Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders pound Spartans into submission

Racine Raiders wide receiver Will Norwood breaks free from defenders.The Racine Raiders (6-0, 4-0 MSFL) fell behind early on Saturday night at Historic Horlick Athletic Field but rebounded to beat the Wauwatosa Spartans (1-3, 1-3 MSFL) in a Mid-States Football League game.

Raiders running back J.R. Taylor fumbled on the second play of the game to set up Wauwatosa at the Racine 24-yard line. The Spartans couldn’t move the ball and were forced with a 4th-and-5 from the Racine 19-yard line. With their starting kicker missing, the Spartans went for it on fourth down. Spartans quarterback Tony Henner found JaJuan Zolicoffer open for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked but Wauwatosa led 6-0 early in the first quarter.

J.R. Taylor sheds a defender.The Raiders responded with a 10-play, 68 yard drive to tie the game. Craig McClelland, flushed out of the pocket to his right, looked to the middle of the field and found Traves Worthington for the touchdown. The Justin Schoepke extra point attempt was wide to the left and the game was tied at six with 7:27 to play in the first quarter.

The Raiders would grab the lead just five seconds into the second quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Taylor. The Raiders attempted a two-point conversion run by Taylor but the Spartans stuffed the play in the backfield. The Raiders led 12-6.

Henner hit Zolicoffer on a 57-yard touchdown pass on the next drive. Greg Rebella added the extra point and Wauwatosa led again, 13-12, with 13:01 to play in the first half.

Steve Kliest wraps up Gio Carney.Racine grabbed the lead back on an electrifying run by Tyrone Galvin on the ensuing drive. Galvin ran to the right, bouncing off of several Wauwatosa defenders and finally finding his way into the endzone on a 39-yard run. Schopeke added the point after and Racine grabbed the lead back for good, 19-13.

The Raiders extended their lead late in the first half on a three-yard touchdown run by Taylor. Taylor lowered his shoulder as he was going for the goal line and knocked the helmet off of a Wauwatosa defender at the goal line. Schoepke’s extra point gave Racine a 26-13 lead with 3:44 to play in the half.

Wauwatosa wasn’t about to go quietly. The Spartans marched 80 yards on 13 plays, eating up the rest of the clock to pull to within seven points at the half. The Spartans were assisted by a pass interference call against Nate Heard at the three-yard line. The Spartans picked up a false start penalty to move them back to the eight-yard line with eight seconds left in the half. On the final play, Henner bought some time and hit Rebella for a touchdown to go into the half trailing by just six points.

Jaran Rutledge wraps up Trevor York.The Raiders defense really stepped up in the second half, shutting down the Spartans and not allowing them to score in the half.

The Raiders got a touchdown from Taylor late in the third quarter to extend the Raiders lead to 33-20. Schoepke added a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter and Ivry Lashley scored from five yards out late in the game to secure the 43-20 win for Racine.

The Raiders amassed almost 200 rushing yards in the first half and finished the game with 252 rushing yards. Taylor ended with 134 yards on 13 carries. Lashley had 11 carries for 70 yards and Galvin finished with 62 yards on just four attempts. Norwood led all Racine receivers with 4 grabs for 76 yards. McClelland finished 13-25 for 168 yards in the game.

The Raiders host the Quad Cities Raiders, a new entry into the MSFL, next week at Historic Horlick Athletic Field. The Raiders will celebrate the history of the organization as it’s the annual Alumni Night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

PHOTO CREDITS: Michael LaPointe