The Kamloops Broncos are trying to put the season behind them, even though it's already been a season to remember.
Kamloops' junior football team clinched its first postseason berth last week, despite a dismal 2-7-1 record and losses in its last three games. The team will travel to Nanaimo on Friday and will look to upset the Vancouver Island Raiders on Satuday, 4 p.m., at Westhills Stadium.
"Yesterday was probably one of our best practices ever," said Broncos head coach Duncan Olthuis before Wednesday's practice. "Getting into the playoffs, these kids have another mindset and they're ready to go. Hopefully it continues the rest of the week."
The Raiders enter Saturday's game as the league's top team, on a seven-game winning streak. They scored 392 points and only gave up 163 to their opponents. Kamloops on the other hand had 176 points for and 332 against.
Should the Broncos hope to win their first postseason game, Olthuis will need his players to flip the tables on the Raiders.
"On offence we just have to protect the ball and keep driving the ball like we have," he said. "If we can protect it then we get more time for our D to rest and our D has got to be able to stop the run game and Whitman Tomusiak who's a great receiver and we gotta be able to shut that down.
"We've never put together a 60-minute game and we have to this week."
The players, too, are trying to put the last few weeks behind them and focus on the opportunity in front of them. Nerves aren't entering into the equation right now, said receiver Derek Yachison.
"We're just treating this as another game," he said. "Last year at this time we were still playing football because the season started a week earlier this year.
"For us it's basically just another game."
"We're not really looking at it as a playoff game because there's a lot of pressure that comes with that," added defensive lineman Braden McCarthy. "We're looking at it as a new season, we're going in 0-0."