Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Back-to-Back Champs

tyrone-galvin-returnThe Racine Raiders became the first MidStates Football League (MSFL) team to win back-to-back championships since the Roscoe Rush accomplished the feat in 2010 and 2011 by beating the Lincoln-Way Patriots, 34-26, at Wedgbury Stadium in Loves Park, Ill. Saturday night.

Racine jumped out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter of play but Lincoln-Way chipped away at the lead, trailing by as few as five points midway through the fourth quarter.

Tyrone Galvin, MSFL special teams player of the year, showed why he won the league award by returning the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Justin Schoepke added the extra point and Racine led 7-0.

j-r-taylor-closeupAfter holding Lincoln-Way to a three-and-out, the Raiders got the ball at the Patriots 47 yard line following a 25-yard punt. Racine drove the distance on six plays in just over three minutes. J.R. Taylor ran in from two yards out to extend the lead to 14-0.

Deveron Davis forced a fumble by Jalon Banks on Lincoln-Way’s next drive and it was recovered by Brandon Rogers at the Patriots 23-yard line. Three plays later, Craig McClelland called his own number and pushed the pile forward from the one yard line for Racine’s third touchdown of the first quarter. Schoepke added the extra point to give Racine a 21-0 lead with 8:11 to play in the first quarter.

Lincoln-Way would get down to the Racine 17-yard line on the ensuing drive but Ryan Dunne’s 36-yard field goal attempt missed wide to the left. The Raiders would get deep into Lincoln-Way territory on their next drive but Schoepke sailed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide left as well.

larry-williams-jarael-bell-tackleThe Patriots would get on the scoreboard on their next drive on a 15-yard run by Banks. It ended a 7 play, 73 yard drive that took just under 4 minutes and cut the Racine lead to 21-7 with 6:58 to play in the first half.

Racine would move 47 yards on 9 plays in five minutes and add a 31-yard field goal by Schoepke to extend their lead to 24-7 with under two minutes to play in the half.

MSFL most valuable player Tony Powell was able to lead the Patriots on a scoring drive before the end of the half. Powell led Lincoln-Way on an 8 play, 75 yard drive, culminating with a 13 yard touchdown scramble by Powell. The Dunne extra point was no good but the Patriots cut the Raiders lead to 11 points heading into the half and the Patriots were set to get the ball to start the second half.

craig-mcclelland-handoffThe Patriots mounted a 92 yard drive to open the second half of play. Powell found Steve Trudo for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion pass was no good but Lincoln-Way cut the Racine lead to 24-19 with 9:11 to play in the third quarter.

Racine needed to get momentum back on their side and it was veterans McClelland, Sam D’Alie, and Taylor that grabbed it back from Lincoln-Way on the ensuing drive. Racine marched 63 yards on 8 plays with Taylor finding a lane and running for a 24-yard touchdown. Racine led 31-19 with 4:49 to play in the third quarter.

Lincoln-Way would cut the Racine lead back to five points on a one yard run by Banks with 7:56 to play in the game but, once again, the Raiders responded.

Howard Triplett tackles Deshon Jones on a kick return.Racine put together a 13 play, 49 yard drive that ate 6:21 off the clock. Schoepke nailed a 28-yard field goal to give Racine a 34-26 lead.

Lincoln-Way had one last chance with 1:35 to play and one timeout. The Raiders cut down Lexus Jackson on the kickoff at the Patriots 23-yard line. On 2nd-and-9, Powell found Javonte Keys for a 22 yard completion to the Patriots 46-yard line.

On first down, Powell threw the ball away as he was being pressured by Justin Ankley. Ankley took Powell to the ground and Powell lay motionless for several seconds as training staff immediately came to tend to him. Powell had suffered a concussion and an ambulance was called resulting in about a 20 minute delay. Powell ended up turning down further treatment and stayed at the field.

Sam D'Alie with a catch.Justin Roudez replaced Powell on what should’ve been a 2nd-and 10 but the officials mistakenly thought it was third down. Roudez looked like he kept the Patriots drive alive with an 18-yard scramble but a holding penalty brought the ball back to the Raiders 45-yard line leaving the Patriots a yard short of the first down.

The Patriots then had a false start penalty pushing them back to midfield and 2nd-and-6. Roudez was then dropped in the backfield by Torie Ruffin on a scramble, losing eight yards and bringing up a 4th-and-14.

The Patriots then called and were awarded a timeout as the officials never charged Lincoln-Way a timeout on the injury to Powell inside of two minutes left in the game as National Football League rules say they should have.

Roudez desperation pass on 4th-and-14 fell incomplete and the Raiders claimed their third MSFL title, 34-26.

Taylor led the Raiders with 23 rushes for 115 yards. Tyrone Galvin added 26 yards on 6 carries. McClelland was 11-23 for 130 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Sam D’Alie was the Raiders leading receiver with 6 catches for 56 yards.

On defense, Torie Ruffin recorded 8 tackles, Steve Kleist had 7 tackles, Quintell Pratcher added 6 tackles and Davis and Ankley each had 5 tackles.

The Raiders get a bid to a national tournament with the win. More information will be released about the tournament in the next few days.