Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Rousing Raiders Knock Off Hitmen

Anton Graham stalks Dylan Kelly.The Wisconsin Hitmen, gunning for their ninth straight MidStates Football League (MSFL) victory dating back to July 2017, ran into a finicky Racine Raiders squad Saturday night at Historic Horlick Athletic Field in Racine. The Raiders used a touchdown run by Howard Triplett, two field goals by Hunter Breunig, and an inspired defensive performance to take down the Hitmen, 13-10.

The Hitmen moved the ball well on their first possession of the game getting to the Racine 35-yard line but Dylan Kelly threw a pass that was picked off by J.D. Hardy setting the Raiders up near midfield for their first drive. Racine mounted a seven play drive to the Hitmen 25-yard line before stalling. Breunig’s 42-yard field goal attempt was no good and Racine failed to capitalize on the Hitmen turnover.

Erick Sanders picks off a Dylan Kelly pass setting the Raiders up for their only touchdown of the game.Wisconsin went three-and-out on their ensuing drive and Sam Nisler pinned Racine at their 14-yard line to start their drive. The Raiders marched down the field, mostly behind the powerful running of Triplett and got to the Hitmen 24-yard line as the first quarter ended. Racine went for it on 4th-and-2 to start the second quarter but Kevin Morris stuffed Triplett and the Hitmen took over on downs at their own 24 yard line.

D.J. Smith goes high to bring down a pass from D.J. Brown.Kelly threw his second pick of the half on the second play of the drive. Erick Sanders returned the ball to the Hitmen 3-yard line. The Raiders wouldn’t fail to capitalize on their second turnover as Triplett took it in for a 3-yard touchdown run. The Breunig extra point was good and Racine led 7-0 with 13:49 to play in the first half.

Both teams would struggle until the Hitmen started the final drive of the first half. Breunig punted the ball to the Hitmen three-yard line. Jay Neloms grabbed it and returned the punt 40 yards to the Hitmen 43-yard line. A personal foul on the Hitmen knocked the starting point for the Hitmen drive back to their 26-yard line. From there, Kelly and Rashawn Herron took over on the drive. The Hitmen went for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 36-yard line with 3:43 to play and Kelly found Gerry Hammons for a 19 yard gain. The Hitmen continued to move down the field getting to the Racine four-yard line with under a minute to play. Anton Graham and DiQuan McRae sacked Kelly on 3rd-and-4, pushing them back to the 16-yard line. Nisler came on and connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, cutting the Racine lead to 7-3.

Michael Rachal seeks out a sack.The only scoring opportunity in the third quarter belonged to the Hitmen. Following another big return by Neloms, the Hitmen were able to get in the range of Nisler but his 56-yard attempt sailed wide left. Racine took a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter and would start with the football near midfield. The Raiders capitalized on the good starting field position on a 33-yard field goal by Breunig to give Racine a 10-3 lead with 9:17 to play in the game.

The Hitmen methodically cascaded down the field on their ensuing drive, going 72 yards on 12 plays and getting in the endzone for their only time in the game. Trevor York plowed in from one yard out with under two minutes to play in the game, tying the score at ten apiece.

Austin Tenner finds a lane on a kickoff return setting up the Raiders game-winning field goal.That’s when the Raiders special teams, which has been performing well all season, answered. Austin Tenner fielded the ensuing kickoff and nearly took it in for a touchdown but he was brought down from behind after 89 yards at the Hitmen 6-yard line. The Raiders couldn’t ram the ball in on three consecutive rushing attempts and Breunig came in to attempt a go-ahead, 18-yard field goal with a minute to play. Breunig’s kick was partially blocked but still went through the uprights, giving Racine a 13-10 lead with 54 seconds to play.

A facemask penalty against Racine on the kickoff allowed the Hitmen to start with the ball near midfield. Kelly completed two passes, getting the Hitmen to the Racine 41-yard line with five seconds to play. Nisler came on to attempt a 58-yard field goal but it was way short and the Raiders held on to end the Hitmen’s MSFL winning streak.

The Raiders improved to 3-3 on the season, 2-2 in the MSFL, and 2-0 in the Richhart Conference. The Hitmen fell to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in both MSFL and Richhart Conference play. The Raiders travel to Bailey’s Harbor this Saturday to play the Door County Destroyers. Door County is 1-2 on the season. Find all the information you need to make the trip as well as live stats and the radio broadcast on the gameday webpage.