V.I. Raiders tailback Nate Berg jumps overtop of Langley Rams opponent Rene Sencio during Saturday’s B.C. Football Conference game at Caledonia Park. The visitors won 29-14.

V.I. Raiders tailback Nate Berg jumps overtop of Langley Rams opponent Rene Sencio during Saturday’s B.C. Football Conference game at Caledonia Park. The visitors won 29-14.

V.I. Raiders start fast, then sag in loss

NANAIMO – City's junior football team jumps to 14-0 lead, but gets shut out the rest of the way in 29-14 setback against Langley Rams.

The Raiders had the right kind of start, but weren’t at their best when the game was on the line.

The V.I. Raiders suffered their first home loss of 2016, falling 29-14 to the Langley Rams on Saturday at Caledonia Park.

“I’m not going to sugar-coat it: right now we’re not good enough; we’re not playing well…” said Jerome Erdman, Raiders coach. “Physically the guys are giving the effort and stuff like that. Mentally, we don’t got a spring in our step and we’ve got to find a way to get that.”

Nanaimo was ready to go at kickoff, scoring a touchdown just 80 seconds into the game and adding another by the midway point of the first quarter.

But a lack of balance on offence was further hurt by an offensive line injury, and the Raiders moved the ball only inconsistently the rest of the afternoon. The Rams weren’t prolific offensively, either, but the team scored enough points to win.

“We had a lot of ups and downs,” said Dexter Shea, Raiders linebacker. “We didn’t play football consistently enough. We didn’t play a full four quarters and that kind of blew it for us.”

A couple of turning points were a Rams fumble recovery touchdown late in the third quarter when the Raiders’ quarterback was hit while trying to pass, and then a Raiders roughing-the-kicker penalty on a Rams punt with one minute, 45 seconds left in the game.

“When you get bad bounces you get frustrated and you can kind of start to bend,” said Shea.

Kevin Chopek got his first start at quarterback for V.I. in place of injured No. 1 Jake Laberge. Chopek threw two TD passes, both to receiver Jared Braun, who was also making his first start.

Chopek finished 15-for-36 for 232 yards with two TDs and two interceptions and was also V.I.’s top rusher with 20 yards.

“For what we asked him to do, I thought he did a pretty good job,” said Erdman. “We came up 14-0, we were moving the ball well and stuff like that and we couldn’t maintain.”

Dustin Rodriguez was the Raiders’ top receiver with 82 yards, while Braun added 63.

Defensively, Shea had five solo tackles and three assisted and Nathan Warawa had a sack.

V.I. offensive tackle Terrek Bryant will be evaluated after an injury.

For the visitors, Rams QB Colby Peters was 11-for-25 for 125 yards and running back Joe Carter gained 86 rushing yards. Khalik Johnson and Jordan Fox scored touchdowns. Brendan Desjardine had both a fumble recovery touchdown and an interception.

Raiders reach midway mark

The Raiders (2-3) are now at the midpoint of the BCFC regular season and have played every team in the league once.

Despite the sub-.500 record, the Raiders believe they’re right in the mix with B.C.’s best.

“I think we match up really well,” Shea said. “We’ve just got to bring it all together, honestly. Things like this [loss] are frustrating, but confidence isn’t shaken. We’ve got a really good team.”

The coaching staff has the same stance, but Erdman said the Raiders can only beat the best teams if they execute properly.

“There’s nobody in this league that is untouchable, that is unbeatable,” Erdman said. “If we play like we can play, like we’re capable of playing, we can beat anybody in this league.”

GAME ON … The Raiders visit the Kamloops Broncos on Saturday (Aug. 27). V.I. doesn’t play a home game again until Sept. 17, when the Westshore Rebels visit Caledonia Park for a 2 p.m. kickoff.


Just Posted

Woodgrove Centre has a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by Island Health. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 vaccine clinic set up at Woodgrove Centre

Anyone 12 and up can receive a first dose of mRNA vaccine seven days a week

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
Central Island’s United Way merging with other chapters to create United Way B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Supply of skilled tradespeople can’t keep up to Vancouver Island construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Most Read