Nanaimo Raiders Destroy Huskers in Junior Football Action

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Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

Nanaimo, BC (ISN) – If the 0-4 Chilliwack Huskers came into Saturday’s game at Caledonia Field against the 3-0-1 Vancouver Island Raiders perhaps feeling a little “Yantz-y”, they had good reason for it, as the league leading team defeated the Huskers 85-0 in front of a loyal Raider Nation.

Anybody that knows the history of these two teams could have guessed the probable outcome of the game before buying a ticket, but the fashion in which the Raiders did it was truly remarkable, albeit at the expense of a Chilliwack Huskers team looking to belong in the BCFC, only amassing a total of 26 total points going into the game.

Raiders all-star QB Jordan Yantz was the recipient of a pre-game tribute for setting a new CJFL record of 106 touchdown passes to date in his career. From the opening snap it was apparent Yantz was going to add to that and his Raiders were not going to pull any punches, as Yantz, on the opening snap, would put the ball into the hands of running back #18 Andrew Deleon for a 75 yard sideline romp for the first major of the game.

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Jordan Yantz surveys the field masterminding a record 42 points in the 1st quarter of play -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Huskers would make it hard for themselves when they would fumble the ball in their own end and Raiders #99 Shane Stonehouse would pickup the ball and score another touchdown with 13:35 remaining on the clock. By the end of the first quarter the Raiders had set a new CJFL record for the most points in a quarter last held by the Raiders and four other teams dating back to 1975. The score at the end of the quarter… 42-0 for the Raiders.

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Raiders Dustin Pedersen would rush for a touchdown and throw for an touch down to Jordan Yantz -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Huskers could not seem to find an answer to the Raiders team play, only being allowed out of their own end once in the half, while the Raiders would keep the “pedal to the metal” scoring a total of ten majors in the 1st half, going up 70-0. By this time QB Yantz had tallied a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and a receiving touchdown. Yes, that’s right, a receiving touchdown on a pass from # 85 Dustin Pedersen. The Huskers would seemingly be their own worst enemies with countless kick return fumbles, giving the high-powered Raider offense numerous field position “gifts.”

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Raiders celebrate one of 2 touchdowns scored during game action at Caledonia Field in Naniamo Saturday against the Chilliwack Raiders -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

With the game seemingly put out of reach, Yantz would take a seat to start the second half, handing duties to backup QB Kurtis Bardua. Yantz would leave the game with 2 touchdown passes to add to his record. Bardua would throw one of his two second half touchdown strikes in the third quarter to Mike Schaper. Last week the Raiders added former Okanagan QB J.J. Mraovic to the team when he was released on what was reported to be for ” personal reasons”. In 2011 Mraovic was 2nd only to Yantz in passing yards and touchdowns. Mraovic started the game lined up as a safety. With Yantz in his last year of eligibility, the move may be a worthy one for the Raiders future.

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#85 Dustin Pedersen leaps into the end zone after a big rushing play -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

With a Raider win at hand, the only uncertainty left in the game was on the scoreboard. Could the Huskers put points on the board to prevent the Raiders from shutting them out? The Huskers would be given the opportunity late in the fourth quarter when after a Raiders major foul, the Raiders would be forced to kick away the ball, giving the Huskers Raiders field position. The Raiders defense would prevent the Huskers from the touchdown and force a field goal attempt from the 25-yard line. The Raiders Erling Skuggedal exploded off the line, blocking the attempt, preserving the shutout win. The Raider’s Bardua would throw his 2nd touchdown on the last play of the game to Marshall Cook, giving the Raiders an 85-0 win. That win would prove to be the fourth most in BCFC history and the ninth most in CJFL history.

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Backup QB Kurtis Badua would run for a first down before being knocked out of bounds -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The game was not without controversy however. Game officials would elect to start the second half using the time “run-time” rule so the clock would not stop, effectively stopping the Raiders from challenging the most points recorded in a game of 109 set by the Ottawa Sooners in 1969. That record was set in an era when there was no “mercy” rule and the clock would still stop. When asked about the decision to use running time, Nanaimo Head Coach Blokker would voice his disappointment that his players didn’t get the needed reps on the field taking away from the preparation for the second half of the season, stating that the mercy rule was not to be implemented until the 4th quarter of games. When Coach Blokker was later asked about the officials decision he would comment, “We kind of got ripped off on plays and didn’t get our guys enough chances to play in the second half of play. When you add it all up, in the second half our offense maybe had 12 reps the whole half, and we want the reps, we need those reps.”

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Future and current Raider cheerleaders alike celebrated a blowout win against the Huskers -Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Raiders next game is an away game against the Okanagan Sun on Sept 15th.

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