Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Answer the Bell

Belle City Bowl ScoresNobody expected a repeat of Belle City Bowl VI, a 91-20 Racine Raiders win last year, when the Raiders and Racine Threat met at Historic Horlick Athletic Field on Saturday night for Belle City Bowl VII. Many fans were likely shocked when the game went into halftime tied at seven, however. The Raiders would build a 14 point lead in the third quarter but the Threat would cut that back to 7 points before the Raiders pulled away with a 21 point fourth quarter and stay unbeaten in 2016 with a 42-14 win.

Neither team could get anything going in the first quarter. The Threat started all of their first quarter drives between the 45-yard lines but penalties often killed drives. The Raiders, meanwhile, found themselves deep in their own territory to start every first quarter drive due to the excellent field position for the Threat.

The Threat got on the scoreboard first less than a minute into the second quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run by Torrie Tyson. T.J. Hearn’s extra point gave the Threat a 7-0 lead.

The Raiders marched right down the field on the ensuing drive. Anthony Johnson tossed a 14 yard touchdown pass to Travis Worthington with 9:45 to play in the first half. Sam Nisler’s extra point gave tied Belle City Bowl VII at seven. That would be the score heading into halftime after a Hunter Breunig 54-yard field goal attempt was blocked with no time left.

The Raiders got the football first in the second half and it took one offensive play for them to take the lead and never look back. J.R. Taylor took the handoff from Johnson, followed Chris Hicks through the hole, and exploded for a 54-yard touchdown run. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 14-7.

The Raiders scored again just three minutes late as Johnson connected with former Threat player D.J. Smith for a 21-yard touchdown. The Raiders led 21-7 with 11:50 to play in the third quarter.

The Raiders held the Threat on the next drive and drove down to the Threat four-yard line with a chance to blow the game wide open but Johnson’s pass was intercepted by Daquan Smith in the endzone. The Threat responded back on the next possession. Gordy Bittner, Jr., and C.J. Wilson connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-14 Raiders with 6:58 to play in 3rd quarter.

The Raiders offense was a juggernaut in the second half, however. They would drive down to the Threat four-yard line again as the third quarter came to a close with the Raiders leading 21-14. On 1st-and-goal from the four, Taylor tried to go up the middle but there was nowhere to run so he broke it outside towards the Raiders sideline and angled towards the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Raiders a 28-14 lead just ten seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Raiders would add two more scores in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. Johnson threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Alex Wallace giving the Raiders a 35-14 lead with 9:38 to play in the game.

Then, with 5:16 to play, the Raiders lined up for a 21-yard field goal. Breunig sailed the football wide to the right but the Threat jumped offsides. The penalty yardage wasn’t enough for a first down but, instead of going for another field goal try, head coach Wilbert Kennedy decided to go for it on 4th-and-3 from the Threat four-yard line. Johnson connected with Worthington for the second time in the game and gave the Raiders the 42-14 win.

Johnson finished the game 17-of-25 passing for 258 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception and a fumble lost. Taylor had 109 yards on 14 carries and 2 touchdowns, giving him 11 total touchdowns on the season. He racked up 82 yards in the second half. Deveron Davis recorded 9-1/2 tackles, including a tackle for loss. Erick Sanders had 5 tackles and an interception. Jalen Steward and Izarius Jones each had a sack in the game and Ross Toeller claimed the team lead for the season with an interception, his third of the year.

The Raiders stay unbeaten on the season with the win, improving to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the MidStates Football League (MSFL). They are in front of the Door County Destroyers by one game and ahead of the Muskego Hitmen and Milwaukee County Chargers by two games. They’ve already beaten all three of those teams at home this season but each will get a rematch on their home field in the next month.

The Threat fall to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the MSFL. In their last two games, the Threat have accumulated 32 penalties for well over 300 yards.

The Raiders hit the road for four straight games against conference opponents. The Raiders will travel to Howards Grove, Wis., to play the Sheboygan County Rebels who are 0-4 on the season and are coming off a 52-8 road loss to the Door County Destroyers. The Raiders have a fan bus going to the game. To find out more information, visit the fan bus information page. Kickoff will be 6 p.m. this week with the radio broadcast on WIPZ 101.5 FM beginning at 5:40 p.m.