Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders rally against Fox Valley Force

Racine Raiders wide receiver Steve Morris makes an acrobatic catchThe Racine Raiders showed no hangover from their opening game loss in taking down the Fox Valley Force, 67-7. Head coach Wilbert Kennedy wanted to see his team get off to a fast start in a rare Saturday noon start and the Raiders answered his call.

The Raiders started eight of their ten first half drives at midfield or in Force territory. They would score on eight of their first half drives. Ironically, the two drives they didn’t score on were when they started at the Fox Valley 26-yard line on two separate occasions. Justin Schoepke kicked a 44-yard field goal into the back of teammate Tyler Elliott and the Raiders turned the ball over on downs on those two drives.

Racine Raiders defensive end Michael Ambrose sacks Fox Valley Force quarterback T.J. Arndt for a safety.The Raiders defense held Fox Valley to just 106 yards of total offense in the first half and forced four turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles, in building a 53-7 halftime lead. One interception by Nate Heard was returned 30 yards for a touchdown and Michael Ambrose sacked T.J. Arndt for a safety in the second quarter. Justin Benko had a sack and fumble recovery as well for Racine. Heard added a second interception and Ross Toeller had an interception and a fumble recovery in the game.

“We’re a dangerous team when we get off to a fast start,” Kennedy said.

Racine Raiders wide receiver Terrance Fitch makes a grab for a touchdown.Craig McClelland was 9 of 25 passing for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first half. McClelland sat the second half while Anthony Johnson and Josh Tylski saw time under center in the second half. The Raiders rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The team finished with 136 yards on 31 carries and three touchdowns on the ground in the game.

Special teams performed well all game as well, as Fox Valley’s best starting field position through the first three quarters was their own 25-yard line. The Raiders recovered two fumbles on kickoffs and DiQuan McRae returned the opening kickoff of the second half 80 yards for a score. Despite his miss from 44 yards, Schoepke converted on a field goal from 31 yards and two others from 42 yards. The 42-yarders equal his career high which he set in the loss to Des Moines last week.

Racine Raiders defensive back Ross Toeller returns an interception against the Fox Valley Force.Taylor, Ivry Lashley and Tyrone Galvin all had touchdown runs in the game. Myles Spiegel, Terrance Fitch and D.J. Smith caught touchdown passes from McClelland. Newcomer Steve Morris had a leaping touchdown grab called back due to a penalty although the Raiders would later score on that drive.

Taylor led all backs with 11 carries for 50 yards. Lashley added five touches for 42 yards and Galvin carried the rock 7 times for 26 yards. Sam D’Alie led all receivers with 3 catches for 56 yards. Fitch had the one touchdown grab that went for 56 yards. Spiegel hauled in two catches for 46 yards. Taylor, Galvin, Morris, Smith, Worthington and Palmer all had one catch in the game.

The Raiders host the Illinois Cowboys next Saturday in their home opener at Historic Horlick Athletic Field. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

PHOTO CREDITS: Justin Edwards