First Game of the Season: Raiders Atom Teal vs. Valour Patriots, August 17

Under a baking summer sun the Eastman Raiders Teal Atom squad made their 2013 debut against the Valour Patriots, coming out on the short end of a 30-0 score.
The first quarter was a back and forth affair that saw both teams make visits deep into the other team’s end only to be turned away.  The Patriots worked the ball deep on their opening drive only to be denied as Brody burst into their backfield and jumped on a loose ball for the Raiders first turnover of the season.  The Raiders answered back with some nice running by Jadyn, Zach and Gabriel.  Penetrating deep into the Valour end only to twice come up a yard or two short on third down.  Each time the Patriots tried to answer they were thwarted by a stiff Raider D, led by Odin’s first sack of the season and some great ball pursuit by Evan and Kelbyn.  At the end of the first the game was scoreless.  A big victory for the Raiders against a squad that had put up 53 points against their Week 1 opponents.  Give that one to the defences.
In the second quarter the Patriots began to flex their athletic muscle.  Their big #4 was a force on both offence and defence.  By the time the first half came to a close the Patriots had put up 24 points and the Raiders had some work to do at half time.
The third quarter was a closer affair.  Again, the Raiders worked the ball deep into the Patriots end on a long run by Gabe and were denied only by a beauty of an interception by the above mentioned Patriot’s #4.  Some more back and forth action lead to a couple more Patriots TD’s.
The fourth quarter was more like the first.  Both team’s defences were in full bend but don’t break mode.  The Raiders continued to get a stellar effort from Kelbyn who made at least 15 tackles during the game and was a sideline to sideline presence throughout.  As the injuries started to mount a number of players did double duty and shone on both sides of the ball including Evan, ZYD and Jadyn.
In the end the result wasn’t what anybody in Teal and Black was looking for.  But the beauty of it is the team gets the chance to come out again for practice this week and get better every day.  Throughout the game the guys never gave up on themselves or each other.  Next week is a new challenge with a formidable Rods Black team rolling into AD Penner Park Saturday at 11 AM.  For the Raiders it’s another chance to test themselves, improve individually and as a team and have a great time doing it.