Riverfield Raiders drop playoff game to Lee Colts

Friday, the Riverfield Academy Raiders traveled to Clarksdale Mississippi to face the Lee Academy Colts in a MPSA AA playoff game.

The Colts were a beatable team, but turnovers and poor field position in the second half spelled doom for the Raiders’ post season hopes, falling 31-12. Riverfield opened the scoring on a 57 yard drive in the first quarter. Corbin Cater hit Logan Moore with a 17 yard pass play and threw another 10 yard strike to Dakota Moss.

Facing a 4th and 6th at the Colt 15 yard line, Cater hit Moore with a pass and the tight-end bulled his way into the end zone. The PAT was no good. Raiders 6, Colts 0.

Through the first quarter, the Raider defense did not give up a first down, with key tackles by Jon Taylor Davis, Logan Moore, Chase Cater and Patrick Johnson. Davis, playing in his last game for the Raiders after a steller high school career, went out with a bang, tallying 16 individual tackles on the night.

Field position proved to be a major factor in the game. In the second quarter, Lee Academy broke a punt return to the Raiders 34th yard line, which eventually led to a Taylor Tidwell 1 yard TD run. The successful point after made it 7-6 in favor of the Colts.

Colts kicker Anthony Steen routinely kicked the ball into the end zone to keep the Raiders deep in their own territory. On the next offensive series for Riverfield in the second quarter, a Corbin Cater pass behind the line of scrimmage was blocked by a lineman, resulting in a fumble recovered by the Colts at the Raider 29. Lee got into the red zone, but critical tackles by Davis, Joseph Bell and Corbin Cater kept the Colts our of the end zone. Lee made a 24 yard Field Goal to go up 10-6.

Just before halftime, the Raiders had another scoring opportunity after Dakota Moss intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards to the Colt 15 yard line. However, with time running out, Riverfield could not get into the end zone as Cater’s 4th down pass attempt was knocked away from Moss by a Colt defender.

With the Raiders trailing only 10-6 at half, this certainly looked like a potential playoff win for Riverfield. However, second half mistakes cost the Raiders dearly. In the third quarter, Dakota Moss intercepted a second pass deep in Riverfield’s own territory to stop a scoring threat, but Riverfield’s offense was quickly forced to punt. A good punt return by the Colts gave them first and ten at the Raider 25 yard line. Colt quarterback Taylor Tidwell hit a 8 yard TD pass to make it 17-6. Another deep Steen kickoffkept the Raiders pinned back, and a Cater interception gave Lee the ball again at the Raider 25 yard line. Blake Edwards punched it into the end zone with a 12 yard run to make the score 24-6.

Riverfield’s next possession at the beginning of the fourth quarter also resulted in an interception, setting the Colts up for another score. Tidwell took it in from 6 yard out. Colts 31, Raiders 6.

Later in the fourth, Riverfield’s offense finally moved the ball again, mounting a 90 yard drive. Jon Taylor Davis broke a 38 yard run, followed by a 58 yard Touchdown run by Brad Rogers. The PAT was no good. Lee 31, Riverfield 12.

That would be the last points scored on the night. Rogers led the offensive effort with 24 rushes for 122 yards and one Touchdown. Cater hit three of nine passes for 42 yards, one TD and 2 Interceptions. Despite the loss, Riverfield completed another successful season under the helm of Coach Cleo Head, making the post season for the third straight year. The Raiders have been one of the smallest schools in Class AA and faced a Lee team moving to AAA next year.

The reclassification will be heaven sent for Riverfield with them finally moving down to Class A where they will be one of the largest schools in that classification.

The future bodes well for Raider football, especially with the effort put forth by a salty 2008 team.

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