Looking at the standings you knew this was going to be a battle and both teams didn’t disappoint with their version of the Labour Day Classic. The Game started off with the Raiders kicking off to the Eagles. Eagles scrimmaged 1st and 10 from their 52 yd line. First play from scrimmage was a mirage of last week with #3 taking it 58 yds for the Eagles touchdown. Anthony denied the Eagles of the extra point with a great tackle. 6-0 home side. But not to be outdone the Raiders responded with an outstanding 65 yd run by Aidan A going untouched to the end zone. Aidan A ran in the convert 7-6 Raiders. If this was a sign of things to come, the fans were in for a treat. An illegal kickoff gave the Eagles a first down at midfield. A 25 yd run and the Eagles were quickly down to the Raiders 25 yd line. Two plays later, #3 put the home side up once more 12-7 but were again denied on the convert with a great tackle by Sawyer. These two missed converts would prove to be critical points later on. After the kickoff the Raiders began at their own 45 yd line. Bryson carried for 8 yds but the Raiders eventually turned it over on downs. With some strong play by the defense and Anthony making a couple key tackles for loses, the Raiders got the ball right back and didn’t disappoint with Sawyer scampering 90 yds for a Raider touchdown. Convert good by Logan and our team was up 14-12 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, after a huge return by the Eagles down to the Raiders 20 yd line the Raiders defense stiffened when they needed to with Marianna making a tackle for a loss and Joshua hanging on for dear life on the very next play, waiting for help which eventually led to a turnover on downs at the Raiders 5 yd line. The Raiders really needed field position after the work by the defense. They responded in resounding fashion with what looked to be an electrifying 105 yd touchdown run by Aidan A. This touchdown was called back by an illegal block, which still set them up at the Eagles 40 yd line. Two plays later Aidan A gave the ball to Sawyer on a reverse and it was quickly 21-12 with Logan running in the convert. Eagles began their next drive on their own 50 yd line. They needed a score and you guessed it on third down #3 ripped off a 55 yd run. 21-19 Raiders. With some solid defense of play on both sides to end the quarter the Raiders held on to their 21-19 half time lead.
If the first half was any indication of how this game was going to end you knew the team who had the ball last was probably going to win. After Payton pounced on the opening kickoff of the second half, the offensive line opened up a gapping hole and Logan was gone for a 52 yd touchdown run 27-19 Raiders. Not to be denied the Eagles gave the ball right back to their go to guy and it was a one point Raider lead at 27-26. It was clear that the coaching staff made a few adjustments at the half with some great play calling because on the ensuing drive the Raiders methodically marched the ball down the field chewing up 10 minutes off the clock. From the 1 yd line Logan plunged in for the touchdown capping off the drive putting them ahead 34-26. It was clear clock management was going to be key if the Raiders were going to stop the Eagles #3. Again after the kickoff, the second play from scrimmage saw #3 scamper 65 yds for a touchdown. With their convert unsuccessful the score was 34-32. The Raiders got the ball back on their 45 yd line. With the coaches opening up the playbook there was no stopping the Raiders offence. After a nice 15 yd pass to Sawyer the Raiders scored once again on a reverse Logan to Bryson for a 15 yd touchdown run. Payton to Bryson on the convert and again the Raiders had a 9-point lead 41-32. After a great kickoff by Logan the Eagles were pinned deep. On third and inches you guessed it, #3 ripped off another touchdown run. Convert good 41-39. Raiders responded once more with a 6 minute drive. Highlight catch by Sawyer for 20 yds gave the Raiders good field position. Some great runs up the middle set up a reverse Aidan A to Sawyer for a 35 yd touchdown run. Logan with the convert and we were up 48-39 with 1:58 sec left in the game. Looking good you would think but on the next play from scrimmage for the Eagles, #3 made it a 48-46 score with 1:45 left. With the fans biting their nails, all the Raiders needed to do now was hold on to the ball and get one first down. No worries!! Payton recovered the kickoff and on 3rd and 8 Payton found Sawyer on a 35 yd pass and run to seal the deal for the Raiders. Make the final RAIDERS 48 EAGLES 46. It was a heart stopper and the team deserved every bit of this victory with some great execution especially on the offence side of the ball – holding the ball for nearly 20 of the 24 minutes in the second half. Now how’s that for a Labour Day Classic!!!