Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Raiders Win Defensive Battle Over Muskego

Michael Rachal is ready for action.The Muskego Hitmen (5-1, 1-1) silenced the crowd of 1,017 fans at Historic Horlick Athletic Field with a 78-yard touchdown pass from Tony Henner to Juan Zolliecoffer. It would be the only points Muskego would get on the night as the Racine Raiders (3-0, 2-0) defense stiffened and took down the unbeaten Hitmen 16-6.

Last week’s special teams player of the week, Adaris Anderson, who Zolliecoffer beat on the touchdown pass, got through the line to block the extra point, giving Muskego a 6-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game.

The men up front - the Racine offensive line and Muskego defensive line.The Raiders would go down the field and answer on their ensuing drive. Anthony Johnson faked a handoff to J.R. Taylor. Taylor then stood just behind the offensive line and Johnson flipped him a pass. Taylor broke towards the near sideline where it looked like he was going to get bottled up, but D.J. Smith laid a vicious block, taking out two defenders, and opening the sideline for Taylor to jaunt 41 yards for the score. The extra point was good and Racine led 7-6 with 11:13 to play in the quarter.

The only other score in the first half came on special teams. Hunter Breunig hit a high punt that Justin Prostinak couldn’t handle. It bounced off of Prostinak at the 20-yard line. Prostinak and a Raiders player both dove for the ball, pushing it into the endzone where it was picked up by Jim Spinato and he was tackled by Ross Toeller for a safety with 12:30 to play. The Raiders took a 9-6 lead into the half.

DiQuan McRae watches the Muskego quarterback.There was no scoring in the game until the fourth quarter. Muskego lined up to punt deep in their own territory but Justin Sithivong, who the Hitmen just added to their roster late this week, couldn’t bring in the high snap. He ran back and picked it up at the two-yard line, rolled to his left and threw a pass to Antonio Patton. Patton had the ball in his hands beyond the yardage needed for a first down but couldn’t hold on to the football, and Racine got the ball on a turnover on downs.

Taylor picked up his second touchdown of the game, this one a four-yard carry, to give Racine the 16-6 lead. The score would hold and the Raiders picked up a hard fought win over a team many in the MidStates Football League thought would win the Northern Conference.

Deveron Davis pursues the ball.Muskego was driving on Racine, aided by two penalties on fourth down that resulted in first downs, when Deveron Davis intercepted Henner to seal the victory for the Raiders.

Taylor finished with 14 carries for 69 yards and added 41 more receiving yards. Smith hauled in 7 receptions for 47 yards and Alex Wallace added 4 catches for 64 yards. Anthony Johnson was 18-27 in the game for 180 yards.

The Raiders defense held Muskego to 227 total yards, including just 29 rushing yards in the game, and recorded three sacks. Marvin McKee had two sacks in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders next host the Columbus Fire on July 2 at Historic Horlick Athletic Field. The Fire ended the Raiders season last year in the regional playoffs and went on to claim a national title. Columbus is struggling this year with a 4-3 record. They have played a couple of teams on the national radar in the Nashville Storm and Indianapolis Tornados.