Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Clinch Playoff Bye

Floyd Underwood rush.Despite being missing over 20 players due to injuries and other commitments, being called for 16 penalties resulting in a loss of 131 yards, and only rushing for 69 yards, the Racine Raiders were able to fend off the Door County Destroyers, 45-25, in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, on Saturday night. The win guaranteed the Raiders a first round playoff bye.

Door County struck first with a 26-yard field goal by Eric Natwick with 6:04 to play in the first quarter. On the drive, TaMar Scott rushed three times for 42 yards, dicing through the Raiders defense.

The Destroyers held that lead until DiQuan McRae picked off T.J. Arndt and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown, giving the Raiders a 6-3 lead. It would be the first of five Raiders interceptions, two of which they returned for touchdowns. Samuel Nisler added the extra point and Racine led 7-3 with 5:59 to play in the first half.

Deveron Davis intercepted an Arndt pass on the Destroyers next drive but the Raiders couldn’t convert as a Hunter Breunig 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with 4:12 to play in the first half.

The Raiders offense extended their lead to 14-3 on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Johnson to Terrance Fitch with 38 seconds to play in the half.

A 47-yard reception by Andre Wilson gave Door County a chance to add points before the half. Natwick was well short on a 45-yard field goal attempt as time expired in the first half, giving Racine a 14-3 lead at the half.

J.R. Taylor, who finished with 6 rushes for 67 yards, broke a 66-yard touchdown run, his longest carry of the season, to give the Raiders a 21-3 lead with 9:21 to play in the third quarter.

Nick Hall return for a touchdown.The Raiders defense stepped up again on the Destroyers next drive. With Door County moving the ball well, Nick Hall picked off Arndt and took the ball 84 yards to the end zone. Racine led 28-3 with 7:14 to play.

Door County cut into the Raiders lead on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Arndt on the next drive. Natwick added the conversion and the Racine lead was 18, 28-10.

The Raiders responded on the next offensive play when Johnson connected with Fitch for the second time in the game and the fifth time in the last two games. The 51-yard touchdown connection gave the Raiders a 35-10 lead with 3:55 to play in the third quarter.

Nisler connected on a 46-yard field goal, the longest of his career, to push the Racine lead to 38-10 with 10:56 to play in the game.

That’s when Door County grabbed the momentum and made it a game late. Arndt found Wilson for a 50-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion run by Junior Blucher cut the Destroyers deficit to 38-18 with 8:35 to play.

The Destroyers attempted an onside kick and Tyler Elliott couldn’t haul it in, allowing Door County to recover near midfield. Arndt and Wilson connected again, this time for a 19 yard touchdown and Natwick added the extra point to pull the Destroyers to within 13 points, 38-25.

The Raiders recovered the onside kick and marched 43 yards in just over four minutes culminating with a Connor Flannery one-yard touchdown run to close the door. The Breunig extra point attempt gave the Raiders the 45-25 win.

Johnson finished the game 14-of-26 for 231 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Fitch grabbed 3 passes for 91 yards and caught both touchdown passes. Myles Spiegel added 88 yards on 5 grabs and D.J. Smith had 5 catches for 57 yards.

Deveron Davis led all Raiders defenders with 10 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. He also had an interception. Marvin McKee and McRae each finished with 7 tackles and Dan Kant-Hull had 6 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. Torie Ruffin and Erick Sanders each pulled down an interception for Racine.

The Raiders improve to 10-0 overall and 8-0 in the MidStates Football League. They finish the season at home against the Racine Threat on August 20, and the Sheboygan County Rebels on August 27. August 20 is Alumni Night, featuring players that played semi-pro football in Racine.