Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Hitmen misfire as Raiders roll, 46-6

Steve Kleist wrangles Muskego Hitmen running back JoJo Moore who was playing quarterback.The regular season Northern Conference title was on the line, the Raiders were coming off of a hard-fought loss last week, and alumni dating back to the first year of the team in 1953 were at Historic Horlick Athletic Field Saturday night to see how the team would do. They didn’t disappoint, clinching home field advantage until the Mid-States Football League (MSFL) championship game with a 46-6 win over the Muskego Hitmen.

The game got off to a bit of a slow start but the biggest play in the game may have happened on the second offensive play from scrimmage. hitmen quarterback Tony Henner dropped back to pass on a play that was blown dead due to a false start on the offense. Unfortunately, none of the players on the field heard the whistle and Raiders defensive lineman Larry Williams made contact with Henner.

Henner laid on the ground following the contact. After a moment, perhaps thinking Henner was trying to draw a flag for the contact, trainers and coaches ran onto the field. Henner walked off under his own power but never returned to the game. The Hitmen were going to have to rely on James Borneman, their second string quarterback who hadn’t seen action during the MSFL regular season.

Michael Rachal sakcs Muskego Hitmen backup quarterback James Borneman.The Raiders would get on the board first on a 57 yard bomb from Craig McClelland to Terrance Fitch. Brandon Zoeller, kicking for Justin Schoepke who was on the sideline in street clothes and a jersey, had his first extra point attempt blocked. The ball was tipped at the line, which actually gave it more elevation, sending it into the crossbar, but bounded forward. The Raiders led 6-0 with 9:49 to play in the first quarter.

The Hitmen would take advantage of an Ivry Lashley fumble and even the score on 32 yard run by Trevor York with 6:07 to play in the opening quarter. The score would remain tied at six at the end of the first quarter but the Raiders would go on to score the final 40 points of the game. The Hitmen also lost Borneman due to injury late in the first half and tried using Dominique Johnson, a wide receiver, at quarterback. Johnson threw two passes, both intercepted, although a pick six by Nate Heard was called back for offsetting penalties. JoJo Moore, a running back, went the rest of the way for Muskego.

Myles Spiegel leaps to haul in a 26 yard otuchdown pass from Craig McClelland.The Raiders answered back on their next drive, going 50 yards on 11 plays and eating over seven minutes off of the game clock. McClelland hit J.R. Taylor on a backside screen pass and Taylor rumbled in from nine yards out to extend the Raiders lead to 12-6. The two-point conversion pass failed.

McClelland tossed his third touchdown pass of the game with 7:41 to play in the first half. He found Myles Spiegel down the far sideline for a 26 yard score. The play was setup by a fake punt that netted the Raiders a first down two plays earlier. Zoeller’s extra point was good and Racine extended their lead to 19-6.

McClelland’s final touchdown toss of the game went for 16 yards to Will Norwood to give Racine a 16-6 lead with 3:11 to play in the first half. The Raiders weren’t done yet. Anthony Johnson came on in relief of McClelland and completed a 10 yard touchdown pass to D.J. Smith to give the Raiders a 33-6 halftime lead.

The Raiders scored two touchdowns on the ground in the second half. Johnson ran one in from six yards out in the third quarter and Lashley scored on a seven yard run in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders the 46-6 win and a clinch of home field advantage in the playoffs.

The Raiders defense held Muskego to just four first downs in the game. The Hitmen mustered just 63 total yards, including only 13 yards in the air.

Racine hosts the Quad City Raiders on August 8, 2015, at 7 p.m. at Historic Horlick Athletic Field in the final regular season game of the year. The Raiders will then likely host the Sheboygan County Rebels on August 22 in the first round of the MSFL playoffs.