The midget Raiders employed an old school, smash mouth, knock-em-down, drag-em-out mentality to overcome the powerhouse two-time defending provincial champion White Rock Football Club, Sunday at Bill Moore Park in Courtenay. The score was 18-12.
The underdog Raiders were led to victory by the steady hand of quarterback Ethan Lloyd, who ran the ball for crucial first downs and a touchdown. Lloyd stretched the field with beautiful passes and catch plays to standout receiver Austen McGill.
The story of the game was the play of the running backs. Jesse Dyble had a breakout game with 22 carries for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Dyble was aided by excellent blocking from fullback Angus Frayn. Frayn added eight carries for 65 yards and sealed the victory for his team with a powerful first down run at the end of the game. Frayn also played on defence, adding 2.5 tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and four quarterback pressures. Ben Julien was the outstanding player on defence with 7.5 tackles, three pass deflections and a forced fumble. Julien’s speed, aggressive tackling and pursuit of the ball were keys to victory for the Raiders. Cornerbacks Josh Voak and Brodie Gardner came up big for their team, defending the pass and stopping outside run plays. Defensive tackle Cedar Frank solidified the middle of the field, stopping the run while overpowering the White Rock offensive lineman.
The Raiders showed their true colours in this dogfight and took a big step forward by beating the previously undefeated provincial champions.
The Raiders play in Richmond Sunday. If they win their next three games they will solidify a home playoff game for the semi-finals of the provincial championships. Go Raiders!