Both the Red Raiders and Raiders look to right their seasons this Friday. The Red Raiders look to bounce back from their fourth straight loss while the Raiders are trying to find a win for the season.
The Raiders have started the year rough losing a high scoring game against Greenwood 55-32. Starting quarterback Connor Swann went to work against the Greenwood defense, scoring four touchdowns. Swann completed over half of his passes in the loss for 201 yards. The only blemish on Swann for the night was an interception.
The second Raider loss was to intercity rival Summit, though that loss was due to a forfeit related to Covid. The Red Raiders haven’t had to deal with that yet this year, but it should be noted that many of the surrounding counties have had to vacate games due to Covid. Warren County being the most immediate neighbor who has forfeited and the CCMS Red Raiders also having to forfeit a few games earlier this year.
Page is a team that both the Red Raiders and Raiders have played this year, with similar results. The Patriots absolutely shellacked the Raiders in their matchup scoring a blistering 47 points while holding the Raiders to just six. The Red Raiders held against Page early, but ended up succumbing to the Patriot air attack late in the game 38-17.
The Lewis County Panthers were the next team up for the Raiders. The team seemed to have shook off the previous weeks beating by the Patriots and played tight game only losing 23-16. Swann did most of the damage for the offense hitting receiver Mason Lee for over 70 yards. Lee was unable to grab a touchdown for the Raiders however.
The most recent game was against the Lincoln County Falcons. The game ended in heartbreak for the Raiders as the team forced two overtimes only to lose off of a missed extra point. Blaise Martin did the majority of the work for the Raiders, throwing for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Martin did not start for the Raiders. Whether he got an opportunity to go into game due to an injury to Swann or due to performance issues is unclear. What is also unclear is who will be starting under center for the Raiders in the upcoming matchup against the Red Raiders.
Things to look out for during this Friday’s game would be passing yards. The Raiders are similar to Page in that they both seem to want to get the passing game going early. In every game that was competitive the Raiders were either knocking on 100 yards passing or surpassed it usually on sub 30 passing attempts. What doesn’t seem to be the Raiders bread and butter is the running game. The Raiders do a running back by committee approach to the ground game and big runs don’t appear to be common for them. This is opposed to the Red Raider run first style offense that helps set up the passing game.
The key to walking out of Spring Hill with a win appears to lie in slowing down the passing game, similar to how one would play Page. Part of the reason that the Red Raiders stayed in the game for as long as they did against the Patriots was due to getting consistent quarterback pressure. Assuming the same thing can be done against a team that doesn’t have the same offensive fire power as the Patriots, it should be doable. Of course stopping them on offense doesn’t mean much if no points are being scored on the offensive end. Taking advantage of defensive momentum should give the Red Raiders the win