NANAIMO — The VI Raiders are heading into their home opener this weekend with a win already under their belts.
Last Saturday Nanaimo's junior football team downed the Langley Rams 20-13.
Coach Doug Hocking says preparation was a big factor in the Raiders success in week one.
"We went over there and executed like we know how to do and played at a high level. We played a very intense football game against a good Langley team and came out with a win. The game went according to plan as far as we're concerned," said Hocking.
The performance of kick returner Brycen Mayoh earned the BCFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.
His two returns for 146 yards set up key drives for the team, and he also had a touchdown that was called back.
Hocking calls Mayoh one of his go to guys and says he plans to utilize him even more.
This week's home opener is a key rivalry game.
The Westshore Rebels are not just the Raiders closest rivals, they are the defending BCFC champs and knocked the Raiders out of the post season last year with a 34-29 win in the semi finals.
Westshore has stumbled out of the game with a 19-15 loss last week to the Okanagan Sun.
Hocking says he's excited about playing the Rebels in the home opener.
"We understand the history of this game and what's gone on between these two teams. As far as what we're doing it doesn't change our preparation in any way, shape, or form. To win on Saturday you've got to win during the week of practice. We come out and practice hard regardless of who our opponent is," said Hocking.
The first game at Caledonia Park will set the tone for the seaon for VI.
Hocking wants to see his team firing on all cyclinders early in the game and establish a physical presence.
The coach thinks his team left some points on the table in the Langley game and that is something he's already addressed heading into this weekend.
The VI Raiders home opener is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Caledonia Park.
For game results and the full season schedule you can go to www.viraiders.ca.
On twitter: @danmarshall77
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