V.I. Raiders ready for Huskers

NANAIMO - Coming off a 39-32 loss to Kamloops, the Vancouver Island Raiders will look to bounce back at home against Valley.

Coming off a 39-32 road loss to the Kamloops Broncos, the Vancouver Island Raiders will look to bounce back at home against the Valley Huskers Saturday (Aug. 29).

At 0-5, the Huskers are cellar dwellers in the B.C. Football Conference standings, but Raiders head coach Jerome Erdman and staff want to ensure the team doesn’t take this week’s opponent lightly.

Erdman said he needn’t go any further than game film from Kamloops to prove his point. His team has to work hard to get a win and get back on track.

“We certainly did not play very well and we’re not in a position where we can take anyone lightly,” said Erdman.

“We have to come in and keep working hard like we have in the past and we’re not that good of a football team that we’re in a position to take anybody lightly and they know that.”

The Raiders amassed 141 yards rushing last week, on the strength of 121 yards from Nathan Berg, and Erdman said they must continue the ground attack against Valley.

“My philosophy is that a good running game is vital to win at, no matter what level you’re playing at, or what game you’re playing at. You’ve got to be able to run the ball effectively,” Erdman said. “It’s great for time management, it gives your defence a break and grinds down opponents.”

Erdman lauded the play of special teams last week and said the defence has to step it up this week.

“That was the worst game by far for our defence,” Erdman said. “The first four games we did a really good job of stopping the big play and they got a few on us, so we’ve got to get back to that mentality of stopping the big play and playing more aggressively and tackling better on defence.”

GAME ON … Saturday’s game kicks off at 4 p.m. at Caledonia Park. Tickets are $12 for adult, $10 for seniors and $5 for students. Children five years and under get in for free.

League recognizes minor football players

It’s minor football week in the Canadian Junior Football League and that means free admission for minor players at this week’s games.

All 12 teams in the league, including the V.I. Raiders, will welcome minor football players with free admission when they wear their minor football jersey and are accompanied by an adult.

“CFJL teams are an integral part of the communities that they represent,” said Jim Pankovich, league commissioner. “Minor football, along with the Canadian Junior Football organizations, is important to the development of our next generation athletes and community leaders.”