Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

MSFL Champs!

   Will Norwood celebrated the game-winning touchdown reception from Jordan PayneThe 2019 MidStates Football League game became an instant classic with many fans saying it’s the best game they’ve attended. The Racine Raiders outlasted the Midway Marauders, 21-20, in front of estimates of nearly 3,000 fans at Historic Horlick Athletic Field in Racine, Wis.

The game got off to the worst start possible for the Raiders as quarterback Mitch Farr was picked off by Timothy Smith on the first play of the game and Smith took it to the house for a 6-0 lead for the Marauders. The Marauders didn’t have a kicker for extra points or field goals and went for two-point conversion attempts the entire game. They were unsuccessful in converting any of their three attempts in the game.

The Raiders charged right back as Farr hit Troy Collier on a 52-yard touchdown pass and T.J. Hearn added the extra point to give Racine a 7-6 lead with 12:48 to play in the first quarter.

The Marauders offense hit on a big pass play of 43 yards from Alex Alacron to Sheldon Little with 8:21 to play in the opening quarter, giving the Marauders a 12-7 lead. The score would stay that way until about ten minutes into the second quarter.

Running back Howard Triplett, who was held to three yards per carry on the night by a stout Marauders defense, pounded the ball in from two yards out to give Racine a 14-12 lead that they took into halftime.

Neither team could get anything going on offense for most of the second half and the game turned into the defensive battle most were expecting it to be. Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter and there wasn’t an offensive score in the second half until there was 27 seconds left to play in the game. 

Packed house at 2019 MSFL champiWith just under four minutes to play, the Raiders were backed up inside their own five-yard line. After a running play got them to their five-yard line, Jordan Payne, who was filling in at quarterback for Farr who got hurt earlier in the quarter, was under pressure and threw the ball towards the Raiders sideline. After a brief discussion by the officials, the Raiders were flagged for intentional grounding. Since Payne was in the end zone, the Marauders were awarded a safety to tie the game at 14.

The Marauders ensuing drive stalled at the Raiders 40-yard line and they launched a punt to the Raiders five-yard line. Again, Payne was under pressure on the first play of the drive and threw the ball towards a Raiders receiver but it was intercepted by Deon Benton. Benton returned the interception inside the Raiders five-yard line but pitched it back at the last moment. The ball was loose on the ground by picked up by a Marauders defender at the Raiders seven-yard line.

On the next play, Alacron from Devante Williams in the corner of the end zone and the Marauders led 20-14 with 27 seconds to play. The Marauders were flagged for taunting after the play and Dave Moore had to kickoff from his own 20-yard line. The kick was fielded by Torie Ruffin at the Raiders 41-yard line. He ran forward a couple of yards and pitched the ball out-and-behind him to Payne who had a lane and got to the Midway 25-yard line.

On the first play, Payne, under pressure, rolled out to his right and lofted a pass to the far corner of the end zone. Will Norwood hauled the pass in for the touchdown to tie the game with ten seconds to play. Hearn came on for the extra point. In an effort to ice Hearn, the Marauders used their final timeout. Hearn nailed the extra point, giving Racine a 21-20 lead.

Benton had a nice return on the kickoff, taking it to the Marauders 39-yard line. The Marauders attempted a flea-flicker pass but Tyler Neal’s pass was picked off by Norwood who was playing a deep safety position.

With the 21-20 win, the Raiders claimed their 21st league championship and their fourth MSFL title and first since 2015. The Raiders will now enter a postseason national tournament. The team hopes to announce more information later this week.

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