Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Come Up Empty Against Rockton

Dan Kant-Hull on the prowl.The Racine Raiders made history against the Rockton Rush on Saturday night at the Rockton Sports Complex. With Gordy Bittner, Jr., getting the start at quarterback, the younger Bittner and his dad, Gordy Bittner, Sr., became the first father-and-son tandem to start a game at quarterback for the Racine Raiders in the 64-year history of the team. That was the positive news of the night.

The negative history is the Raiders were shut out for the first time in over nine years, falling to Rockton, 7-0, putting the team’s playoff hopes in jeopardy and guaranteeing the Raiders would be on the road for the first round of the MidStates Football League playoffs. 

Racine was last shutout by the St. Paul Pioneers on July 19, 2008, in the Twin Cities, 35-0. That game featured some of the same things Saturday’s game at Rockton did as well. It was hot in St. Paul. Racine used three quarterbacks in both games and the opposing defense picked off three passes. Each Raiders quarterback tossed a pick against Rockton.

Prior to the Pioneers game, the Raiders hadn’t been shut out since 2001, a year where they would rebound and win a national title. Kane County took down the Raiders 7-0 in the first round of the Mid-Continental Football League playoffs.

Austin Tenner finds some running room.Perhaps the lone bright spot for Racine against Rockton on offense was the play of Howard Triplett. Triplett carried the ball 8 times for 76 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards in the game.

The Raiders had a chance to get on the board on their first drive but Hunter Breunig’s 45-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. Rockton would score on a one-yard touchdown run by Tremaine Berry, a 290-pounder that the Rush use at the goal line. That came with 12:38 to play in the first half and would hold as the only score.

Rockton had a chance to extend their lead to 10-0 right before the half but Julie Harshbarger missed a 22-yard field goal wide right.

Both teams had opportunities in the second half but drives stalled out of field goal range on both sides of the field as the defenses really shined in the game.

The Raiders continue a three-game road trip next week as they travel to Bailey’s Harbor to take on the Door County Destroyers. The game starts at 4 p.m.