Friday night football under the lights at Bill Moore Memorial Park in Courtenay did not disappoint on Nov. 11 as the Comox Valley Raiders Junior Bantams defeated the Campbell River Eagles 40-27 to successfully defend their Strathcona Cup championship.
The Strathcona Cup is a traditional rivalry game for bragging rights between the Raiders and Eagles that started in the 1990s and was renewed last year.
In a hard-fought game in the rain the Raiders again raised the cup, defeating the Eagles in their final game of the season. The Raiders’ offence dominated, scoring on their first five possessions.
Quarterback Drew Wootton played an outstanding game, scoring four touchdown runs. One of these resembled something you would see on the nightly sports highlight shows as Wootton had a 65-yard run that included an incredible spin move to avoid a potential tackler.
Wootton also made several key pass plays including touchdown conversion passes to Sam Ezzy and Colton Brown. Wootton made a long pass and catch with receiver Colby Banyard in the fourth quarter, as the receiver made an outstanding diving catch.
Running back Jayce Osaduik had a TD run to round out the Raiders’ scoring. Osaduik played a remarkable game running for some hard fought yards inside to set up the outside runs of Wootton, as the Raiders’ offence looked and was almost unstoppable.
“The last few weeks the offence has really been coming together with strong performances against Ladysmith and Oceanside and this game was a continuation of those performances,” a team spokesperson said.
On defence the Raiders played well but the Eagles broke a few long plays to stay in the game. The turning point came late in the third quarter when the Raiders kicked off after a touchdown run and Banyard stripped the ball from the Eagles return man. Wootton picked up the fumble and ran 35 yards into the end zone, giving him five TDs in this game.
On the ensuing kickoff Brown kicked short, recovered the ball and never looked back as the Raiders scored their final offensive touchdown to seal the victory.
On the defensive side of the ball, tackle Hannah Bourbyn was a force all game long and made several big tackles to shut down the Eagles. Strong performances were also turned in by linebackers Jakob Dyck and Mark Biollo, defensive lineman Zach Stanyar, and cornerback Josh Ethier who also had a key fumble recovery.
“All season the Raiders continually improved and this improvement was quite evident in the final game of the season,” the team spokesperson said.
“This end to the season has the Raiders excited for Spring Football as the team should be a force to be reckoned with as the majority of the roster will be returning.”
The Raiders will finish their fall season with the Raiders awards banquet on Dec. 5.