Afirst place finish is on the line as the Vancouver Island Raiders head to Langley to face the Rams.
The B.C. Football Conference juggernauts will go toe-to-toe at MacLeod Park Stadium in Langley on Saturday.
The Raiders, Rams and Okanagan Sun are currently in a three-way tie for first place in BCFC with 6-2 records, but a win for Vancouver Island would mean a first-place clinch.
In two matches this season, the Raiders and Rams went 1-1, with Vancouver Island taking a Sept. 14 match at home by a score of 41-27. The Rams bested the Raiders on Aug. 10 by 36-28, also at Caledonia Park.
The Raiders' loss to the Rams during the Cullen Cup final last year after Vancouver Island's perfect regular season is a distant memory for head coach Matt 'Snoop' Blokker.
"I don't think last year really weighs in. Like I say, there's so many new faces that weren't there last year," he said.
Should the Rams win, the team would still fall short of a first-place.
A Raiders win would mean an automatic top finish, with the homefield playoff advantage that goes with it. A loss could drop Vancouver Island down to third, meaning the team would have to travel during the post-season.
Through 2013 the Raiders have continually improved. After going 1-2 out of the gate, the team now boasts a 6-2 record.
Maintaining that momentum will be essential for the team when it faces what has until now been the most potent offence in the BCFC, second to the Raiders.
"We know it's going to be the toughest game of the year so far, no doubt about it. We've got to prepare this week, be ready for it, be ready for a very physical team," Blokker said.
"If you can't be motivated for first place then you can't be motivated at all," he added. "This team has enough motivation as it is."
The Raiders have averaged almost 47 points per game during their win streak, but know they will have to carry on that momentum through four quarters if they are to emerge with a victory against Langley.
"As long as we keep scoring points, our defence is pretty tough to beat," Blokker said. "We've just got to keep the pressure on and keep it for four quarters. Those are the small intangibles. Langley is a very, very explosive team. They have the ability to score 50 points on you," he said.
"Got to go punch-for-punch with this team early in the game or it could be a blowout."
Kick off is 4 p.m. on Saturday and the game can also be watched at www.viraiders.ca.
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