The Raiders Football Team opened the season on the road with a convincing win over the West Point Pointers two weeks ago. In the Raiders second game of the season last Friday, the ball bounced in their favor after a close game against the Middlesex Chargers winning 13-12.
Surrounded by a lively fan base, the Raiders were engulfed in a sea of fans sporting their school colors and tailgaters closer in trucks behind both endzones.
Rappahannock wide receiver Marquise Lanier opened the game with the first score of the game after connecting with quarterback Ken Pierson for a 21-yard reception. The extra point was no good, but the Raiders were ahead 6-0 over Middlesex after marching down the field for 61-yards. Wide receiver Marcus Byrd contributed to the 61-yard drive catching two Pierson passes for 39 yards.
Neither team could add any more points ending the quarter, but the Chargers found a way around the ninth minute in the second quarter. Middlesex punched in a score from eight yards out on the ground. Rappahannock’s Andre Brown stopped the two-point conversion leaving the game tied at 6-6.
In attempt to get the ball back, the Chargers tried an onside kick, but gave Rappahannock great field position at the Rappahannock 47-yard line. The Raiders were unable to convert on the possession and soon gave it back to the Chargers.
Middlesex would end the first half with possession for seven minutes and no score.
Middlesex was in complete control of the game as the Chargers held the Rappahannock defense on the field for over eight minutes of the quarter. This time the Chargers offense would end their time putting more points on the scoreboard. Marching down the field for 82 yards, the Chargers ended it with a two-yard score to take a 12-6 lead.
“They throw the ball really well and I knew that their offense is capable of scoring much quicker than us, so part of our plan was to keep the ball from them,” Middlesex Head Coach Billy Jarvis said.
With some players playing both sides of the ball, Rappahannock showed no sign of fatigue. Instead posted the final points of the game in little time.
Rappahannock’s Tevin Fisher returned the Middlesex kick for 13 yards to his team’s own 35 yard-line, but be followed by a five-yard penalty on the first possession by the offense after officials called an illegal formation on the Raiders.
Running back Jaquan Thompson chipped in with an 11-yard run, Jamal Fisher ran around behind the offense for 15 yards and Byrd capitalized on the drive with a 35-yard reception for a touchdown compliments of Pierson. Byrd’s extra point attempt was good to give the Raiders a soon-to-be 13-12 victory with 1:34 left in the third quarter.
Rappahannock Head Coach William West said he was pleased for the second victory of the season, but was concerned about Byrd after being carted off. Playing on defense in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, Byrd went up for a pass but was unable to get up under his own will power.
“Very excited about staying on the plus side with another ‘w,’ excited about the win but my concerns are elsewhere with the health of Marcus Byrd,” West said.
Sunday after the game, West said Byrd indicated he was feeling much better. No report yet on the receiver’s status for Friday’s home game against Washington & Lee.
The game will not count towards the conference record, considered a friendly rival game before the two meet in Montross on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Byrd led receivers with three receptions 74 yards and touchdown followed by Lanier with two receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown, and Casey Roane catching one for 12 yards.
Pierson was 7-11 for 111 yards in the game throwing no interceptions. On the ground, Thompson rushed for 87 yards on nine attempts, Fisher collected 15 yards on one attempt and Jackson earned four yards on an attempt.
MDX 0 6 6 0—12
RAPP 6 0 7 0—13