Racine Raiders Football Club | Racine, Wis. |

Threat Level None; Raiders Clinch MSFL Northern Conference Title

Racine Raiders logoThe Racine Raiders had little trouble getting by the Racine Threat Saturday night at Hammes Field in Mount Pleasant, Wis. The Raiders beat the Threat, 35-13, to clinch the Mid-States Football League (MSFL) Northern Conference title and secure home field advantage throughout the MSFL playoffs, including the championship game which will be played at Historic Horlick Athletic Field.

In a game marred by 28 penalties for nearly 300 yards and the ejection of a Threat player, the Raiders played through it all to remain unbeaten on the season, unbeaten against the Threat in four meetings, and extend their MSFL regular season winning streak to 21 games.

The Threat got on the scoreboard first, on the opening possession of the game. They went 51 yards on 5 plays leading to a 30-yard field goal by T.J. Hearn to put them up 3-0 with 13:36 to play in the first quarter.

That was the last time the Threat would be on top. Raiders quarterback Craig McClelland hit Terrence Fitch on a 49-yard bomb on the ensuing drive to put the Raiders up 7-3 with 12:05 to play in the opening quarter.

Penalties began to accumulate for both teams after that but the Raiders were finally able to overcome the mistakes and put up another score.

McClelland connected with Fitch again on the Raiders next drive, this one a 25-yard touchdown pass to cap a 6-play, 52 yard drive, that gave the Raiders a 14-3 lead with 9:38 to play in the first half.

The Threat came right back. Threat quarterback D.J. Brown moved them downfield and into the endzone in just over a minute. The 3-play, 75 yard drive ended with a Brown touchdown pass of 35 yards to Steve Dawson. The Threat cut the Raiders lead to 14-10. That’s as close as the Threat would get the rest of the game.

The Raiders added a pair of field goals in the waning minutes of the first half to extend their lead to 20-10 at halftime. Justin Schoepke connected on field goals of 22 and 28 yards, with the 28-yarder coming as time expired. The Raiders missed opportunities to blow the game wide open before the half on both drives, getting to the Threat five-yard line but having to settle for field goals.

Hearn connected on a 27-yard field goal with 6:19 to play in the third quarter to cut the Raiders lead to 20-13. The field goal came at the end of the 6-play, 66-yard drive by the Threat.

The Raiders responded right back on the ensuing drive. Tyrone Galvin took a handoff and rattled 44 yards to the end zone, extending the Raiders lead to 27-13.

McClelland would cap the scoring on a four-yard keeper with 8:40 to play in the game. Following an offsides penalty on the extra point attempt by the Threat, the Raiders went for the two point conversion and McClelland’s run was good to give the Raiders the 35-13 win. McClelland’s run capped a 9-play, 80 yard drive for the Raiders.

The Raiders defense held strong against Brown who had been unstoppable as of late. The Raiders intercepted Brown four times in the game, including an interception in the end zone by Nate Heard. It was the second pick of the night for Heard who also had seven tackles and a tackle for loss. Deveron Davis and Jedediah Hardy also recorded interceptions in the game.

McClelland finished the game 17-31 for 263 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. J.R. Taylor led the Raiders in rushing with 14 carries for 45 yards. Galvin was next with 9 carries for 41 yards. Will Norwood caught six passes on the night for 52 yards and Fitch grabbed four balls for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Troy Collier paced the Threat on the ground with 13 carries for 91 yards. Brown was 19-44 for 211 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. DaJerrian Smith was the leading receiver for the Threat with 5 catches for 78 yards.

Torie Ruffin led all players with eight tackles in the game Davis and Larry Williams each had five tackles for the Raiders.

The Raiders return to Historic Horlick Athletic Field on Saturday for a non-league game against the Nebraska Lawdawgs. The Raiders will be hosting “Racine’s Largest Tailgate Party” complete with live music, clowns, and area mascots galore. Gates will open 90 minutes earlier than normal at 4 p.m.

NOTE: We’ll add some game photos to the article by Sunday evening.

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