Almost every week is rivalry week in the B.C. Football Conference. The V.I. Raiders are getting ready to kick off this Saturday (Aug. 9) in Kelowna against the Okanagan Sun.
Both teams have a win and a loss this season, and so even though it’s early in the season, the two games in a row between the rivals will be significant in the standings.
The Raiders are coming off a 39-9 win over the Rebels, but will need to be better to beat the Sun. V.I. coach Brian Ridgeway said guys need to be more focused on the micro details of each play to have success against good teams.
“Be assignment sharp,” said the coach. “If guys aren’t performing, you’ve got to have a short leash on them. We have guys coming back from injuries so we’ll have a deeper bench and mental mistakes won’t be tolerated.”
The Sun offence has so far been centred around running backs Alex Bradley and Dillon Fortune and its defence is led by DB Robbie Yochim. The Raiders have been paced offensively by quarterback Liam O’Brien and receiver Marshall Cook.
Brendan Lattimer, V.I. defensive back, said after last week’s win that the Raiders would get right back work, recognizing they have a “huge week” ahead of them.
“I believe working on ourselves this week is really going to help us get our fundamentals straight,” he said. “When we go into Okanagan, hopefully we’ll be rolling … and we’ll be able to go in there and do what we do.”
GAME ON … The Raiders and Sun kick off Saturday at 7 p.m. at Kelowna’s Apple Bowl stadium. Then comes a rematch Aug. 16 at Caledonia Park.