Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

National Championships

The Chambersburg (PA) Cardinals came to Horlick Field, led by former Ohio State quarterback Greg Hare who completed 30 of 46 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t enough, however, as Racine hung on to win 17-10.

The Cardinals, who had won 56 of 57 games over the past three seasons, had soundly beaten the Delavan Red Devils 44-9 in a MPFA semifinal game.

The Cardinals took a 7-0 first-quarter lead. The Gladiators tied the game in the second quarter on a six-yard pass from quarterback Charlie Bliss to Ray Meinsen. Bliss’ second touchdown pass of the game, a 10-yarder to Greg Varner, put Racine ahead to stay. The Cardinals, going for the tying touchdown, drove the ball to Racine’s one-yard line, but linebacker Terry Converse tackled Hare and forced a fumble which the Gladiators recovered.

The Gladiators won their second championship in three years, at Horlick Field this time under coach Pete Bock, taking down the New Jersey Rams, 30-13.

Racine was led by Nils Lindskoog, voted offensive player of the game, who kicked field goals of 37, 41, and 44 yards. Defensive back Earl Anderson, voted defensive player of the year, intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown.

The Raiders topped off an undefeated season with the American Football Association National Championship. They finished the season with a 5-3 win over the Brooklyn Mariners for the AFA National Championship before a record 6,299 great fans who braved snow, sleet, wind and rain in what came to be known as the “Mud Bowl” at Historic Horlick Field.

Brooklyn scored first on a 23-yard field goal on its opening drive.

Phil Micech blocked a second-quarter punt and Brooklyn recovered the punt in the endzone, giving the Raiders a safety. Racine’s Steve Schonert kicked the game-winning 27-yard field goal with 7:50 to play in the game.

The Raiders repeated as World Champions under the banner of the MLFA in 1989 edging a tough Ottawa, Canada Bootleggers team during a raging blizzard with a temperature of five degrees at game time. The Raiders not only had to fight the Bootleggers and the elements but an extremely hostile crowd as well.

The “Snow Bowl,” was the flipside to the “Mud Bowl” of the year prior. The Bootleggers hosted the Raiders in blizzard conditions. Over 6,200 fans withstood the game-time temperature of five-degrees that dipped to -40 with the windchill factor.

Ottawa took a 7-0 lead on a 62-yard pass play. Racine’s Les White answered with an 80-yard run, but Schonert’s point after attempt was blocked. Schonert kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 9-7 lead at the half.

Trailing 14-9 with 1:50 to go in the game, Bliss threw a game-winning 50-yard touchdown pass to Ron Daugherty.

In the end, the Raiders rolled out “Old Glory” on the Canadian field, sang our National Anthem and drank heartily of the champagne and beer the Bootleggers left behind. It was a most satisfying win! General Manager Joe Mooney said it was like “us against the world” and when it was all over, Joe kept telling himself he didn’t want the day to end.

The Raiders rejoined the Midwest Football league in style with another undefeated season. Under Coach Terry Converse’s eagle eye, the team breezed through a 15-0 year as they scored 501 points while allowing their opponents only 25.

The Brooklyn Mariners traveled to Racine, and went home defeated as the Raiders took the MLFA/USFA National Championship Title with a 17 – 10 victory.

The Raiders took a 7-0 lead on a 7-yard pass from Charlie Bliss to Gary Kuykendall. The Mariners came back and led 10-7 at the half. Darnell Marshall opened the second half with a 65-yard kickoff return, then a 12-yard pass to Jim Swanson, and a 27-yard pass to Keith Ringelberg set up Ringelberg’s game-winning touchdown run. Dave Hodgson sealed the fifth Raiders championship with a 33-yard fourth-quarter field goal.

This game also marked the second retirement for Hall of Fame Quarterback Charlie Bliss. It was his fifth title with the Gladiators and the Raiders. Bliss also won a National Title with the Lincolnwood (IL) Chargers in 1986.

In 1995, the Raiders proclaimed it the “Start of a New Era” and joined the Mid-Continental Football League. Former Raider Defensive End and Hall of Famer Kurt Kampendahl was named interim Head Coach. Suffering only one loss all year, to the Kokomo Mustangs, a loss that they avenged in the MCFL Playoffs, the Raiders were on the road to Massachusetts. A 16 – 6 victory over the Shamrocks, in very bad weather, gave the Raiders the United States Football Association (USFA) National Title. After the 1995 season, Joe Mooney, citing burnout, resigned as General Manager, turning the reins over to Gordy Johnson.

The Raiders and over 3,600 fanatical fans welcomed the 15-1 Scranton Eagles into Historic Horlick Field. The Raiders had no problem grabbing their fifth National Championship in 14 years as they took a quick 17-0 lead and never looked back. They even shut Scranton out in the second half!

In their first season under head coach Gino Perfetto, the Raiders tear through the MidStates Football League (MSFL) going undefeated in league play and losing just one game all season. The Raiders hosted the Nashville Storm in the Semi-Pro BCS AAA National Championship in front of nearly 3,500 fans at Historic Horlick Athletic Field. Nashville scored a touchdown on the first play of the game on an 80-yard pass from Phelleppe Hall to Steve Hendricks. The Raiders answered on their ensuing drive and a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown following Nashville’s next drive put the Raiders well on their way to the eighth national championship in team history.

The Raiders went undefeated under first year head coach Wilbert Kennedy and claimed the National Football Events Summer/Fall National Championship, beating the Detroit Seminoles, 39-8, at Historic Horlick Athletic Field in Racine. Rookie kicker Justin Schoepke kicked five field goals and was named the game’s most valuable player. Rookie Tyrone Galvin returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown and first-year Raider Chris Hicks took an onside kick back 45 yards for a score. The Raiders potent offense would manage just one touchdown in the game as the Raiders were held to just 267 yards of total offense. The Raiders defense held the Seminoles to just over 150 yards of offense in the win.