Riverfield heads to first round of MAIS playoffs
In a game that brought fans to the edge of their seats and then feet, the Riverfield Academy Raiders defeated the St. Aloysius Flashes this past Friday night.
The win gave the Raiders the District 3 MAIS AAA championship and a 9-1 finish to their regular season. It was definitely the hardest fought contest the Raiders have had to this point.
With 3:32 left in the first quarter, the Raiders put the first points on the board as Zack Carnegie broke loose on a 36-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed, giving the Raiders a 6-0 lead. St. Al began the next drive with good field position after a 47-yard kickoff return. The drive was stopped abruptly as Garrett Brakefield intercepted a St. Al pass and ran it 10 yards before being brought down. The Raiders, however, turned the ball over on a fumble on the very next play. St. All continued their drive to the end zone and put seven points up in the close seconds of the first quarter.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, the Raiders once again lost possession of the ball on a fumble. Six plays later the Raiders gained possession back as Jackson Shelton picked off a Flasher pass and ran it 11 yards before being tackled. The pass interception was the beginning of the only scoring drive in the second quarter -- a drive that was 10 plays long ending on a two-yard touchdown run by Zach Carnegie. Garrett Brakefield connected with John Michael Whatley on a two-point passing PAT. The Raiders went into halftime with a 14-7 lead.
The third quarter belonged to St. Al as they scored twice but failed on their PAT both times. The 12 points they gained gave them a five-point advantage, however, as the fourth quarter began with the Raiders trailing 19-14.
The fourth quarter was nearly 75 percent gone before either team scored again. With an explosive attack, the Raiders put 16 points on the board i less than one minute. the Raiders began a drive on their own eight-yard-line. Five plays later, Cole Garrett ran the ball into the Flashes end zone on a five yard run. The drive included a 40-yard run by Garrett and a 21-yard run by Garrett Brakefield. Garrett added two on the PAT and the Raiders had regained the lead 22-19.
Then in a great defensive effort, the Raiders got their third pick-off of the game. Garrett Brakefield tipped the ball into the hands of Cole Garrett who ran it 26 yards.
A ten-yard penalty against the Flashes gave the Raiders possession off the ball on the Flashes’ eight-yard-line. Garrett ran the ball in on the next play and also ran a two-point PAT giving the Raiders a 20-19 lead with 2:58 on the time clock.
The Flashes then showed a little explosiveness also as they scored again on a quick five-play drive that got them into the Raiders end zone. The PAT failed bringing the final score of the game to 30-25 in favor of the Raiders.
The Raiders gained 415 yards of offense on the night. Of those, 397 were rushing while 18 yards came on passing. Cole Garrett led the rushing attack with 211 yards on 29 carries. Garrett scored two touchdowns. Zach Carnegie rushed for 133 yards on 14 carries. Carnegie scored twice also. Carnegie also had kickoff returns of 61 and 14 yards.
The Raiders will face Silliman in the first roudn of the MAIS AAA playoffs tomorrow night. The Raiders will have home field advantage in round one.
Head coach Boyd Cole had these comments:
“This past Friday night was what is all good about high school football. It was a very hard nosed football game with both teams fighting until the final seconds. There were five lead changes in the game.
“Our fans were a big part of the ballgame. When we got behind in the fourth quarter, it got really loud. Our players feed off that energy.
“We have had a great season up to this point but the team is not satisfied. We have four more games left for this to be the result we want.
“I hope everyone come out to support the Raiders this Friday night. We need to fill the stadium and let this team know you support and believe in them.
“Thanks for all the support you have given this team this year.”
Hey Raider fans, tomorrow night, Joe Meeks Field, come on out and cheer the Raiders on to a victory in Round One of the MAIS AAA playoffs..