Game 3: Raiders Pee Wee vs. Terriers, August 25

HOT, HOT, HOT!! That would describe the conditions and to say that this game didn’t start out as we expected, would be a major understatement. After the first 5 minutes, most of us were wondering what was going on. Very quickly we realized that the Portage Pitbulls are a very good team and we had to pick it up if we wanted to win. So, here’s how it went.

We kicked – they ran and ran and ran – all the way into the end zone. (6-0 Pitbulls) Andrew came up with a big tackle to stop the convert. Paxton secured the short kick for good field position but an attempted pass by US was tipped right into the defense’s hands and a touchdown was scored. (12-0 Pitbulls). TB, Isaac and Spencer gang tackled for no convert. The defense was hard at work. TB got past the blocker for the next tackle and Keone wrapped up their big runner. Unfortunately, on the next play, good blocking by Portage led them right into the end zone. (18-0 Pitbulls) They finished it off with a pass completion for the 1 point convert. (19-0 Pitbulls) It was clearly time to “get it together” and the comeback started. Parker R. had a super reception on the kick off and the defense was back in action. Thomas blocked for a much needed 1st down and off we went. A great block by Teg opened up the field for a huge run by Mason for a touchdown. (19-6 Pitbulls) A successful snap, hold and kick by Nick added 2 points to our side. (19-8 Pitbulls). Some adjustments were made by our defense and it made all the difference. Andrew pursued and George finished the tackle and the ball was back to our offence. A great reverse play with a block from Paxton and Mason carried the ball for a gain of yards.  Defense was called on again and after Daniel caused an incompletion, Gab stopping the runner in the backfield and Isaac shutting them down – the ball was turned over on downs. The offense moved the ball down the field and the O-line opened the hole that Mason dove through for 6 points. (19-14 Pitbulls) A super hold by Tyson K. and a strong kick by Nick was GOOD! (19-16 Pitbulls) Avery got a shoe-string tackle and Andrew finished the series with a serious quarterback sack for a loss of yards for them and the ball was ours. A good grab by Austin and tough run by Mason got us down the field but we turned over the ball and our defense got busy again and stopped them in their tracks. The offense made them pay and after a clean handoff from Tyson K. to Egan, Egan turned the jets on and found himself in the end zone after a long, FAST run!! (22-19 Raiders) On an unusual play, instead of holding the ball for the kick, Tyson K picked it up and threw it to Dylan for the 1 point convert. (23-19 Raiders) A lightning run down field by Mason and TB on the kick off led to TB stopping their kick returner in his tracks. Defense returned and pressure by Keone, a super job of wrapping up the runner by Lennox and Parker R. hunting them down for a stop was what we all liked to see. Spencer stopped their big runner and after a few missed tackles and a loud, “COME ON!” from Coach Koop, the defense stood strong for a turn over on downs. Austin had a huge run but the ball found it’s way back into the Pitbulls’ hands. So, defense got busy and Anthony wrapped up the running back with a convincing hit! A hard fought run by Mason was next, aided by a block by Teg and Riley, Jayden, and Isaiah on the offensive line opening a hole for Mason to dive through for yet another score!! (29-19 Raiders)

Teg started us off in the second half with a great catch on the kick off. Egan completed an 8-yard pass to Paxton. Austin completed a tough run up the middle and a 15 yard reception play from Egan to Reagan followed. Defense took the field and George took down their running back, Isaac and TB CRUSHED their quarterback for a loss of yards. Back to offense: a highlight was a 30 yard COMPLETION to Dylan  and a huge run by Egan when we needed it for a 1st down. The Pitbulls found the end zone again to close the gap in the score. (29-25 Raiders) Our offence answered with a nice drive down the field. A fake to Austin and Mason resulted in a 10 yard, 1st down run by Egan. Blocking by Tyson K and a big tough run by Austin moved the sticks. Another timely run by Mason and we were at 1st and goal. A great play was called and Egan followed Mason right into the end zone. (35-25 Raiders) Kudos to the protection by Karlenzig and crew on the O-line all game! Adam stopped the run and Parker R. SLAMMED into their running back to cause him to fumble and Anthony was right there to recover the ball – Hello offense!! J Parker Toews threw in a great block to help us get another first down, and then, Egan sped through the waiting defense right to the end zone. (41-25 Raiders) The next offensive outing included a 40 yard run by Mason, beating their #98 into the end zone. (47-25 Raiders) Daniel intercepted the next pass by Portage to get our offense back on the field. When the ball went back to Portage, pressure by Matteus on the defensive line and pursuit by Parker R., and Isaac forced their runner out of bounds. Nick got an interception of his own to stop their march down the field. A massive run by Austin with Tyson K running with him all the way put some more points on the board for us. (53-25 Raiders) Thinking on his feet, Nick threw to Jayden for the 1 point convert. (54-25 Raiders) That’s where the scoring stopped… but a few more Raiders highlights to wrap up the game? A gang tackle for a loss of 8 yards, Isaac crushed the quarterback, Brad made a great catch from Egan and a big punt by Tyson K. and this game was in the books as another big win for the Eastman Pee Wee Raiders.

So, boys, what did you prove today? That not even a quick start by the other team OR blazing heat and high humidity can beat us. We learned that we can come back when we need to.  We learned that you can’t take any team for granted and there are really good players on every team! We just have to give it our all in every game, walk through or practice. Always respect the team you’re facing but know that if you leave everything out on the field you always have the opportunity to make it OUR game and OUR win!! Hold your heads up high Raiders – in tough conditions you were winners again!! GO RAIDERS GO!!