Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Continue Growing Pains But Win

J.R. Taylor breaks free for a touchdown.The Racine Raiders (2-0 overall; 1-0 MSFL) are going to have some growing pains this year. According to head coach Wilbert Kennedy, about half the team is new. It’s a problem that many other semi-pro teams deal with on a yearly basis, but it’s a problem that doesn’t often affect the Raiders. Despite the amount of youth on the team, the Raiders were able to beat the more seasoned Milwaukee County Chargers (3-1 overall, 0-1 MSFL), 28-18, on Saturday night at Historic Horlick Athletic Field.

The Raiders were able to get on the scoreboard first as Anthony Johnson hit Myles Spiegel on a medium crossing route and Spiegel broke free from the Chargers defense en route to a 51-yard touchdown. Sam Nisler added the extra point and Racine led 7-0 in the first quarter.

Jordan Scott hauls in an interception against Milwaukee County.The Raiders would add another touchdown in the second quarter. Johnson, under pressure, rolled out to his left. Looking downfield, he spotted Alex Wallace near the endzone and heaved the ball to Wallace who had gotten behind the defense for a 52-yard touchdown strike. Nisler’s extra point was good and the Raiders took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

The Chargers came out in the second half and punched the ball right down the Raiders gut. Eddie Bailey took a handoff and ran to the near sideline where he was crushed by Raiders defenders after a few yard gain. Bailey lost the football but it popped up in the air, right to B.J. Graves who chugged 35 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and Racine still led 14-6.

Myles Spiegel gets a 51-yard touchdown against Milwaukee County.The Raiders, who had excellent starting field position much of the game, capitalized on a 57-yard kick return by Lawerance Peters, setting Racine up at the Milwaukee County 22-yard line. J.R. Taylor took the handoff and broke to his left. He slipped through a tackle and ran into the endzone for his first touchdown of the game. The Nisler extra point was good and Racine led 21-6.

The Raiders held the Chargers to a three-and-out deep in their own territory. A short punt by Chase Zablocki and a 22-yard return by Nick Hall gave Racine the ball at the Milwaukee County 32-yard line. Taylor again took the handoff and broke to his left, leaping over a defender, and heading into the endzone. Nisler’s extra point gave Racine a 28-6 lead.

Jordan Scott hauls in an interception against Milwaukee County.Milwaukee County fought back and the Raiders again struggled late in the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter. The Raiders appeared to have stopped the Chargers on 3rd-and-8 at the Raiders 45-yard line, but Racine accepted a lineman downfield penalty. On the next play, Shannon King missed his intended receiver but Deveron Davis was flagged for a hit on a defenseless receiver, giving the Chargers a first down at the Racine 30 yard line.

The Chargers capitalized when King found Derrick McCall on a 16 yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion attempt again failed but the Chargers cut the Racine lead to 28-12 with just over five minutes to play.

Rashawn Herron would go in untouched from 11 yards out with just over two minutes to play, further cutting the Racine lead to 28-18. The Chargers were unable to recover the onside kick and the Raiders ran most of the time off the clock to secure the win.

Lawerance Peters returns a punt.It started out as a great night for Johnson who was 6-7 for 122 yards and two touchdowns at one point in the first half. Johnson finished 7-16 for 140 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Stephen Jackson was 2-5 for 17 yards and tossed 2 more picks.

Davis helped lead the way on defense again, recording nine tackles. Jordan Scott, Torie Ruffin, and Ross Toeller each had interceptions for Racine and Jalen Steward got the lone sack in the game for the Raiders.

The Raiders have a big rivalry game looming on Saturday against the Muskego Hitmen. The Hitmen are 5-0 on the season and their defense has surrendered just 13 points. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Historic Horlick Athletic Field in Racine, Wis.