Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders thunder, Mother Nature’s lightning too much for Springfield

Justin Schoepke with a field goal.For the third straight game, the Racine Raiders (3-0, 1-0) fell behind by a touchdown early, only to dominate the rest of the football game. Racine beat the Springfield Foxes (1-2, 0-1), 33-13, in a weather-shortened game at Historic Horlick Athletic Field Saturday night in front of 658 fans.

Springfield got on the scoreboard on their opening possession, a 6-play, 77 yard drive that culminated with a Drew Fendrich pass to DeShonta Smallwood with 12:30 to play in the opening quarter. The Mike Severino point-after attempt was good and Springfield led 7-0.

The defense had to help the Raiders narrow the gap. Torie Ruffin picked off Fendrich and returned the interception to the Springfield 18-yard line. The Raiders couldn’t muster much offense on the drive, but rookie Justin Schoepke booted his first career field goal, a 29-yarder to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 5:05 to play in the first quarter.

Springfield would set the Raiders up with great field position for Racine’s next drive. The Foxes went for it on fourth-and-three from their own 43-yard line. The Fendrich pass, intended for Jeremiah Foster, was broken up by Nate Heard and the Raiders took over on downs.

On the first play of the drive, Craig McClelland rolled out to his right and then threw back to the middle of the field where Dominique Washington was wide open and cut into the end zone for his first catch and touchdown as a Racine Raider. Schopeke added the extra point and Racine took the lead, 10-7.

Torie Ruffin returns an interception.Springfield responded with 11:21 to play in the half on a great 29-yard run by Darin Utley to cap a 5-play, 53 yard drive that took just under two minutes and gave Springfield a 13-10 lead.

It would be all Raiders from that point on as Racine started to take the game over late in the first half and all through the second half of play until the game was called with 8:12 to play due to lightning.

J.R. Taylor closed out the scoring in the first half on a phenomenal 25-yard run, bouncing off of several would-be tacklers on his way to pay dirt, giving Racine a 17-13 halftime lead.
The Raiders came out in the second half and went on an 11-play, 49 yard drive that ate 8:45 off the clock and resulted in a Schoepke 34-yard field goal to extend the Raiders lead to 20-13.

The Raiders next drive went 42 yards on 9 plays and took 4:27 off the clock. This time, Racine found the end zone as McClelland used his legs to keep the play alive, rolling out to his right and finding Sam D’Alie in the back of the end zone for the score. The Schopeke kick was good and Racine led 27-13 wit 16 second to play in the third quarter.

The Raiders got the final score of the game just minutes before the game was called due to lightning. McClelland hit Terrence Fitch for a 13-yard scoring strike to cap a 9-play, 48-yard drive that took 4:46, and gave Racine the win, 33-13.

The Raiders hit the road for two straight games. Next Saturday, Racine travels to play the Muskego Hitmen who lost to the Racine Threat, 10-7, Saturday night at Hammes Field in Racine. Following the Muskego game, the Raiders play the Monona Warriors at Breitenbach Stadium in Middleton on July 26. Racine has a bye week on August 2, before returning home against the Wauwatosa Spartans on August 9.