V.I. Raiders can still draw from experience.
Nanaimo’s junior football team travels to play the undefeated Okanagan Sun this Saturday (Aug. 13) in Kelowna.
It’s the first meeting of the season between the rivals and the first matchup since last fall’s B.C. Football Conference final, when the Sun shut out the Raiders.
Nanaimo wasn’t looking past its opponent last week, but knew that the Okanagan game was looming. Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach, said his team would need to put in a very hard work week to be successful.
“We’re going up to play a very, very good Kelowna team. We owe them from last year,” he said.
Nate Berg, V.I. running back, said last fall’s final does carry over, so many months later.
“A little bit of bad blood from last year, right? We got our butts whipped in the finals there,” he said. “So we definitely want to remember how that felt last year and go up and hopefully go and change that outcome.”
Kaelan Botel, Raiders defensive lineman, said the Sun have always been a physical football team with a tough defence, so the Raiders’ D will be looking to be difference makers.
“We’ve got the personnel to run the defence we want – it’s a heavy-hitting defence,” Botel said. “I think if we come out and just pound Okie, we’ll win.”
GAME ON … Saturday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. … Next home action for the Raiders is Aug. 20 when the Langley Rams visit Caledonia Park.