Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca) – (ISN)
The Nanaimo Raiders hoisted another Cullen Cup on Saturday afternoon in front of a packed crowd at Caledonia field. A strong offensive performance by the BCFC’s most outstanding player, and a powerhouse defense provided the team a 6th straight cup win and the right to compete for the Josten Cup next Saturday, and the hope to adbance to the CJFL Canadian Championship game.
What was thought to be a star-studded matchup, with 15 total players from both teams named to the 2011 BCFC Allstar Team, turned into a one-sided offensive route as last years runner up to the Josten Cup, gave another impressive demonstration of their talent against the Langley Rams, who beat the Okanogan Sun last weekend to advance to the Cullen Cup.
Exciting First Half
The game opened up with the Raider fans seeing Rams QB throw a pass that was intercepted by Nanaimo Raider Adam Laurensse. The Raiders, a few plays later, would find themselves sown at the Rams 2yd line. Yantz would run it in from the 1 yd line at 9:19 of the 1st quarter for the games first, and only points as both teams would fight for field position. Neither team looked to dominate. Langley would take possession with good field position on their own 32yd line. After a 1st down conversion in their own zone by the Rams, the Raiders would bring the blitz, sending their defensive line and backing up the Rams to their own 38 yd line. The field appeared to begin to tilt in the Raiders favour when on a 3rd down Rams snap, the ball would launch over the punters head, forcing the Rams to chase down the ball close to their own goal line and kick it away.
The Raiders would take possession on Langley’s 45 yd line. Langley’s defense would come up big, stopping the Raiders drive with 3:30 remaining in the 1st, but the Raiders would not be denied and pushed back defensively. The Rams were held in their own end most of the 1st half of the game, giving prime field position to the Raiders. Raiders #31 Jordan Botel, sprinting down field into Rams territory, would pick up a huge gain and then add on more yards on a Rams penalty on a drive that started from their own 51 yd line, and finished at the Rams 11 yard line to finish the 1st quarter. Score 7-0 Raiders
Raiders In Control
At the start of the 2nd quarter, Raiders Yantz didn’t waste anytime, throwing a strike to Raiders home –grown receiver #88 Andrew Smith at 14:10 of the 2nd for the major. Yantz, the all-time passing touchdown record holder, as expected, seemed to be in control of the Raiders games offensive pace. For plays later, the Raiders were once again testing the rams defense, seemingly pushing them back at will. Raider Botel would carry the ball to the Rams 2yd line at 10:25 of the 2nd quarter for a 1st down. Raiders, scoring at will, would add another major at the 9:30 mark. The Langley Rams, Back on their heels, resorted to attempting reversing the ball on 2 consecutive downs, but the Raiders were the wiser. The Raiders would add another touchdown when Yantz would find Andrew Smith again loitering in the end zone with only 47 second left n the half. Score 28-0 Raiders
With the start of the 3rd quarter, the Raiders, perhaps feeling confident of the pending outcome, took some unecessary penalties, giving the Rams field position. The Rams would march the ball downfield to the Raiders 12 yd line only to fumble the ball and turn it into a runback to the Rams 8 yd line. The Raiders would add 3 points on a completed fieldgoal. The Rams, looking sloppy would continue making errors, throwing an interception that would eventually result in a touch down by Raiders #12 Whitman Tomusiak at 3:59 of the 3rd. As the points piled up against the Rams, tempers started to flare up as both teams met at centre field to discuss the latest fashion, only to be separated by the referees. Score 38-0 Raiders
The 4th quarter was all Raiders, as it appeared that the Rams had run out of gas and spirit. The Raiders would add 2 field goals.
Final Score Raiders 44 Rams 0