Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Show Promise, Room for Improvement in Win

Anthony Johnson ready to pass.The Racine Raiders first and second team players jumped out to a 28-0 lead heading into the 4th quarter against the Chicago Mustangs. The Raiders would hold on in the final 15 minutes to win 35-22 in front of nearly 1,000 fans at Historic Horlick Athletic Field on Saturday night.

The game appeared to get off to a good start for Racine as they won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. Sam Nisler booted the opening kickoff into the endzone where it bounced around before being picked up late by Dominique Conner who tried to return the ball but only got to the five yard line.

The Raiders held the Mustangs to an apparent three-and-out, but Lawrence Peters muffed the punt and it was recovered by the Mustangs at their own 33-yard line. Chicago would march down to the Raiders 24-yard line on 10 plays but the drive stalled and Racine took over on downs.

J.R. Taylor finds running room.The Raiders went three-and-out on their next drive when Anthony Johnson was sacked by Jacob Sakal on the first two plays of the game and then threw an incomplete pass. The Mustangs would give it right back to Racine when Charles Robinson muffed the Hunter Breunig punt and Ross Toeller fell on it at the Mustangs 35-yard line.

The Raiders took the lead three plays later on a 21-yard touchdown pass to J.R. Taylor. Nisler added the extra point and Racine led 7-0, a lead they’d carry into the second quarter.

Mustangs quarterback Eric Stevenson threw an interception to Jordan Scott near the goal line late in the first quarter. Scott returned the ball to the Raiders 9-yard line. Racine couldn’t get out of the shadow of their own endzone and Breunig’s punt was blocked, setting the Mustangs up at the Raiders 22-yard line.

Raiders defense envelops ball carrier.The Mustangs had two touchdowns taken off the scoreboard due to penalties on the possession and got backed all the way to the Raiders 43-yard line. They were forced to punt but Westly Bizub planted the Raiders deep in their own territory again at the 8-yard line.

Johnson connected with Terrance Fitch down the near sideline on a 92-yard touchdown pass to give Racine a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Toeller would force a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by the Raiders at the Mustangs 21-yard line. Taylor would run it in from 4 yards out for his second touchdown of the game and give the Raiders a 21-0 halftime lead.

Racine took the second half kickoff and marched 70 yards on 5 plays, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Myles Spiegel to give Racine a 28-0 lead.

Hunter Breunig launches a punt.The rest of the third quarter would go back-and-forth with most of the action taking place between the 30-yard lines. The fourth quarter would pose a huge problem for Racine as the Raiders went to their backups.

The Raiders went three-and-out to end the third quarter and start the fourth quarter as Stephen Jackson, in for Johnson, was sacked on back-to-back plays by Kenny Young and Shadale Francis. He then tossed an incomplete pass and Hunter Breunig came on to punt.

It appeared the Raiders would have the Mustangs backed up deep when Robinson fielded the ball at the 2-yard line but he was able to get around the Raiders first coverage player and took the ball to the Mustangs 21-yard line.

Stephen Jackson watches a pass.Eric Stevenson completed a 23-yard pass to DeAndre Dickerson and then connected with Robinson for a 56-yard touchdown to get the Mustangs on the board. Stevenson’s pass for a two-point conversion was incomplete and Chicago cut the Raiders lead to 28-6.

The Raiders drove to the Mustangs 30-yard line when Floyd Underwood fumbled and the fumble was recovered by Joshua Robinson at the 38-yard line.

Stevenson led the Mustangs on a four-play drive that culminated in a 34-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Whitaker. Stevenson found Robinson open for a two-point conversion pass and the Raiders lead was down to 14 points with about nine minutes left to play.

Sam Nisler nails an extra point.Josh Tylski entered the game at quarterback for the Raiders on the next drive. After a holding penalty on Ryan Gails, Tylski was pressured on the next play, slipped out of two tackles in the backfield while rolling to his left and threw an inadvertent pass that was intercepted by Andrew Burns at the Raiders 31-yard line. He returned the ball to the Racine 24-yard line.

Stevenson was sacked on the first play of the drive by Jalen Steward and Izarius Jones and was injured and had to leave the game. Dave Skowronski came in and immediately threw a 13-yard pass to Dickerson to give the Mustangs the ball at the Raiders 11-yard line. Skowronski’s pass on third-and-short was incomplete and Raiders used a timeout. On 4th-and-2, Stevenson came back into the game and converted on a run. It was the fourth time Stevenson ran for a first down on fourth down. He would scramble for a touchdown on the next play and the Mustangs again converted a two-point conversion pass to cut Racine’s lead to just six points at 28-22.

Jaarael Bell breaks up a pass.The Mustangs attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by Toeller at the Raiders 43-yard line. Head coach Wilbert Kennedy scrambled many of his starters back into the game and the Raiders again marched down the field on the Mustangs, covering the 57 yards in 10 plays and eating five minutes off the game clock.

Taylor sealed the win with his third touchdown of the game, a 4-yard run to give Racine a 35-22 win. The Mustangs had all three timeouts remaining when the Raiders started the drive along with the two-minute warning but didn’t use a timeout until there was under 45 seconds left in the game and they had the ball on offense down two scores.

The Raiders moved to 1-0 on the season while the Mustangs fell to 0-2. The Mustangs had 19 first downs to 17 for the Raiders. Chicago racked up 298 yards of offense with 263 of those coming through the air. Racine finished with 287 yards, 193 passing and 94 rushing.

June 18 Game Promo - Milwaukee County Chargers at Racine RaidersHoward Triplett led all rushers with 67 yards on 11 carries but had two fumbles. J.R. Taylor ran the ball 7 times for 34 yards and added 2 catches for 32 yards. Terrance Fitch grabbed 4 passes for 121 yards. Johnson finished 6-9 passing for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns. Stephen Jackson was 7-9 for 55 yards.

Deveron Davis led the defense with 7 tackles. Steward finished with 3 tackles and a sack. Marvin McKee and Jordon Denfeld each had a sack in the game.

The Raiders begin MidStates Football League play on June 18 at Historic Horlick Athletic Field against the Milwaukee County Chargers, a new team in the league. The Chargers were formerly known as the West Allis Scorpions and had a lot of success in the Iron Athletes Football League.